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To celebrate the achievements of Bell Shakespeare’s regional teacher programmes, Teachers Mutual Bank announced on Monday 18 July 2016 it would provide funding to the 2017 Regional Teacher Mentorship.
The Regional Teacher Mentorship gives 30 teachers from regional, rural and remote Australian schools a fully funded, year-long mentorship with the company. The programme includes four days of accredited Professional Learning at Bell Shakespeare HQ in Sydney. Recipients receive specialist training in practical and innovative strategies for teaching Shakespeare and the opportunity to collaborate and network with other regional teachers from around Australia. On return to their school, teachers receive ongoing support from Bell Shakespeare artists and staff, as well as access to in-school and in-theatre programs.
The support from Teachers Mutual Bank, along with ongoing assistance from the Australian Government, provides an invaluable opportunity, empowering teachers with creative and innovative ways to teach Shakespeare that will have ongoing effects for their student’s education for many years to come.
“We believe every teacher should be given equal development opportunities. The Regional Teacher Mentorship not only recognises outstanding teachers in our regional communities but also equips them with the training to further their careers and most importantly enrich their student’s learning through English and drama,” said Steve James, Teachers Mutual Bank CEO.
Joan Fraser, a teacher from Binnaway Central School in central New South Wales who is taking part in the current programme said, “The Regional Teacher Mentorship is invaluable to teachers like me from small, rural, isolated areas. Our students lack resources and opportunities that metropolitan students have ready access to. Staff also lack easy and affordable access to high quality professional learning. Alongside payment for a teaching cover, there are travel and accommodation costs involved, making a lot of professional development opportunities inaccessible to small schools.
“The Regional Teacher Mentorship has introduced me to a great group of teachers who share the same passion and enthusiasm that I have for Shakespeare. I now have a wide network of teachers from across Australia to offer encouragement and support. I feel empowered, supported and encouraged.”
Bell Shakespeare is Australia’s only national touring theatre company. It tours two or more productions of Shakespeare’s plays and other classics to state capitals and 25 plus regional and rural centres each year.
Bell Shakespeare also operates a nationwide, unparalleled education programme, introducing generations of students to Shakespeare around Australia, through in-theatres and in-schools performances, student workshops and masterclasses and professional development opportunities for teachers. Over 80,000 students participate in a Bell Shakespeare learning programme each year.
To find out more about Bell Shakespeare visit https://www.bellshakespeare.com.au