Improving Teacher Standards

Over the past few months Alex and I have been working on a particularly challenging but inspiring project supporting the Ministry of Education in the Seychelles and their Teacher Professional Development strategy. It has been an interesting project, beginning with a review of their Teacher Competency Standards and getting to grips with the practices and requirements of teachers in the Seychelles.

Teacher Standards are requirements which govern our profession as teachers; they are a set of competencies that ensure we are effective practitioners in all aspects of our daily teaching lives. Standards in teaching range from our own personal professionalism, our knowledge and understanding of the pedagogy (the methods and practice of teaching) underpinning what we do, as well as our effectiveness in providing meaningful and significant learning to our students. Teach2030 courses all support Teacher Professional Standards and we use the Cambridge International Teaching Standards to support teachers in their behaviour, actions and attitudes within teaching.

Although in some cases the presentation of the competencies for the Seychelles was vastly different to what one might expect of such a document, it was encouraging to find that learner outcomes always took priority and teachers’ professional development was an area for improvement – hence the actions to allow us to advise and possibly develop their Performance Development programme.

Teacher Professional Development is at the heart of what we provide here at the Commonwealth Education Trust. We believe that raising the standards of education is something that all children should have a chance to experience and they should all be provided with a quality education in order to become successful in their futures. The most effective way to make this happen is to provide their teachers with outstanding and award-winning training. We are here to support YOU.

Your professional development is key to the outcomes of all your students as well as beneficial for developing your career and moving upwards in your job role – through promotion or position. Teaching is an ever changing and developing profession and it is vital that we take responsibility for our own learning in order to provide the best outcomes possible for our learners as well as ourselves. When we develop our knowledge and practices, we become better at what we do and in turn our learners experience a deeper understanding and improved outcome.

TPD comes in a variety of forms; perhaps your institution provides whole school teacher training where you are required to attend regularly and focus on whole school developments. In addition, we can also take control of our own teacher professional development alongside these sessions by completing digital, online courses or attending live workshops, which we provide here at Teach2030. Taking control of our personal and professional development allows us to grow in confidence and grow in our role. We are adapting our mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset where we see challenges as opportunities to improve ourselves.

In addition to producing two detailed and comprehensive documents, Alex and I also had the privilege of disseminating two two-hour workshops to a range of professionals from the Seychelle islands. It was extremely heartening to hear the voices of the recipients as to their experiences of TPD thus far and what changes or alterations may be incorporated to develop the professional development experiences for educators.

A particularly poignant moment was the discussion of the Teacher Portfolio – a document of a great power and achievement for individuals. The Teacher Portfolio was advocated to be a record of the teacher’s career thus far; of prior TPD experiences, of achievements and certificates. It is a document to be proud of, full of accomplishments and progression and it seems it may become a recommended procedure to maintain this kind of record of professional development.

A Teacher Portfolio is an important document to maintain as professionals. It is a record of your experiences and achievements within your career and it allows you to keep track of your TPD to date. It is a place to store certificates, to record or make notes on particular training sessions and ultimately becomes a journal of your progression. It is also evidence that can be provided to employers and may allow you to progress further in your career, gaining opportunities and promotions with improved salaries. We show you how to create one in our Growth Mindset course as well as the importance of devising an Action Plan to work towards.

Here at CET and Teach2030 we are honoured to provide effective training for educators to incorporate into their teaching. We know what daily life in the classroom means and we provide valuable advice, strategies and techniques that can be used to enhance delivery and learning outcomes. Learning poverty is something we aim to remove and by providing digital training that meets needs, we work towards supporting teachers in their professional growth as well as enabling successful learners worldwide.