Collegial teaching activities and other team teaching opportunities allow teachers to share their practice and work reflectively with others to develop their practice further. Supportive teaching
activities provide opportunities for experienced and inexperienced teachers to share their knowledge and skills and provide a focus for professional dialogue and the development of practices for
effective student learning.
The opportunity to focus on and discuss the elements of practice involved in providing learning experiences for students and then to reflect on them with a supportive colleague, will help to build
effective teaching and learning practices.
The most effective and supportive models for collegial work include a three-step sequence of:
Provisionally registered teachers are encouraged to teach alongside an experienced teacher as often as possible. Collectively they can identify those aspects of practice that need refinement,
enhancement or strengthening. A minimum of three documented activities become part of the evidence needed to apply
for full registration.
Each activity should offer an opportunity to discuss particular elements of professional practice and to encourage reflection and planning for continued development of practice in the classroom.
They also provide an opportunity for feedback to the provisionally registered teacher.
Three activities, recorded on a teaching activities pro-forma, will provide valuable evidence of a teacher’s classroom practice. These activities enable provisionally registered teachers to develop
and reflect on their practice in the context of their day to day work as a teacher with the collegial support of mentors and experienced teachers.
The Collegial Teaching Activity model includes a three-step process:
Choose an element of professional practice to trial or develop during the activity. This focus could be something you decide independently or a decision you make with the help of your mentor
The characteristics of effective teaching in the Standards of Professional Practice for Full Registration (particularly Standards 5 and 6) provide a useful reference for planning the focus.
The focus could be an area of practice that needs some refining or might be something that is working effectively but you want to explore further using new activities or strategies. It could be
something that other teachers do well that you have yet to try. It might be something that results from classroom management issues with a particular class or students.
Some common focus areas include:
The reference point for the focus should be the standards, particularly the elements of Standards 5 and 6.
Once the focus has been decided, complete the focus section of the Collegial Teaching Activity record.
The provisionally registered teacher initiates this activity and invites an experienced teacher who will participate in the lesson to a brief meeting to plan the activity together. These activities
will most likely be with a mentor sometimes with other experienced colleagues. This meeting will also set the boundaries for the activity. The regular planning structures already in place in schools
are a good time for these meetings to occur.
Complete the relevant part of the Collegial Teaching Activity pro forma before beginning.
Any additional information about the context of the class and the activity needs to be shared as appropriate. Record this information on the Collegial Teaching Activities pro forma before beginning.
As provisionally registered teachers are inviting other, more experienced, teachers into their classrooms for two of these activities they must feel ready to share their teaching practice and be ready
to discuss it with another teacher. The invited teacher may be their mentor or any other experienced registered teacher they choose who is familiar with the Institute’s evidence based process.
It is important for a mentor to see their role as being one of sharing practice and offering opportunities for professional discussion. This model allows a provisionally registered teacher to actively
construct their own knowledge of effective practice with the support of experienced teachers.
Professional collaboration is an effective way for teachers to discuss management of the learning environment and the learning of students. This can lead to very helpful professional conversations,
the sharing of activities and the trialling of strategies that promote effective learning.
Things that do not work according to plan are a normal feature of any teacher’s practice and should be
seen as an opportunity for discussion and reflection, not failure.
This meeting is the key to the development of professional practice. The reflective discussion which occurs following the activity provides an opportunity for both teachers to discuss the practices
observed, to reflect on those teaching practices which best contributed to student engagement and effective learning and to plan for future learning activities.
It is often best for the provisionally registered teacher to lead this discussion initially and to share their impressions of the lesson with regard to the focus of the activity. It is important for
the mentor to provide objective feedback using data on what they observed and to ask questions, rather than taking on a judgemental role.
Together, discuss and agree on the positive practices observed throughout the shared activity and where appropriate discuss any areas where practice could be improved. These might be concerns you have as
well as suggestions from other colleagues.
Complete the Summary of the Teaching and Learning section on the Collegial Teaching Activity pro forma with your mentor or experienced teacher. Use the questions as a guide to the discussion.
Reflection starters for this conversation could include:
After this post-activity discussion provisionally registered teachers should have some ideas on how to modify or strengthen elements of their practice in the classroom to improve student learning and
be willing to test these out. They might also have plans for some specific professional learning as a result of the discussion.
This completed document becomes part of the Evidence of Professional Practice as a record that the classroom activity has been undertaken.
It is a valuable experience for provisionally registered teachers to participate in another teacher’s lesson
and to reflect on how they manage activities or situations or the same group of students.
Reflecting on their own classroom practice, provisionally registered teachers should be able to identify
an area or areas where they would like to improve or refine their practice. For example, they may want
Mentors will be likely to volunteer their own classes or help make arrangements to work with other teachers in their classrooms. Provisionally registered teachers can also make their own
arrangements with colleagues.
It is valuable for the provisionally registered teacher and the teacher they are working with to meet prior to the lesson to discuss the focus of the activity and their respective roles and
to meet again to discuss the thoughts of both teachers and share ideas for effective practice.
Use the Collegial Teaching Activity pro forma to document the activity and record reflections about
the more the experienced teacher’s approach to teaching and learning. Once again, this completed document becomes part of the Evidence of Professional Practice as a record that the classroom
has been undertaken.