Standards are science, but teaching still an art
Crucial to find the right blend
IT IS safe to say we all feel more confident knowing those who share the road with us are licensed to drive.
That is, we each have satisfied the minimum requirements necessary to be a proficient driver as well as recognise what it is to be a good road user.
In a similar way, the teaching profession has developed its own standards designed to enhance the profession.
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers outlines the minimum requirements, defines what good learning and teaching looks like and the necessary steps to becoming a highly accomplished or lead teacher.
Every graduate teacher employed since 2005 has already engaged with the standards.
And in 2018, every teacher working in a NSW school will need to understand and apply the framework to their teaching practice.
Teachers will know what is consistently expected of them such as meeting the needs of each learner, having a high level of content knowledge, engaging professionally with col- leagues, and undertaking regular professional learning and communicating effectively.
Of course, many teachers will already be following this.
The value, though, in having this framework is all teachers can work towards the same standards and receive similar recognition for their professional standing.
Teachers must demonstrate their proficiency every five years to teach.
If they are unable to do so, then support will be provided and in place to ensure they return to a proficient level.
While the standards are necessary for the profession, we need to acknowledge they are not sufficient in capturing the relational side of teaching and the personal qualities that individual teachers bring to their work.
The mark of a mature profession will be reflected in how well we can balance the science of teaching, as measured by the standards, with the art of teaching as demonstrated by a relevant and shared view of what it means to be an exceptional teacher.