THERE'S NOTHING CASUAL ABOUT TEACHING

Question
As a casual and temporary teacher am I required to engage in the Performance and Development Framework?

Answer
The Performance and Development Framework processes are applicable to permanent, temporary and casual teachers.

All teachers have the right to be supported in their professional learning, as well as a responsibility to be involved in performance and development processes that facilitate their professional growth.

The processes set down in the Performance and Development Framework is referenced in the Terms of Settlement (November 2013) between the NSW Teachers Federation and the NSW Department of Education for the Salaries and Conditions Award 2014-2016 for teachers in the NSW Teaching Service.

Casual and temporary teachers should take responsibility for their Performance and Development Plan (PDP) by:

  • engaging in Performance and Development Cycle (Plan — Implement — Review)
  • documenting goals in the Performance and Development Plan
  • collecting evidence
  • collegially organising observations of teaching practice
  • doing mid-year self-assessment
  • undertaking the end of year formal review.

All casual and temporary teachers should engage in the process as it has been outlined.

Casual and temporary teachers should approach the principal of a school in which they work and request that they be supported in writing their PDP. Setting meaningful and appropriate professional goals should occur in a collaborative and supportive environment. The PDP should be taken to each school the casual and temporary teacher works in, and the principal or principal’s delegate be made aware of the goals the teacher has set down.

The Performance and Development Framework states under “FAQs” on page 19 that: “The school’s professional learning funds should be allocated to facilitate the participation of casual and temporary teachers in the framework processes.” Professional learning opportunities can include:

  • peer observations
  • online forums
  • structured discussions.

Evidence used to indicate progress towards achieving your professional goals should be sourced from everyday work. The types of evidence gathered should align to the Professional Standards for Teachers at your career stage.

Begin negotiations with the school/s that you work in to undertake the required observation.

“Observation processes are to be negotiated in a collegial, mutually respectful manner, undertaken by an agreed colleague and documented,” the framework states at page 6. When seeking feedback from a supervisor or colleague you should let the other person know you would like feedback to allow them time to prepare. Be specific about what you would like to be the focus of your feedback. If you do not indicate to your school/s that you would like some feedback you are unlikely to receive it.

You should undertake self-assessment mid-way through the annual performance and development cycle. This will provide an opportunity for reflection on your practice and progress towards the goals. This is an opportunity for you to refine and adjust your PDP if necessary.

The annual review process will take place at the end of the performance and development cycle. Approach the principal or her/his delegate to have a discussion to review progress towards achieving the goals you set down in term 1. This will include a written statement of no more than 200 words and should inform the next performance and development cycle. Ask the principal to electronically store your completed PDP, and you should retain the signed original for your records.

Be proactive in undertaking the annual performance and development cycle and seek support in the PDP process.

Julie Moon, Officer responsible for casual and temporary teachers.

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This advice is general in nature and members should contact Federation for advice and/or support in specific situations. Terry Moriarty is a Relief Officer and Amber Flohm is the Multicultural Officer/Organiser.

Casual and Temporary Teachers Handbook

Federation’s Casual and Temporary Teachers Handbook contains outlines conditions and addresses commonly asked questions. This handbook is also accessible on our website at https://www.nswtf.org.au/my-work/casual-temporary-teachers.html.