Going for gold

16th May 2008 at 01:00
Review your progress towards the core standards, says Sara Bubb
Review your progress towards the core standards, says Sara Bubb

How are you doing? It's especially important at this time of year to know what others think of your teaching, because it's getting near crunch time. Your headteacher has to make a recommendation about whether you're meeting all of the 41 core standards at the end of your induction year.

The core standards are demanding: they describe a perfect teacher rather than someone at the start of their career. No one would argue with the need for the highest standards for the education profession, but it seems to me to be like expecting someone leaving medical school to be at brain surgeon level.

New teachers are expected to teach like the person next door who may have five years' experience. The pupils in both classes deserve the best teaching, but what can we realistically expect of someone at the start of their career?

While there is probably agreement about what constitutes a strong passing of the standards, everyone has their own ideas of what is good enough and contexts vary considerably. Look at C41: "Ensure that colleagues working with them are appropriately involved in supporting learning and understand the roles they are expected to fulfil." That's a massive task for the reception class teacher who has eight special needs assistants and two classroom assistants.

So take care and review your progress just before half-term with your induction tutor. What's going well in your progress towards the 41 standards? Make sure you're clear about anything that needs to be better, discuss what you need to do and then go for gold in the last stretch of induction.

Sara Bubb is an education consultant specialising in induction.

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