For first year teachers it’s time to start planning their accreditation journey. For teachers in their second to fifth years without Proficient accreditation, it’s time to seriously consider their evidence and begin annotating.
If you’re in your first year of teaching, and have picked up full time work, your teacher accreditation authority (TAA) should have supplied you with their accreditation policy within three months of your start date. If not – ask for a copy and read through it.
Second to fifth year teachers need to chat with their TAA about their expectations and timelines. It’s time to take accreditation seriously. In some cases, significant salary progression may be tied to your accreditation. If you’re uncertain, contact the Union.
Casual teachers need to find a school where they feel a part of the education community. Work on your relationship with the principal or school leadership team as appropriate and ask them about the possibility of undergoing accreditation. Employers of casual teachers do have some responsibility to oversee the accreditation of regular casuals.
It’s important to understand the requirements of your TAA. BOSTES set minimum requirements, but your employer might have a particular way of undertaking accreditation. It’s important to look for:
• the number of observations a TAA requires. BOSTES requires one, but most TAAs ask for two or three. Ask to see a copy of the observation form (the IEU has a proforma if your TAA doesn’t have one). Observations should be mutually agreed upon and address only one or two descriptors. Observations can be short – 10 minutes is a very effective time to watch someone without losing focus and purpose
• any templates your TAA recommends. Most TAAs will allow you to create your own template (the IEU has a couple of models you can use). However, if they have a particular way of setting out evidence and annotations, learn about this before you start
• the number of descriptors per Standard required by the TAA. BOSTES require just one to be documented with evidence, but most people will find that their evidence as a whole naturally meets two or three descriptors per Standard. Some TAAs require all descriptors to be evidenced. This is not a BOSTES requirement, as it is expected that the supervisor and teacher would have had many professional conversations and interactions that ensured most of the Standard descriptors were evidenced in practice rather than through paperwork. However, if your TAA is making up their own rules, you should know this before you start to plan gathering your evidence and let the Union know of the excessive demands, and before you start to plan gathering your evidence, and
• timelines set by the employer. If they need particular milestones met, make sure that you work towards them and respect the timeline. Usually a timeline is set up to assist with the smooth flow of accreditation, allowing for the supervisor’s/mentor’s time and for feedback and re-drafting. Don’t leave things to the last minute and expect your colleagues to work all night to assist you with your accreditation. That being said, if the timeline seems excessively long (eg three to five years) perhaps it’s time to give the Union a call to discuss.
The Union provides free face to face and online versions of its course Accreditation at Proficient. Dates available here: http://www.ieu.asn.au/pd-meetings/
For advice regarding accreditation, email the Union: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget that the IEU hosts many different courses on accreditation processes across NSW. These are free to IEU members, and more information can be found here: http://www.ieu.asn.au/pd-meetings/