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Experienced Teachers at TIGS

May 23, 2024  
Rev James Rogers - Deputy Principal

My experience of teachers at The Illawarra Grammar School is that they strive to excel as educators. This is evidenced by a commitment to professional learning and development both within and beyond the School. It is stimulating to be immersed in such a dedicated community of professionals. I can testify that my practice has sharpened as a result, and it has given me an appetite for continual improvement. I am not alone.

I am currently working with six teachers within the School who are seeking accreditation at the level of Experienced Teacher. The Experienced Teacher accreditation pathway is an initiative of the Independent Schools Teacher Accreditation Authority (ISTAA). It is a voluntary pathway which aims to enable educators who have been working at Proficient level accreditation for at least five years to further develop their professional knowledge, practice and engagement.

Participants are required to provide evidence they are consistently operating at the level of Experienced Teacher to receive their accreditation status. They do this by offering examples of practice which are matched against the ISTAA Standards and Descriptors for Experienced Teachers. The Standards and Descriptors profile an excellent teacher. They include knowing the students and how they learn; knowing the content and how to teach it; planning and implementing effective teaching and learning experiences; creating and maintaining supportive and safe environments; assessing and reporting on student learning; engaging in professional learning; and engaging professionally with colleagues, parents and the community, all at a superior level.

The aspect of the process I enjoy most is the opportunity to go into the classroom with the teachers and observe them teach. I am always genuinely impressed with the standard of teaching they display. Our teachers are expert practitioners. These observation lessons are followed by professional conversations which match the practice of the teacher against the Experienced Teacher Standards and Descriptors. It is a thorough process which leads to deep-level learning.

I trust you are encouraged to learn we have such able and dedicated teachers at The Illawarra Grammar School. Recent conversations with four more staff who are commencing the process for 2025 is evidence that teachers at our School are not satisfied with cruising on the merits of a tertiary teacher qualification; they want to be teachers of the highest order. To achieve this requires hard work and effort. But they are equal to it. And our students are the beneficiaries of their dedication.

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