CPL takes the angst out of the Performance and Development Framework

Teachers can use the Performance and Development Framework process to achieve their professional goals without it being an overwhelming experience, Federation members were assured at a recent Centre for Professional Learning (CPL) course.

While participation in the annual Performance and Development Plan cycle is a requirement for most teachers, it is designed to be a collaboration between professionals and should not be a confrontational situation, course presenter Peter Johnson said.

The CPL course covers how a teacher and their supervisor work together to express the teacher’s professional goals for their Professional Development Plan.

Mr Johnson gave advice about writing goals for a teacher’s Professional Development Plan: “You will need to articulate what your goals are and why you want to achieve them.”

He said while a teacher owns their professional goals, a teacher needs to be prepared to negotiate the wording of their goals. “They need to be written in a way that you and someone else will understand.”

“Goals should be constructed so they are informed by the everyday learning, teaching and leadership practice undertaken by teachers in the normal course of their work,” he stressed.

Mr Johnson talked through other parts of the planning phases of the Professional Development Plan, such as identifying professional learning needs and strategies for improvement.

The implementation phase requires teachers to collect evidence to substantiate the progress they are making towards their professional learning goals. Mr Johnson emphasised the collection of evidence should not be onerous: “Don’t get into evidence overload.” “Grab the available evidence, don’t create it,” he also said.

Federation members were reminded of the Department’s words: “Evidence gathered and presented through [the performance and development process] should not be an end in itself. The evidence should be directly drawn from the normal, everyday work of the teacher, rather than the creation of separate and additional processes…” (Performance and Development Framework for Principals, Executives and Teachers in NSW Public Schools)

Mr Johnson also covered classroom observations; regular feedback, reflection and refinement; and the review process.

Feedback from members who participated in the course included:

  • “I found the guidance about writing goals useful”
  • “It was wonderful to have the Performance and Development Framework process clarified”
  • “The course was well paced with a variety of different approaches including group discussion, role play and self-reflection”
  • “This course is also highly relevant for principals.”

Completing the A Practical Approach to the Performance and Development Framework course will contribute five hours of NESA Registered professional development, addressing 6.1.2, 6.2.2, 6.3.2, 6.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

The course will run at Blacktown on Wednesday 27 March.

For more information about courses run by the Centre for Professional Learning visit cpl.asn.au.

Department issues advice on PDPs to all teachers

The Department of Education has issued advice and clarification on the current performance and development process and observations of classroom practice, at Federation’s request.

The union raised concerns with the Department that in some schools the agreed procedures for the Performance and Development Framework were being ignored or misrepresented.

The 28 March advice states (in parts):

“The observations should be negotiated, linked to the teacher’s goals and appropriate Standards. It should be undertaken by an agreed colleague in a collegial, mutually respectful and supportive manner and documented.”

“The [Quality Teaching Rounds] process always commenced in schools with volunteer teachers and it is not to be used for purposes of teacher assessment, under any circumstances”.

— Kerri Carr