As per the results of my self-assessment matrix here: E. McCulloch AITSL Self Assessment, I have determined my areas of strength and areas for development in relation to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. The below table represents this information in a similar format to the Department of Education and Training’s (DET) Annual Performance Development Plan for teachers (2016).
It is clear that I have many strengths in the domains of professional practice and professional engagement, however have quite a few areas that require development in the domain of professional knowledge. An important component of reflecting upon professional performance is identifying opportunities for professional development (Salton & Chalk, 2017).
As a Geography teacher, the Geography Teachers’ Association Queensland (GTAQ), provides many professional development (PD) opportunities, support materials and resources that seek to ensure the importance of Geography teaching and its role in the development of students’ learning (n.d).
I have been a GTAQ member for the last 2 years and receive frequent e-mails not only notifying me of upcoming PD events, but also relevant announcements such as the release of the new Geography syllabus, and new teaching and learning resources that have become available. There are many PD opportunities that I would seek to engage in as a Humanities teacher. Many of interest are held by GTAQ.
Upcoming professional learning events through the GTAQ include: GIS in the Field, which introduces a range of free geo technologies, including how to: “easily integrate GIS into your classroom, use location analytics to make web apps, and collect meaningful data in the field using your mobile phone” (GTAQ, n.d). With technology being the way of the future this would be a fantastic PD to attend.
Past PD’s offered by GTAQ that I have been interested in attending include:
- The Digital Future of Geography – a beginners guide to harnessing the latest digital technologies which will create innovative and challenging classroom learning.
- Australia’s Engagement with Asia: Indonesia – a session exploring the cross-curriculum priority of Australia’s Engagement with Asia, focusing on Indonesia. This resource supports Year 7’s unit: Water in the world, Year 8’s unit: Changing nations, Year 9’s unit: Biomes and food security, and Year 10’s unit: Global geographies of human well-being.
Engaging in continual professional learning is a requirement of the teaching profession. Teaching standards 6.2 and 6.4 require teachers to participate in learning opportunities that can be applied to improve student learning (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership [AITSL], 2011). Attending PD’s such as those mentioned above would assist me in improving student learning by strengthening my professional knowledge, specifically, teaching standards 2.1 “content and teaching strategies of the teaching area” and 2.3 “Curriculum, assessment and reporting”, by providing me with an increased level of content knowledge and teaching strategies to “develop and implement engaging learning and teaching programs” (AITSL, 2011). Such programs require extensive and comprehensive knowledge of the curriculum. PD undertaken with GTAQ, along with accessing their suite of resources, will support both my teaching of Geography and the students’ learning of Geography, with the hope of making us all lifelong learners.
Photo by Sutherland Careers on Google Images.
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership [AITSL]. (2011). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved October 5, 2017, from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/apst-resources/australian_professional_standard_for_teachers_final.pdf.
Department of Education and Training [DET]. (2016). Annual Performance Development Plan for teachers. Retrieved October 5, 2017, from http://education.qld.gov.au/staff/development/performance/pdfs/annual-performance-development-plan.pdf.
Geography Teachers’ Association of Queensland [GTAQ]. (n.d). Retrieved October 5, 2017, from http://www.gtaq.com.au/.
Salton, Y., Chalk, T. (2017). Module 4 – Assessing for success. Retrieved October 5, 2017, from https://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/m2/course/view.php?id=11084.