Mentoring or supervising a Conditional/Provisional Teacher

As new teachers move from Provisional or Conditional Accreditation (depending on their academic qualifications) to Proficient Teacher level, they need regular advice, support and guidance and a transparent and consultative accreditation process with their director/nominated supervisor/mentor and/or supervisor.

Such recognition requires the collection of a range of evidence and the use of strategies including observation of teaching, as well as an ongoing review of documentation. The process of meeting Standard Descriptors should be used as a basis for developing and building confidence and expertise in areas where these are lacking or require support. (NESA Supervising Conditional Provisional Teachers).

In early childhood services in NSW, particularly stand alone community based services or small private services, the provisional teacher may be the only teacher employed or there may only be one or two other early childhood qualified teachers and they may work on different days.

How will this work for the provisional teacher and how will they be able to get the support, guidance and mentoring they need?

We early childhood teachers who were employed in an early childhood service before July 2016 have been lucky enough to be pushed over the line and accredited. We didn’t have to meet the Standards. We didn’t have to produce evidence. Do we know the Standards? Are we familiar with the evidence guide? If not are we qualified to supervise, mentor and guide?

I have a strong belief that those of us who were pushed over the line should have a knowledge of the Standards and the evidence guide and this is particularly important if we are in the position of supervising or mentoring beginning teachers.

A teacher’s accreditation at Proficient Teacher level is finalised when the Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) signs the Accreditation Report. This report is written by a supervising teacher or school mentor and is accompanied by annotated evidence collected by the teacher based on their own teaching practice. The language of the report should describe how the teacher’s practice aligns with the Standard Descriptors outlined in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at Proficient teacher level.

We need to be familiar with these descriptors so we can guide beginning teachers as well as for our own professional development.

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers comprise seven Standards that outline what teachers should know and be able to do. In meeting the requirements for accreditation at Proficient Teacher, it’s necessary that beginning teachers demonstrate meeting the Standard Descriptors across the seven Standards at this level. The evidence guide will lead the teacher in the right direction. It is also a good benchmark for those already accredited.

The Standards:

The evidence guide:

Take the time to read them. Think about our current practice. Become familiar.

Gabe Connell
Vice President ECS