Educators - Know Your Stuff!
Four things that Educators who know how to exceed do that Educators working towards the National Quality Standard don’t.
I have noticed something interesting… the difference in the practice of services who have been rated as working towards the National Quality Framework (NQF) compared to those who are exceeding it. I have been fortunate to visit hundreds of education and care services to support educators since the implementation of the NQF. I’ve learnt stuff; lots of stuff. There
As a strength-based practitioner, my emphasis is on supporting my colleagues to build their own capacity. I write the same prescription of documents and quality assured resources and websites for educators all over the country, so they can continue their ongoing learning and reflective practice after I’m gone. I have promised them a post that links some useful free documents to start their learning from the moment they rip up their cheat sheets. Here it is.This post is for you if you or your colleagues:
- Are unsure if your programming and documentation will hold up in A&R;
- Still can’t get your head around the EYLF;
- Are confused about what to document and how;
- Want to know if you’re “doing it right” when it comes to educational program and practice; or
- Are an educator who has confidence in meeting the National Quality Standard (NQS) and want to know how awesome you are.
Here are four things that educators who know how to exceed do that educator working towards understanding the NQS do not.
1) They know their shit
Educators who just get the NQF are lovers of the art and science of teaching children. Not only can they pronounce pedagogy but they use the word in context, frequently. They know that the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) has three elements and they can tell you their favourite practice or principle with stories from their work with a glimmer in their eye.
2) They do not cheat!
You won’t find a cheat sheet with their programming, instead, they own a tattered copy of the EYLF. Educators who are meeting the NQS adore their copy of the approved curriculum framework and open it frequently. It’s usually missing the cover and pages are starting to come loose from the staples. It’s often covered in highlighter, coffee stains, and has known many post-it notes.
3) They like to mingle
Educators who know their shit, and don’t cheat, also mingle with like-minds. They’re excellent professional net-workers and love a good robust debate about
4) They don’t buy more paperwork
That’s right… you can’t buy self-assessment, reflective practice or ongoing learning. Nor do you need to. Educators who are confident with the quality of their practice know this and they can spot a rip-off a mile away. They refuse to buy someone else’s study notes, or a consultant’s re-invention of existing NQF supporting documents (which incidentally, are publicly available for free). In fact, they know where to find the most useful resources to further their knowledge of the NQS.
So where to next?
1) Know your shit
Open your curriculum framework every day until you know it inside out. Learn the vocabulary used within the framework so you’re no longer scared of it. Research and explore the evidence behind the principles and practices of the EYLF. Explore them in your work. Use your documentation as a research tool and become a confident learner.
2) Chuck out your cheat sheets
You know those A4 charts that say LO 1.1, LO 4.3, LO5 point 2 point
3) Professional network like a boss
Go to PD. Join groups. Find mentors. Fill your social media feeds with rich conversation, articles and ideas about pedagogical practice (not
4) Don’t get suckered into buying crap
Instead, get to know all of the supporting documents and readings available for free. Sign up
Here are some handy downloads that you can save in your iBooks for later. It's important to go to the source. Get the original documents (not re-writes of them). Most documents pertaining to the NQF are produced by the Australian Government, The Department of Education and Training, and most recently the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority . Below are some more references and links to get you started.
Here's a hot tip. For quick reference we have done the googling for you, so you can save the following books to your desktop, downloads or (preferably) iBooks. I highly recommend saving the EYLF, Guide to the NQS and the Regs into your iBooks and frequently utilising the search function.
(If you're not sure how to do save to ibooks - use 'Safari' on your iPhone or iPad to open this page. Then click on the links below. As each one opens, click the export icon then select Copy to iBooks).