“Help! What is good evidence and how much do I need?”

A question we are asked regularly and often gets posted in online forums is “What is good evidence and how much do I need?”. People often become too focused on the details of the submission when time would be better spent seizing the genuine opportunities they have to support colleagues in their school context, and consider ways to capture this along the way.

What is good evidence?

Quality evidence is very easy to recognise as it is obviously authentic, capturing the day to day work of teachers, and the learning experiences of students. It shouldn’t be manufactured in any way and be relatively easy to collect, it is just proof of practice that is already occurring.  Yes, you will have to ask colleagues to share with you but they will be more than willing if you have kindly supported them in improving their practice and this is a great opportunity to increase collaboration in your area of influence. A really good set of good evidence can stand alone to tell the story of what happened and the impact it has had on colleagues and students.

Evidence of process vs evidence of impact

Teachers applying for accreditation at Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher must be able to differentiate between evidence of process and evidence of impact. What is the difference you ask? Evidence of process proves your role in supporting colleagues to change or improve their knowledge, practice and engagement. Evidence of impact demonstrates the result these positive changes have had on student outcomes or wellbeing. Evidence should be measurable and tangible, and in most cases should have a line of sight to student work. Put simply, the processes are actions that can be derived from the Lead Teacher and Highly Accomplished Teacher standard descriptors and the impact is evidenced by the actions of the Proficient Teacher. A powerpoint presentation, meeting agendas or minutes,  a copy of a revised policy or procedure are all examples of evidence of process which need complementary evidence of impact to show you are operating at Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher. Evidence of the strategies shared in the powerpoint presentation being incorporated into teaching programs and student work samples of them in action are examples of evidence of impact as they have changed the teacher’s practice and enhanced the student’s outcomes.

Do I just include my own students’ work as evidence?

No, this would be evidence for a Proficient Teacher. Put very simply, if you are wanting to become accredited at Highly Accomplished Teacher you need evidence from colleagues you work with, which may include faculty members, people in your stage team, your grade partner or a pre-service teacher. An aspiring Lead Teacher requires evidence from teachers in a range of faculties or stages, demonstrating your impact across the school.

Do I need to actually annotate on the documentation?

If you are in NSW, the answer is no, this is not a requirement of the process. Reference made to an “annotation” in documentation about creating the submission is actually referring to a narrative where you have the opportunity to describe your role in the process and the resulting impact on teacher knowledge practice and engagement for each set of evidence.

Come along to one of our workshops if you’d like more information about this aspect of the submission. Register here.

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