This week, myself and three other staff at Hackham East have been involved in filming an “Illustration of Practice” for the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). Based around our boys education program the filming took place over two days, aiming to create a 20 minute documentary looking at classroom management.
In theory, the idea of having a film crew follow you around is terrifying. In reality, it’s even more terrifying! Once the fear subsides however, the process becomes extremely valuable.
This filming opportunity came at the same time I decided to turn my blog into a Profesional Learning Portfolio. Both of these processes involved me needing to unpack the AITSL Teacher Standards. For those who are unfamiliar with the standards, the following is from the AITSL website:
The National Professional Standards for Teachers comprise Seven Standards which outline what teachers should know and be able to do. The Standards are interconnected, interdependent and overlapping.
The Standards are grouped into three domains of teaching: Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement. In practice, teaching draws on aspects of all three domains.
Within each Standard, focus areas provide further illustration of teaching knowledge, practice and professional engagement. These are then separated into Descriptors at four professional career stages: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead.
Exploring the standards has helped me to reflect more clearly on my teaching practice. It has shown me the areas that I reflect on naturally and highlighted those that I take for granted. It has challenged me to think critically about how I do my job and in doing so has improved my teaching.
In our job we can never be ‘good enough’. As teachers we need to be continually improving. I believe that the Teacher Standards are a powerful tool to help us do this. To use this tool effectively, however, we need to open ourselves up to critical self reflection and to the honest feedback of others. For me, this has been a challenging but rewarding process.
While AITSL were filming at Hackham East, I was also asked to film a “Teacher Feature” about our class use of social media. They also took photos of our classroom to share on the AITSL Facebook page. The photos can be found here, and the ‘Teacher Feature” is posted below.