Effective Mentoring Program tips - the workplace recommendation panel

27 AUGUST 2020

Although 2020 has been a year of the unexpected, many provisionally registered teachers (PRTs) have still worked through their inquiry in their current teaching context, gathered their evidence and are now looking to convene a workplace recommendation panel.

The inquiry is the culmination of the work that the PRT has done with the support of their mentor and workplace. The workplace recommendation panel’s role is to ensure that the PRT has met all of their requirements of the (full) registration process and demonstrated they have met the Proficient Teacher level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

There will have been a lot of conversations, observations and interactions along the way, so by the time the panel meeting is called, everyone should be familiar with the PRT’s work and be confident that the PRT has met all the requirements. The meeting itself is an opportunity to let the PRT reflect on their work and celebrate the positive influence they have had on learning outcomes. The meeting can also be a chance for the experienced teachers on the panel to pick up a few tips from the PRT.

We recommend that all panel members and the PRT are adequately prepared for the meeting so that it is a positive experience for all involved. To facilitate this preparation, VIT has several resources that will assist PRTs, mentors and workplaces.

The Workplace Recommendation Panel guide provides information that will help both the mentor and PRT understand the panel’s role, structure and process.

The Checklist: evidence of professional practice is a document that PRTs should complete with their mentor prior to calling for the panel meeting. If all items on the checklist have been completed, then the PRT is ready to call for a panel meeting.

The short guide to referencing the standards assists panel members to identify where the PRT has demonstrated all 37 descriptors from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers within their evidence. Using this guide, the PRT identifies the page number(s) / sections where they have referenced the descriptors in their evidence. It’s important to remember here that the PRTs are the ones who need to demonstrate that they have shown evidence of all the standards. This short guide lets them demonstrate that knowledge and also make the panel members’ job easier if they can easily find information.

*Note – while the expectations or composition of the recommendation panel haven’t changed, given the current impact of COVID-19, the context may need to. It is acceptable to hold a panel meeting via a video conference (Zoom, Teams, Meet, etc.).