Last week, as part of our on-going staff development programme, I asked teachers to complete a Self-Review against the Teaching Standards. The intended outcome was to generate a Needs Analysis for appraisal and CPD. This was completed using Blue Sky software.
After some earlier training sessions on Let’s Talk About Teaching and Power to The People, then Brilliant Behaviour and two or three other CPD sessions on assessment, this self-directed training opportunity asked all staff to review their own professional practice. For me, this has been a regular aspect of my own professional practice since 2008. Prior to this, I did nothing. Ever!
Do not allow the content of this blog to put you off reading any further. The chances are, that if you qualified prior to the revised 2012 Teaching Standards, you are either put off by the thought of reading the Teaching Standards, or for those slightly longer in the tooth like me, may have never have used the standards at all in the formative years of your practice!
You can read all of my 360-reviews based on a reflection and reference to the NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) Leadership Standards. I completed these 6 evaluations from January to August 2014 as I self-reflected on my leadership practice whilst on a social-media job hunt. I am a huge fan of the revised Teaching Standards. Gone are the days of cumbersome and prescriptive standards. If you have not read the Teaching Standards recently, then shame on you! The document provides a short synopsis of all the expectations placed upon every teacher at every level.
The following presentation was shared with all my teaching staff to guide them through a self-directed CPD session. The purpose was to review progress against the national Teaching Standards with the intended outcome that the results would feed into a further session about Self-Review, Planning Ahead and Mentoring. You can see my recent review of the Leadership Standards below:
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You can see from clicking the above image, that the overview diagram gives the reader an instant picture of strengths and areas for development. This same exercise can be completed for any standards framework. Completing a self-review allows an individual teacher to reflect on their professional practice. Using Blue Sky provides an appraiser the opportunity to see this information (by default) which is very useful when selecting your own 360-review with a mentor. The mentor can then allow the original user to gather a view of how others see their practice and evidence. Overall, the outcomes should (and can) inform performance management targets and further CPD needs.
- What if, as teachers, we completed a Self-Review every term? How would this inform our practice? Our CPD needs?
- What if we completed a Self-Review once a year with our Appraiser?
- What if we invited a Mentor to complete a 360-Review of our analysis?
My answer to all these questions, would be in the words of David Weston;
“Powerful professional development helps children succeed and teachers thrive.”
Throughout the presentation, I share my own personal records. To be able to do this electronically, you will need a Blue Sky license. If your school does not have access to this, you can arrange this for as little as £20 per year. Since 2008, when I first started to use Blue Sky, during my redundancy I continued to pay for this service. I cannot ever see myself not having access to this software. It’s fantastic and allows me to stay in control of my own professional portfolio.
Did you know, Blue Sky Education has been around since 2001? Longer than Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube!
You can download my full presentation by clicking the image below. The document takes you through step-by-step how you can complete a self-review against the Teaching Standards (and not the Leadership Standards).