I find that discussions with my Primary ITE trainees during feedback sessions allows illumination and clarification about their thinking and highlights areas where they would benefit from some fine-tuned advice. Where this leads to my own thinking after visits, I seek to share outcomes with the trainees through blogs.
A recent case in point is the need for ITE trainees to evidence their impact in learning. This needs to be against the teacher standards, so I’ve been exploring an approach which could allow them insights into this area, in so doing, seeking to provide quality evidence against the standards.
Teacher standard 8, professionalism, requires the trainee to be a self-developer, not over-reliant on the team or specific colleagues, asking professional questions and following through, more and more independently, with teaching and lines of enquiry. The following approach seeks to describe, simply, how this might be achieved. In so doing, the trainee will enhance their professionalism...
3; All planning occurs within a subject context, whether in whole or part, eg phonics, reading as part of English. There is likely to be some cross curricular linkage, talk and writing, or mathematics in science, geography etc.
2,4,1; If a trainee is a full partner in the creation of either medium term or weekly plans, they are party to intentions and expectations of the children for which the plans are made, as these will be based on teacher and trainee knowledge of the current needs of the class.
4; If the trainee then has to plan for a series of lessons in the week, they have to create an internal rational narrative, which can be shared with the children at each stage; we are dong this because or “so that”.
8; making best use of the adults available to the lesson could be a key point for decisions. Who is best suited to the needs of the children?
6,5; Within each lesson, there may be moments where the trainee becomes aware that individuals, groups or the whole class is experiencing moments of insecurity. These moments have to be acted upon, investigating detailed needs, enabling rational in-lesson decisions, including reforming or remodelling the lesson to need. Making a note of these moments on plans captures the moment, which enables further reflection after the lesson, linked to any additional assessment judgements from additional adults.
In running through this scenario, it could be possible for a trainee to evidence virtually every teacher standard, by annotation of, and reflective evaluation of plans, annotation of any collected work from key individuals resulting in an overall reflection at the end of a working week.
Coupled with evidence that may arise from observations by their mentor, and their weekly review meetings, the trainee should be able to highlight their secure areas and areas for further development.
At an agreed point, the trainee could also write a short summative report on their selected case study children, which could be discussed with their mentor. Annotations by the mentor would indicate levels of agreement and suggest areas for further consideration.
If, following this reflective evaluation, the trainee was able to share their thoughts with parents, this would offer further evidence for TS8 and also give insights into that area or responsibility, summarised with annotations on the reports.
This could be a stronger approach to securing the teacher standards, as a holistic exercise, rather than as single entities. We could judge the developing teacher as a reflective whole, not just their parts.