All entries for Monday 15 October 2018
October 15, 2018
In its characteristic practical and accessible style, the Chartered College of Teaching has produced a handbag/backpack sized journal, capturing some of the very best evidence-based practical advice that any teacher (not just new ones) would benefit from reading.
Articles which draw attention to matters such as assessment, planning, subject knowledge, behaviour, inclusion and progress help to flesh out the best practice in each area of the Teachers' Standards without getting bogged down in too much detail. The three handy "take aways" at the end of each section are a very practical set of ideas for personal reflection.
Underpinning each of the articles is a respect for each teacher's individual ability and need for reflection. No two classes or lessons will ever be identical so the most applicable help for teachers is that which identifies common elements but allows individual practitioners the chance to amend, adapt and apply as necessary. This, in turn, addresses the need for teachers to develop both the feeling of and an actual sense of agency - to choose and design what and how they teach. This is essential for teacher humanity, pride and professionalism (Rycroft-Smith, 2017).
Starting this practice at the beginning of their careers may well bear fruit in terms of their longevity in it, too. Studies have shown that teacher agency along with praise, recognition and good staff/leadership relationships are important in addressing teacher attrition (Newton, 2016).
So, in starting with a publication for teachers at the outset of their careers it seems that the CCOT has found a "very good place to start".
The articles on making the most of mentoring and professional judgement, in my opinion, should be read by all school practitioners, in particular the definitions of "practitioner research" as a systematic process of reflection on our practice, trying out new ideas and evaluating the impact of what we do explains a pragmatic and clear approach to teacher CPD.
I can certainly point to times in my 21-year classroom career when school CPD took on this format and, for me, was inspirational and effective in refining my practice.
The important message which comes across through all the articles in this journal is "teaching is worth it and you are worth it". The links, examples, graphics and sequencing of the material all contribute to this message. It is clear that teaching is alive and well in this newly-formed self-supporting professional structure.
If you aren't yet a member of the CCOT it is highly recommended. NQT membership is free and will give you copies of The Profession, Impact (the termly journal covering essential matters), access to over 20,000 research papers and the national Early Career Teacher Conference in October. A package of enriching goodies too good to miss, which will help make your first years in teaching enjoyable, successful and sustainable.
Newton, G. (2016, November 15). Why do Teachers Leave and What Could Make Them Stay? Retrieved August 4, 2017, from BERA Blog: https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/why-do-teachers-quit-and-what-could-help-them-to-stay
Rycroft-Smith, L. D. (2017). Flip the System UK. Abingdon: Routledge.