Providing for quality teaching and best educational outcomes for learners
The VIT's Professional Practice (PP) team provides for quality teaching and the best educational outcomes for learners, and builds strong relationships with all stakeholders in the education space. The team consists of members with recent experience working in the sector, and is responsible for bridging the gap between the profession and its regulator.
The PP team works with initial teacher education (ITE) providers to ensure readiness for new graduates entering the teaching profession, and to support their development in demonstrating proficiency against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) as they move from provisional to full registration.
In support of this process, the PP team is a vital link for mentors across the State, working with them to develop strong mentoring skills that will benefit all education sectors.
The team is committed to educating teachers and the community about teaching quality by showcasing best practice in Victorian schools and early childhood services.
Bringing a teacher’s perspective to the regulatory environment
A primary focus for the team is to bring a teacher’s perspective to the regulatory environment. This means contributing to policy development and strategic planning, but most importantly, it involves working with teachers across all sectors to understand the needs of individual teachers and the profession more broadly.
Some of the team's functions include
- training mentors in the workplace to help guide provisionally registered teachers (PRTs) through the Inquiry process
- delivering seminars to PRTs to help understand the Inquiry process
- delivering seminars to pre-service teachers about registration requirements
A major part of bringing a teacher’s perspective to the process of moving to full registration is to highlight how that process is part of a teacher’s development, and represents the end of a period of induction into the profession where an early career teacher has moved their practice from the Graduate teacher level to the Proficient teacher level of the APST.
Meet the team
Linda Blakis – Professional Practice Manager
Linda is the manager of the Professional Practice Team, and has been with VIT since early 2019. She is a trained secondary history and legal studies teacher who has held numerous roles in schools across her career. Her last substantive role with the Department of Education and Training was as an Assistant Principal in a large F-12 school in the northern growth corridor of Melbourne, which is where her passion for working with teachers in their early career stages really took hold.
Linda enjoys the complexity of regulation across the various education sectors, and has worked to develop opportunities for professionals to engage with VIT and understand its role in not only protecting our children and young people but also the integrity and standards of the teaching profession.
When not engaging with stakeholders and supporting teachers to meet their regulatory requirements, Linda can usually be found in the kitchen cooking for her family and friends.
Caoimhe Foley – Senior Professional Practice Officer
Caoimhe undertook her initial teacher training in Ireland, and has 11 years of classroom experience, including three years focusing on special education and small group intervention in primary schools. She has degrees in history and primary teaching, and has completed postgraduate qualifications in special education and educational leadership. Having benefited from strong mentors and experienced colleagues who supported her induction to the teaching profession, Caoimhe has a strong interest in supporting teachers who are new to the profession, as well as those developing their practice and self-reflection.
Through mentoring graduate teachers, Caoimhe developed a passion for leadership in schools, recognising the influence and impact that leadership has on school and workplace culture and, most importantly, on learner outcomes. Since relocating to Melbourne, she has worked in education recruitment and leadership development in Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools.
Outside of her work in the Professional Practice Team, Caoimhe enjoys traveling, baking and walking in the outdoors (preferably with her dog and a coffee).
Matt Woodley – Senior Professional Practice Officer
Matt taught in primary schools in Melbourne for 14 years before moving to VIT to become part of the Professional Practice team. He has a degree in science as well as a primary teaching qualification. Matt comes from a family full of teachers, but is the first one to work for a regulatory authority. He finds the work rewarding (and challenging) to manage the complex expectations of teachers as well as the legislated obligations of the regulator and the community expectations on the teaching profession. Matt has been instrumental in developing guidance for teachers concerning how remote teaching can be used to meet regulatory requirements, and derives great pleasure from being able to demonstrate how VIT’s processes enhance teaching and teacher quality in Victoria.
When he’s not drawing links between regulation requirements, workplace needs and teachers, Matt can be found in the kitchen, pottering in the garden, reading a book or bushwalking with his two young children.
Benjamin Rosenberg – Teacher Practitioner
Benjamin holds double Bachelor degrees in Teaching and Science. His experience includes 15 years in schooling across Victoria, interstate and overseas. Benjamin has a keen interest in STEM and worked as a STEM specialist at a Victorian primary school before joining VIT in early 2022.
Benjamin was drawn to the Teacher Practitioner role by his passion for supporting teachers to achieve the best outcomes for their learners. Working within both the Professional Practice and Accreditation teams allows him to support teachers, mentors and initial teacher education providers to ensure Victorian young people receive optimal education by high quality teachers.
Having worked as a Learning Technologies Coordinator in the past, Benjamin enjoys keeping up with the latest technologies that can be used to support learning in the classroom.
Lucy Buncle – Senior Professional Practice Officer
Lucy has taught in primary schools in the inner-city and the western suburbs of Melbourne for over a decade before taking up a position in the Professional Practice team in early 2022.
Lucy has a Bachelor degree in Arts and a Diploma in teaching and more recently, completed her Master of Education, specialising in gifted and talented learners. Lucy has enjoyed the collaborative nature of teaching, especially the ability to mentor and learn from new and experienced teachers through this model. In more recent years, Lucy has been able to utilise her specialty to support the growth and development of teachers to implement strategies and programs into their own teaching approach and style.
Lucy really enjoys the complexity of teacher regulation and obligations, and managing these with teacher and community expectations, whilst keeping the safety and wellbeing of young people at the focus of her work. She has also found supporting newly registered teachers a rewarding perk of the job and being a point-of-call to guide them through regulatory processes.
Lucy loves nothing more than seeking out a delicious coffee and a great book when she’s not working.