Sandy Warner

Teaching with technology


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Engaging with The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

The Professional Standards for teachers has been developed “for teachers to guide professional learning, practice and engagement, … The key elements of quality teaching are described in the Standards. They articulate what teachers are expected to know and be able to do at four career stages: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead.” (source Purpose of the Standards )

Recently I started to document my own teaching practice within the three domains of teaching; Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement. Initially, I found this process quite difficult as I do not see anything I do as anything more than what all good teachers do. And I am lucky to be surrounded by good teachers in my school!

However, I have found this process quite useful and I was suprised at how much I have achieved in my teaching career. The Standards at the career stages of Highly Accomplished and Lead will inform voluntary certification and I feel that I have started working towards this process.

I have now started to document my evidence and address each of the standards at the following page, Professional Standards. Mapping my progress on the Professional Learning Matrix has helped me not only track what I have documented so far but also helps me to plan what areas I need to focus on next. As you can see I still have a long way to go!

Mapping my documentation of the standards.

Mapping my documentation of the standards.

A good starting point for teachers is to engage with the AITSL Self Assessment Tool – click link below. This helps teachers to understand where their own teaching practice fits within the Standards and what areas they have strengths and weaknesses in. A great way to get feedback and guide future professional development and planning.

AITSL Self Assessment Tool

AITSL Self Assessment Tool

 

If you are thinking of applying for certification, my advice would be to start gathering evidence immediately. This may be in the form of lesson plans through to informal letters/ emails from parents, students and colleagues. More information about gathering evidence can be found on the DECD website.


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Lead or Follow? If I can’t be the leader then I want to be the first follower!

I recently came across this blog about what it takes to be  not only a leader but also the importance of being a follower and loved the analogies in the youtube clip. If you want to read the article click the following link.

http://blog.web20classroom.org/2013/08/5-questions-for-every-leader.html


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Lead Teachers Group ~ A Beginning!

On Monday, I hosted our first Lead Teachers Group meeting. It was great to see six teachers from our school and one teacher from a neighbouring school participate, with apologies from two other teachers.  To begin the meeting, I spoke about the AITSL website and how teachers can subscribe to the website to get regular updates and news from AITSL. We also looked at how to access the Self Assessment Tool (will need to register first) and where to find the Professional Standards on the website.

There was a general discussion around what people wanted to get out of the group and what direction it would go. The key points from this discussion were;

o Being able to engage in professional dialogue around the standards

o Helping develop a common understanding of what they mean

o Identifying ways in which we may already be doing this

o Supporting each other in collecting evidence

o Buddying up with a peer (that you may like to observe/support/ mentor you & vice versa)

Another teacher moved that we start looking at the Professional Standards to get us started and we decided to start with the domain of Professional Knowledge and looked at Standard 1: Know students and how they learn. Some key points were; Continue reading


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National Certification Of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers

certificateI 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.