Tips for writing your first evidence post against the teaching standards

There are numerous reasons to start writing about your practice.  Whether that’s about reflective practice, meeting criteria for an assignment or accreditation, giving your self space to connect with what you do or why… it’s all about growth.  Writing your first post can be intimidating, you might be pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a bit!  In Edufolios, we write all of our evidence inside “Evidence Posts”.  They’re stored on a time line that you can explore. It’s quite fun to see what you said about that same topic a year ago – you’ll have grown!  You have the option to tag them with multiple standards from the Australian Professional Standards for teachers and their corresponding focus areas.  Most importantly though, the data you create through your reflection becomes search-able, reportable and so, so useful! Here are some top tips to help you get started with your very first evidence post.

Top Tips for Writing your First Post

  1. There’s no such thing as perfection.  It’s impossible in a classroom and it’s impossible in a reflection.  Don’t forget to be a reflectionist… not a perfectionist 😉 Take the pressure OFF.
Edufolios - Reflectionist - reflective practice - evidence post
  1. Start with you and your practice NOT the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.  No more posts called “1.1 Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students” ! Teaching just isn’t that simple! As soon as you start talking about your students, you’ll start exploring how you know that…  That’s going to come from a variety of places and hit a whole heap of standards!  One evidence post should cover lots of standards and focus areas. (The average is around 12 focus areas per evidence post). The title should name the story of practice not the standard. Check out this webinar for more information.A post can be as short, or as long as you’d like to make it.
  2. There’s no pressure to write a novel every time (or ever!).  Sometimes, you just want to share a quick A-ha moment. Those short, wonderful moments hold a lot of power – share them.
  3.  Write as though this is for you. This is your reflective practice. This is not for a uni assignment, this is not for accreditation, this isn’t even about PD hours… You’re reflecting on your practice and what it shows.  You’re doing that for you so you can explore the impact your practice is having, your learnings from that impact and what you’re going to do next. This is a great article on that subject.
  4.  Add artefacts (lesson plans, pictures, student work samples) and then annotate and explain what they show. Artefacts on their own won’t pass muster (when it comes to accreditation) neither will just recounting what you did.  Think more about WHY you did it and HOW you chose to do it.
  5.  Don’t be afraid to set yourself a target in your post and then write a new evidence post a few weeks later updating yourself on how you’re going. That’s the easiest way to gather evidence at any career stage!
  6.  When it comes to adding the standards – after you’ve reflected,  just ask yourself some questions.  Look at the standards tick box and simply ask yourself each one as a question. For example, “Have I talked about students and how they learn?” If the answer is yes. Tick the box. Don’t over think it… yet.
  7.  When it comes to adding the focus areas (these are the things that will appear in your tag cloud on the front page and act as a metric for you in your heat map tool), you can use the inbuilt standards guide to inform your choices.  This is when you start to get more detailed and when you start to think about what your evidence shows. You might change your mind, you might suddenly realised you missed a bit in your reflection. All perfectly normal! 😉

Writing an evidence post is all about you reflecting and taking time out.  If you reflect regularly, you’ll soon have all the evidence you need.  If you do so purposefully, reflecting on impact you might even start hitting HA and lead! Some of our subscribers even plan what they’re going to reflect on.  It’s a great idea to schedule time in to take time out to reflect! If you have any tips to share, please feel free to do so below.

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