I recently organised a ‘National Certification Of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers Workshop’ to be held at my school and this was presented by Belinda Radcliff and Leila Kasprzak from the Lead Teachers Association of South Australia. This was a real coup as it is not very often that we can get presenters to present outside the metropolitan area and come down south of Adelaide. It was great to see twenty dedicated teachers brave the very cold and wet conditions and give up their Saturday morning to attend this workshop too.
The National Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers is linked to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and supports teachers looking to grow professionally whilst staying in the classroom. Certification also provides national recognition for quality teaching, enabling teachers to move more easily within their profession across Australia. The process of certification enables teachers to reflect on their own practice which ultimately improves their practice and outcomes for students.
The certification process involves a rigorous two stage assessment by external assessors of a teachers practice and includes classroom observations and the documentation of evidence that demonstrates their skills in the classroom while working with students. Teachers create a portfolio of evidence for all seven standards. The process provides teachers with comprehensive feedback on their own practice against the professional teachers standards.
I have started looking at the Australian Professional Standards and whilst I have begun an almost ad hoc approach to gathering evidence on my e portfolio, I have grappled with how to document this evidence and the workshop today helped me clarify how to do this more effectively. It was reassuring to learn that I am on the right track and I now realise a lot of what I am already doing can be used to support evidence for the standards.
At the end of the workshop, I offered to organise future workshops for teachers interested in starting the process of documenting evidence against the Professional Standards and unpacking the certification process more and was pleased that quite a few of the teachers present took up this offer. I look forward to working with such a great group of my colleagues to begin this journey.