Are you a beginner teacher in the process of working towards achieving full registration? Do you have questions about how to collect evidence to meet the teacher standards? In a recent article, we spoke to a beginner teacher and her principal about their journey of preparing to achieve full registration. Here, we look at a new Western Australian report which explains the process in more detail.
The report Transition to Full Registration: Guide to Evidencing the Professional Standards at the Proficient Level, from the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia, answers some important questions for beginner teachers.
Although each state may have different guidelines and requirements for collecting evidence, the report provides some recommendations teachers may find useful in their own school context.
Who is an appropriate person to confirm you have met the professional standards?
According to the report, the most appropriate person to sign a declaration confirming you have met the required standards will be your Principal, or sometimes another staff member that has been approved by your Principal, such as a Deputy Principal, Head of Department or senior teacher.
‘Generally, it is expected that the appropriate person will be from the applicant's current educational venue with sufficient knowledge of the applicant's professional practice as a teacher,' the report says.
What is appropriate evidence?
The WA report says that evidence collected by a teacher must be specific to their teaching experience and teaching context, and should be drawn directly from their own teaching experience. Teachers should also ensure that a variety of evidence is included.
‘Evidence presented by a teacher seeking Full Registration should be derived from a range of sources and serve to illustrate the range and context of their teaching practice to cover a broad scope of the teacher's knowledge, practice and engagement,' it advises.
The report outlines specific examples of what can be classified as evidence for meeting the required standards:
- Teaching and learning programs, and unit and lesson plans (for example, individual learning plans, homework tasks set and/or classroom layout modification)
- Observations (for example, lesson observation notes and/or discussion notes)
- Feedback received and given (for example, parent teacher interview plans and records, survey of students and/or mentoring received)
- Teacher reflections (for example, reflective notes on teaching strategies, professional reading log and/or reflection of student learning and needs)
- Student assessment and student learning (for example, assessment schedule and/or student conference outcomes)
- Communication strategies (for example, conversation and collaboration logs, meeting logs and/or records of participation in parent teacher interviews)
- Collaborative work undertaken (for example, team teaching evidence, sharing of resources and/or peer review notes)
- Professional learning (for example, a professional learning plan or journal)
- Extracurricular activities (for example, presentations prepared and delivered and/or evidence of community contact and involvement).
Useful things to remember
When using students, parents and other staff members as evidence, the report says that their privacy must be protected. ‘Any work samples must be de-identified to ensure names and photographs are removed,' it advises.
If teachers do find that some descriptors aren't relevant to their teaching (the WA report uses the example of descriptor 1.6 Strategies to support full participation with disability) teachers can still use annotations to draw links and explain their knowledge of descriptors.
‘A teacher who has not had the opportunity to teach students with a disability may use annotation to show how teaching strategies they designed and implemented for managing diverse learning needs could be adapted to support the full participation and learning of students with a disability,' it says.
On the topic of annotations, it adds various forms are acceptable. These include handwritten notes on a sample of student work, handwritten notes on a lesson plan or a typed paragraph attached to a piece of evidence. It also gives advice on what information to include. ‘At a minimum an annotation should: identify the descriptors being accounted for and explain links between their evidence and the specific descripts; provide context to the evidence; demonstrate how the evidence shows achievement of the Standards/descriptors [and] identify impact on student learning.'
As a beginner teacher, how are you documenting your professional learning? Is there a particular type of evidence you didn’t realise would qualify?
If you had your time again as a beginner teacher, is there anything you would do differently? What words of advice would you give to a beginner teacher today?
The full report, Transition to Full Registration: Guide to Evidencing the Professional Standards at the Proficient Level is available to download (0.99 MB).