Why did you decide you wanted to try and be an assessor?
In my role as a Deputy Principal, I have always had an interest in developing teacher capacity and supporting quality teachers to remain in the classroom. As a College, we were beginning to explore using the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in our Developing Performance Reviews and I was interested to learn more about the standards and how they were used in the certification process for Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers. I saw that the certification process would recognise quality teaching through a credible standards-based and evidenced-based process.
What does it entail?
There were a number of face to face workshops and online modules to complete. There is also a considerable amount of background reading.
What was it like and how many hours did it take?
The assessor training was understandably very in depth. There was a lot of background reading to complete as part of the online modules. There was also the requirement to contribute to discussion boards and submit reflections. While it was self paced, there were deadlines to meet with each module.
What did you enjoy the most about it?
I enjoyed the workshops the most as this gave you an opportunity to discuss your learning with other assessors. The workshops also provided opportunities to clarify understandings and work through samples of work to further understand the requirements of certification. I also enjoyed the opportunity to hear from a range of presenters.
What was challenging about it?
The assessor training was rigorous as it was important for assessors to fully understand the certification process. Perhaps one of the more challenging elements was the time between training and beginning in the role. However a refresher workshop was provided.
What have you gained from the role professionally?
I have gained a great deal professionally by becoming an Assessor. The most important element has been developing a really thorough understanding of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. This will allow me to work with and support teachers at all career stages in the future. I have also developed my understanding of evidence-based assessment. The focus of an Assessor is to measure evidence against the standards and ensure that the evidence demonstrates impact either on student outcome or colleagues.
What is your advice to others who are thinking about doing it?
This has been the best professional development I have ever done. The opportunity to work with a range of stakeholder including assessors and applicants has been great. Be prepared to work hard during the workshops and training, but the professional growth will be worth it.