Portfolios and professional development
A 'senior teacher' in Western Australia does not refer to a person's age. The WA Senior Teacher career path recognises the central role of excellent teaching skills and learning in complex educational enterprises - and rewards it. The purpose of the Senior Teacher classification is to 'enhance career opportunities for teachers and to recognise the professionalism of experienced practising teachers and their engagement in continuous professional learning. It supports the retention of competent, experienced teachers in duties associated with classroom teaching and promotes quality teaching that articulates with high teaching standards'. At Perth's Christ Church Grammar School, this is a policy that recognizes that schools take on myriad academic, pastoral, spiritual, civic and co-curricular responsibilities on behalf of young people, but also that ultimately the most important thing is the quality of the teaching and learning relationship. That is one reason why the author decided, early in 2007, to apply for the Senior Teacher II classification, having held Senior Teacher I standing for six years. She wanted to demonstrate how she operates as an agent of change in the teaching of English at Christ Church Grammar School. To demonstrate this, she developed a Senior Teacher portfolio as a web site, which has become a resource for teachers, and also captures the author's experiences and reflections on learning technological strategies, implementing them within her teaching practice, passing on the skill to students and assessing the outcomes of such innovation within the English curricula of Years 8 to 10. [Author abstract, ed]
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