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Guide for reflection using teaching standards

The reflective questions in this guide are based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (the standards) and inform the Strong start great teachers (SSGT) induction and accreditation processes.

The reflection questions are intended to guide reflection rather than be used as an evaluative tool, not for comparison or judgement. They can be used by beginning teachers - and their supervisors and mentors/ coaches - across the first 2 years of their career to:

  • record insights, experiences, successes and challenges
  • reflect on practice
  • seek and provide feedback
  • identify areas of strength
  • determine next steps for professional development.

The questions can provide a springboard for formulating and gathering evidence for the purposes of gaining accreditation at the proficient career stage. See NESA for more information on the processes for gaining accreditation.

Prioritise needs over time

Beginning teachers may identify many areas of need early on in their induction process.

Since it can take up to 2 years to demonstrate that all proficient standards are met, it is vital that beginning teachers' needs are initially prioritised so they can be addressed over time.

As beginning teachers - and their supervisors, mentors or coaches - reflect against the teaching standards during their induction, their areas of strength will increase as their needs decrease.

Reflection questions related to standard descriptors:

Reflections, insights, experiences, successes, challenges, next steps:

Standard 1: Know students and how they learn

1.1.2 What teaching strategies based on knowledge of students' physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics have you used to improve student learning?

1.2.2 How have you structured teaching programs using research and advice from colleagues about how students learn?

1.3.2 Which teaching strategies have you designed and implemented that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds?

1.4.2 What effective teaching strategies have you designed and implemented that are responsive to the local community, cultural setting, linguistic background and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students?

1.5.2 What teaching activities have you developed that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities?

1.6.2 Which teaching activities have you designed and implemented that support the participation and learning of students with disability? How do these activities address policy and legislative requirements?

Reflection questions related to standard descriptors:

Reflections, insights, experiences, successes, challenges, next steps:

Standard 2: Know the content and how to teach it

2.1.2 Describe how you have applied knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of your teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities.

2.2.2 Describe how content is organised into coherent, well sequenced learning and teaching programs.

2.3.2 How is knowledge of curriculum requirements used to design and implement learning and teaching programs? Assessment requirements? Reporting requirements?

2.4.2 What opportunities have you provided for students to develop understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages?

2.5.2 How have you applied knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies to support students’ literacy achievement? Numeracy achievement?

2.6.2 What effective teaching strategies have you used to integrate ICT into learning and teaching programs to make selected content relevant and meaningful?

Reflection questions related to standard descriptors:

Reflections, insights, experiences, successes, challenges, next steps:

Standard 3: Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

3.1.2 How do you set explicit, challenging and achievable learning goals for all students?

3.2.2 How do you plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning?

3.3.2 Which relevant teaching strategies have you selected and used to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking?

3.4.2 Describe the resources you have selected and/or created and used, including ICT, that have engaged students in their learning.

3.5.2 How do you use effective verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student understanding, participation, engagement and achievement?

3.6.2 How do you evaluate personal teaching and learning programs using evidence, including feedback from students and student assessment data, to inform planning?

3.7.2 How do you plan for appropriate and contextually relevant opportunities for parents/carers to be involved in their children’s learning?

Reflection questions related to standard descriptors:

Reflections, insights, experiences, successes, challenges, next steps:

Standard 4: Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments

4.1.2 What inclusive and positive interactions have been established and implemented to engage and support all students in classroom activities?

4.2.2 What orderly and workable routines have been established and maintained to create an environment where student time is spent on learning tasks?

4.3.2 What clear expectations have been established and negotiated with students? How do you address discipline issues promptly, fairly and respectfully?

4.4.2 Describe the school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements you have implemented to ensure students’ wellbeing and safety.

4.5.2 Which strategies to promote the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching have you incorporated?

Reflection questions related to standard descriptors:

Reflections, insights, experiences, successes, challenges, next steps:

Standard 5: Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

5.1.2 What informal and formal diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies have you developed, selected or used to assess student learning?

5.2.2 How do you provide timely, effective and appropriate feedback to students about their achievement relative to their learning goals?

5.3.2 Which assessment moderation activities have you participated in that support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning?

5.4.2 How do you use student assessment data to analyse and evaluate student understanding of subject/content, identify interventions and modify teaching practice?

5.5.2 How do you report clearly, accurately and respectfully to students and parents/carers about student achievement? How do you keep and use accurate and reliable records to assist the reporting process?

Reflection questions related to standard descriptors:

Reflections, insights, experiences, successes, challenges, next steps:

Standard 6: Engage in professional learning

6.1.2 How have you used the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and advice from colleagues to identify and plan your professional learning needs?

6.2.2 What learning have you participated in to update knowledge and practice, targeted to your professional needs and school and/or system priorities?

6.3.2 How have you contributed to collegial discussions and applied constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice?

6.4.2 What professional learning programs have you undertaken to address identified student learning needs?

Reflection questions related to standard descriptors:

Reflections, insights, experiences, successes, challenges, next steps:

Standard 7: Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

7.1.2 How do you meet the codes of ethics and conduct established by regulatory authorities, systems and schools?

7.2.2 What are the implications of relevant legislative, administrative, organisational and professional requirements, policies and processes? How do you comply with these?

7.3.2 How have you established and maintained respectful collaborative relationships with parents/carers regarding their children’s learning and wellbeing?

7.4.2 Which professional and community networks and forums have you participated in to broaden knowledge and improve practice?

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