However, in my developmental roles, they can be very interesting, as it is possible to play with permutations of the standards that exemplify what it means to become a complete teacher, especially during university or School Direct (short) experiences. There is much to be learned and this often has to be learned and adapted in the context of the school experience, which can cause tensions, with performance needs as well as personal developmental needs.
For information, the eight standards are
2) Progress and Outcomes
3) Subject Knowledge
7) Behaviour management
Plus there’s a part 2, which describes further the professional standing of a teacher within the broader community.
Behind these headings are many lines of exemplary materials. Click to link to pdf download, with a shortened version.
However, the headings are quite useful, in themselves, as supports for a narrative that seeks to describe teachers in development.
34 – Not necessarily the ultimate age for a teacher, but this could describe, say, a wildlife expert, or similar, who knows their stuff and can put it across in a clear narrative to an audience, using age appropriate vocabulary and language structures. The chances are that children in the audience are with parents taking control of behaviours. To some extent, it also describes some television presenter approaches, as they can take for granted that their core audience is watching. If they are also looking at a mobile phone, making a cup of tea, or are in any other way distracted, it’s not their problem.
873 – A person of professional standing, who has the skills to control an allocated group, for a period of time, who can be trusted to get across some subject knowledge in an ordered manner. This could be used to describe a teaching assistant, or other adult whom a head deems appropriate to lead an activity.
They can work within any prescribed approach to behaviour, dealing with issues that arise appropriately.
Structuralist approach; a trainee still making sense of the organisational needs.
8731 – Having appropriate expectations of behaviour and learning (TS1) raises the expectations of the adult, as the conduit through which some level of progress in a subject area might be accomplished.
It is often the case that these standards are the first and easiest to be evidenced for a trainee teacher, as, by and large, they describe the personal, professional persona of the adult, who knows their subject and can organise a classroom to get information across in a coherent form over time.
It is also likely to describe a teacher confident in their professionalism and ability to get what they know across to a range of school audiences, within an overall planning approach. See the diagram above.
The limiting factor from this point is embedded in standard 2, progress and outcomes; in other words, how well are the children known and how well does the adult understand the learning outcomes appropriate to different year groups?
432-65-2 - You’d want the person described above to have a wider range of skills, to include 432, being able to organise their subject over different timescales, so that the subject requirements were built up appropriately and checked on the way, with the intention that children should embark on a journey towards an expected point, with the teacher aware of the whole journey and the significant checkpoints on the way, as well as the final destination.
It can depend on how you define children making progress (TS2) and how you determine whether they have. If the definition is coverage leading to a test for memory, it might, in inexperienced hands, preclude analysis of the needs of specific individuals (TS6), leading to further engagement with them, undertaking adapted approaches (TS5).
Interaction with learners, engaging with the ongoing learning and making subtle or more significant alterations to the expectations of some, responding to evidence within the classroom, TS6&5, are probably the key to ultimate teacher success, in that it is the sum total of progress of each child (TS2) in a class or cohort, that ultimately is the signal that the school is doing well be every child, whatever their needs.
Teacher standard 2 also covers the full range of needs likely to be encountered. If, for example, a teacher has experience limited to one year group, as can happen in some organisations, knowledge of achievement in years above or below enhance and extend the outcome knowledge base, enabling the teacher to make more nuanced decisions about challenge and intervention needs. Mentoring and moderation are key elements in this area, to allow the less experienced teacher to benefit from the wisdom of more experienced colleagues.
Teacher standard 2 is also the area that is currently causing concern, in looking at assessment and tracking needs for teachers. It’s the one area where experience provides the basis for personal development, in making accurate judgements about children as learners, leading to better planning, interaction and adaptation; TS 465. The bottom line question; “How well, breadth and depth, can you show that you know your children?”
It takes time, and is a stage in a progressive development, based on analytical reflection, from reading and first-hand experiences on behalf of the developing teacher. Self-development is a constituent of teacher standard 8; developing yourself into the best possible professional, as a team player and a team leader, is key to long term success in teaching.
Teaching, in many ways, is an investigative role, based on an original hypothesis that the planning is pitched at the right level, with in-lesson evidence showing the need to alter course, or to provide additional scaffolds to support individuals.
Thinking takes time and that can be a rare commodity in a busy school room. So it is incumbent on each teacher, especially trainees, to make best use of available time to think and talk about the role. It is a job where it can be difficult to switch off, too.
Many will use holidays as time to catch up on thinking. As a head, I often thought of the job as 24/7/365. Perhaps that contributes to both success and burn-out?
That’s something else to think about… Be well.