Observation of practice during the COVID-19 pandemic

27 AUGUST 2020

VIT understands that teaching in a remote or online environment may offer some unique challenges for mentors and provisionally registered teachers (PRTs), particularly in demonstrating and observing proficient practice.

Observation of practice is a key component of the (full) registration process, and must be completed in order to complete the inquiry process and demonstrate all 37 descriptors of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) at the Proficient Teacher level.

Teaching in a remote teaching environment can be considered to meet the required 80 days of teaching. The inquiry process may also be completed in a remote teaching environment, provided the PRT can complete all requirements of the process.

PRTs, mentors and workplace leadership should discuss whether

  • their current circumstances will allow them to demonstrate proficiency in all 37 descriptors of the APST
  • all requirements of the (full) registration process can be met in the remote teaching context, including observations and professional discussions
  • observations will provide adequate opportunity for mentors to observe proficient teacher practice, including interaction with learners, in real time and provide constructive feedback to PRTs
  • the workplace panel can be convened remotely.

If you are a PRT and you are unable to complete the requirements of the (full) registration process before your expiry date due to the current circumstances of COVID-19, you may need to postpone completing this process until such time that face-face teaching resumes.

PRTs will not be disadvantaged if they are unable to move to (full) registration during this time, and can apply for another period of provisional registration through their MyVIT account (no more than 3 months before their current expiry date).

The nature of observations of practice may vary depending on a PRT’s teaching context.

Live online delivery

Live online lessons will generally allow for observations of practice and for the PRT to demonstrate their proficiency against the APST. In this case, mentors should discuss with the PRT the observation and its link with the Inquiry, and decide upon the focus for the observation. The mentor will require access to the session and will need to take note of any feedback for the PRT to be used in the debrief session after the class.

PRTs will still need to collect work samples from their focus learners and keep records of observations of learners and discussions with learners as they would during face-to-face teaching.

Multi modal delivery

In some cases, workplaces may deliver the curriculum via a mixture of live remote teaching and pre recordings of explicit teaching. In this context, the mentor and the workplace must discuss whether this delivery will adequately allow for observation of practice and for PRT to demonstrate proficiency against the APST.

If needed, additional evidence against the APST can be provided outside the Inquiry process, as outlined in Part 4C: gathering other evidence of the Evidence of professional practice template.