Teachers are facing increased demands on both international and local fronts
– a looming crisis or an opportunity for growth?
If you only read the headlines, our teachers and students are failing like never before. Education standards are sliding and Australia is being left behind in Asia’s wake. Not only are the recent PISA and TIMSS results asking some tough questions of one of the world’s most inequitable systems, but every educator in NSW will soon be facing their own set of teaching standards to pass.
The current reality is that most NSW schools are unprepared for the imminent regulatory changes to the mandatory Maintenance of Accreditation for all Teachers in 2018. There are growing concerns that experienced teachers will leave the profession or take early retirement. The recent review of the BOSTES also sparked concerning comments from the NSW Education Minister, as he suggested “The board ought to make schools nervous around school registration requirements, and it ought to make teachers nervous around teaching standards”. With this rhetoric many teachers are left wondering about the value of Professional Standards – are they a stick or a carrot?
Glenn McLachlan left his role as the Director of Professional Enhancement at Knox Grammar School to support Schools and teachers will the prickly issue of Accreditation. He has worked with teachers from across all sectors and often hears a similar tale of woe from beginning teachers; that the Accreditation process is maligned and the process is more about jumping through hoops and ticking boxes than harnessing its power for professional growth and development.
His company, the Professional Learning Institute has been leading the way for schools to embrace the potential of Accreditation. An additional 80,000 pre-2004 teachers will become ‘New Scheme’ on January 1, 2018 and BOSTES Accreditation provides an opportunity to formalise the professional learning for teachers in schools – to share a common language and definition of what quality practice looks like. He provides workshop training and resources to explain how the standards can be used as a framework for reflection, rather than an instrument of judgement. And the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from the self-confessed skeptics.
With almost 140,000 teachers looking to access high quality PD from 2017, the Professional Learning Institute has also been working with Schools to become BOSTES endorsed PD providers. Schools that are PD Providers will become industry leaders, maximising their talent, resources and budgets by investing in cost effective, targeted and sustainable programs designed to raise teaching standards and improve student outcomes. Currently there are less than 1% of NSW schools endorsed as QTC PD Providers. The most common reason is the rigorous process to gain endorsement and/ or the belief that they do not have the capacity to meet the requirements. However, with the right support most schools can successfully achieve this goal.