Clearing path to accreditation

New teachers were given vital tips on how to navigate the minefield that can be the accreditation process at a one-day Trade Union Training (TUT) course in November.

The Beginning Teacher Course unpacked the requirements for accreditation at proficient by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), as well as keeping those in their first years abreast of issues ranging from Aboriginal education to working conditions and current Federation campaigns.

The clear message from TUT presenters for teachers putting together their accreditation was: Don’t create unnecessary extra work for yourself.

“It’s about quality not quantity,” said relieving Membership and Training Officer Guy McDermott. “So present evidence that you are meeting all seven of the NESA teaching standards, but you don’t have to address every descriptor for each standard. Choose evidence from a variety of sources, don’t just use one [unit of work] and pull it apart seven different ways. Use your professional judgment, we don’t need to show countless descriptors for your evidence. What you should try to do is present a holistic view of your teaching practises.”

Attendees were led through a series of practical activities to understand the gathering of appropriate evidence and lesson observations through the first years of teaching towards accreditation. Evidence drawn from everyday teaching is ideal to support a teacher’s accreditation, and it should be noted that one item of evidence can cover a number of teaching standards.

For example, a lesson plan could be used as evidence of meeting the first four standards including:

1. Know students and how they learn

2. Know content and how to teach it

3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments.

To meet Standard 4, above, the evidence could be a class seating plan, a behaviour management plan, explaning class/school rules, and lesson observation notes by a mentor/supervisor.

To prove Standard 7 (Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community), evidence could include student reports, minutes from a faculty meeting, parent-teacher night summaries, newsletter items, or a letter/email home.

Aboriginal education issues were addressed at a session where resources and ideas were shared for working within the syllabus to support understanding of community and culture.

Completing a Beginning Teachers Course contributes four hours of NESA Registered PD from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient.