Self assessment tool – aitsl

areas for developmentThis is the last of three posts about the aitsl Self assessment tool. The last post is here and from there you can get the link to the first post. The third area of assessment for the SAT is :

Professional Engagement

Teachers model effective learning. They identify and expand on their own professional learning as individuals and collegially. Teachers demonstrate respect and professionalism in all their interactions with students, colleagues, parents/carers and the community. They understand and value opportunities to engage with their school communities within and beyond the classroom to enrich the educational context for students.

My first area of weakness is:

6.4 L Advocate, participate in and lead strategies to
support high-quality professional learning
opportunities for colleagues that focus on improved
student learning.

How did I get that? I run three blogs (the other two are linked top left) and they are all doing well. They look at how to improve student learning, how to implement professional practice in the classroom and how to make good better. Same with my SlideShare, Storify and Pinterest accounts. All of those feature ways of engaging students in a good way and how we, as teachers, can use the professional guidelines we have to improve learning. I get acknowledgement on my blogs that this is the case so I don’t understand how I got this as a weakness. I can always develop this area, it’s true. I have to stay current. With technology there are always new and improved ways of using it in a classroom to enhance learning. Blogging is about advocating. Getting the followers I get is about leading others so that they in turn can lead me. It is critical to get reciprocity – the sharing of content, getting feedback and then growing the content as I have often recommended. Personalise and connect their learning is one of the posts along those lines which was very popular. I can tell from my traffic whether I am connecting with others or not. I do that in real life as well. Perhaps not enough?

My second area of weakness is:

7.4 G Understand the role of external professionals and
community representatives in broadening teachers’
professional knowledge and practice.

I have been teaching for 40 years. I have been fortunate to attend conferences , participate in onsite learning and am working in a school which puts a high value on exposing us to professionals from elsewhere sharing their knowledge and expertise with us. I was a year level manager and middle school manager for many years. I have led a faculty, been a regional trainer in child protection, worked for the SACEBoard as a moderator and participated in VET course training amongst other things. In all of those areas I have been working with outside professionals in human resources of one kind or another and would not be as resilient as I am today were it not for that. I have seen outside professionals work magic with students, help parents, transform staff. The knowledge they have shared with me I have always passed on and often developed teaching resources which can further use their input in an educational setting. How did I get that as an area to work on?

So, this year I am nonplussed with what has arrived as my areas to develop. Does it matter? Not really. Last year I had a similar response and what I did was take my Self-assessment summary and share it with someone in my faculty and then with someone who was not in my faculty. I am not static. You have to keep moving. No matter what the Self-assessment tool comes up with any thoughts I have about it and any conversations I have with colleagues about it only do me good. What it does is create a sharp focus. There is nothing vague about it. It pins you down to educational outcomes which will strengthen you as a teacher, will improve your capacity to engage learners and will develop an ability in you to influence the wider community. Isn’t that what I want to achieve? Someone who can influence good classroom outcomes which have a positive impact on others? I shall go back to the questions when I have time and look at how I answered. The SAT lets you do that and that is pretty handy. Anything which is making me think about what I am doing and how I am doing it, anything which is making me talk to others in a very specific way about what I am doing and how and why, has to be good. I do not see it as a series of hoops to jump through nor do I see it as a judge and jury of my performance as a teacher. It’s a Self assessment tool, the emphasis being on self. It is available on the aitsl site for me to access and then use my brain and teaching skills, my network and influencers to allow me to reflect about myself so I can become the best teacher ever ! I have no objection to a tool which Stimulates Awesomeness in Teachers.

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