It seems every year more and more is asked of teachers and with every new request is a requirement that we prove that we have done it or achieved it.
It is now entirely possible that a student will come back and hold their school or teacher accountable for what they don’t learn. See this article here about a Victorian case.
The best defence we have against these illogical possibilities is to document what we do to the best of our ability.
A colleague asked me the other day about what sort of planning I do. So I showed them my overall summary for the term the one that is derived from the unit plan and that I give to my students. Then they asked what sort of planning I do for my lessons and how would I “prove” that I had planned for and taught the content. This question gave me pause; as a senior teacher I don’t tend to fill in a lesson plan anymore so how would I show what I did?
My response to this question was that prior to each lesson I prepare powerpoints that guide my lessons, this process allows me to think out the content of my lessons, consider timing and as per the question above gives me a record of what I did that lesson right down to the exercises I allocated.
The question that then comes from that, is naturally “How do you know the students did it?”
If you’re like me you checklist, so that you have a running record to report back to parents, students, admin and for actual reporting.
So here are my 5 steps to keep you accountable in the twenty teens.
1. Publish your term plan for your students and the content that they have covered in a LMS.
- By publishing this in a LMS (learning management system) students cannot say that they didn’t have access to anything even if they were absent.
- Publishing also ensures transparency in what you are doing in your class. (I share my courses with fellow teachers so that they can always see my notes, lessons, video etc)
2. Checklist student work
- I record all my checklist for students in my idoceo app on my IPAD, it keeps all the information contained and can easily export reports at the same time. Check out the why I love my IPAD post.
3. Conduct regular checkpoint testing
- While this seems to follow the idea of America’s pop testing, we are moving into a new era of external exams in Queensland. Regular checkpoint testing can give valuable feedback to yourself and students.
- Ensure you record some notes when you do a checkpoint test. (score, audio, video, anecdotal comment etc.
4. Keep regular contact with parents
- Ensure that you contact parents both when you have concerns and also to celebrate success.
- Contacts can be via phone, email, sms, a note home etc.
- Keep a record of these contacts.
5. Ensure your students always know how they are travelling
- It can be devastating for a student to find out that they failed at the end of a semester, ensure that you are giving regular feedback on how students can improve throughout the course.
- Feedback can be given in a number of ways: Check out our digital feedback post.
I would love to hear how you keep yourself accountable. Please comment below or post on our facebook page.