Sharon Carlson has worked as a Kindergarten teacher, Head teacher and consultant. In this blog post, she talks about reporting and assessment in teaching and the launch of Storypark’s new teacher portfolios.
As teachers, we have to show evidence of our own learning and progression as well as that of the children we work with. In Australia, many centres are focused on effectively meeting the new National Quality Framework and achieving the standards set in place by these. In New Zealand we’re reviewed by the Education Review Office, review frequency depends on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children.
On top of this, teachers also have to document evidence to support their personal registration. In New Zealand, the 12 Registered Teacher Criteria describe the essential knowledge and capabilities required for quality teaching. They apply to all teachers in their everyday professional practice seeking to gain full registration or renew a practising certificate with full registration.
As a teacher, you also need to be familiar with Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.
For teachers everywhere, assessment can be a lot to consider and a tricky thing to effectively document and organise.
For example, in order to meet the 12 New Zealand criteria, teachers must display the criteria within their everyday work and provide evidence, reflections and examples of them. There are three board types of sources of evidence
- Observation – structured observations of teaching or aspects of the teaching with structured feedback and next steps discussed with the teacher and documented
- Discussions with the teacher and by the teacher with others. Includes follow up to observations, appraisal meetings, structured mentoring conversations and critical self-reflection.
- Documentation – collections of evidence could include reflective journals of teaching practice, records of planning teaching: assessment records including reflective analysis of learners’ assessment information; appraisal records; records of professional development.
Storypark has recently launched ‘Teacher Portfolios’ to support the collection of evidence required for assessment, reporting against standards, registration and appraisal processes that align with these sources of evidence. Portfolio stories allow teachers to document evidence of their work over time. Create or adapt a learning set (i.e. ‘Registered Teacher Criteria’, ‘National Quality Standards’, ‘Graduate Standards’, ‘Self-review’ Appraisal, Tātaiako or other assessment criteria that may be relevant to you as a teacher), then link your portfolio stories to your chosen criteria using the learning tags in these sets. Storypark have created public sets of the Registered Teacher Criteria and Tātaiako to support you getting started. Over time you can analyse and review your progress and goals against your personal criteria. This makes support, reporting and assessment processes considerably faster and easier.
A teacher portfolio storie works in the same way as a child story, i.e. it is a story that can contain text, images, videos, PDFs and learning tags, but instead of selecting a child in the story, a teacher selects themselves. You can create a portfolio story from scratch, or duplicate a relevant child story to edit and add your own tags to and save to your portfolio.
These stories become your collection of evidence and could be a range of:
- recorded mentoring meetings and discussions
- your reflections
- planning and evaluation documents,
- displays, resources
- PLD attended and related reflections
Teacher portfolios are associated with individual teachers, not the early learning services they teach at. This means your portfolio will remain accessible, and free, to you even after you’ve left your current early learning service.
Have you started your Storypark portfolio yet? Learn more.