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Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 Summer 2008

The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland o o o o o o o

ACTS - a work in progress Welcome to those on the route to Chartered Teacher A critical mass of Chartered Teachers? ACTS Aims Initial Constitution Drafted Working with wikis Going for Gold

ACTS - a work in progress The Steering group has been working hard on your behalf to establish the foundations of the group this newsletter you can read about the areas we’ve worked on. We’ve carefully considered the aims and the constitution. We organised the information stall at the GTCS Chartered Teacher Conference 2008 in Edinburgh, and took that opportunity to inform those who attended of progress so far. We’ve set up a membership database and mailing list. And we’re currently in the thick of planning the official launch of the Association in September. Your core working group above, left to right: Karen Farrell, Dorothy Coe, Louise Guy, Paddy Miller, Annie McSeveney and, inset, David Noble.

Welcome to those on the route to Chartered Teacher A special welcome to those on the route to Chartered Teacher who have already expressed an interest in becoming members of the association. We all know the amount of work required for both the modular and the accreditation routes. It’s great that you have found the time and are far-sighted enough to want to become involved.

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Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 Summer 2008 Chartered Teachers at the initial meeting on 12 th January were asked if they wanted to include Chartered Teacher candidates in the proposed association and the answer was a resounding ‘Yes.’ So your presence is most welcome and we wish you well with your journey to Chartered Teacher. Annie McSeveney

A critical mass of Chartered Teachers? Lesley Carroll, head teacher of a school with a number of Chartered Teachers and candidates on the staff, used the phrase ‘critical mass’ to refer to that number, or that proportion of Chartered Teachers and candidates on a staff that is sufficient for them to really make a difference. This critical mass is not really quantifiable, because in every school there are other factors operating. In one school it might need 50%, while in another a single Chartered Teacher might be able to make a significant difference. What do you think the critical mass would be in your school and how near are you to reaching it? What about the critical mass of Chartered Teachers and candidates that would be needed to really have an impact on Scottish education? Annie McSeveney

ACTS Aims The steering group gave considerable thought to the aims of the association. These were not just plucked from the air or thought up by the steering group, but were based on the views of those Chartered Teachers who took part in the initial meeting at the GTCS on 12th January, 2008. These views, expressed in discussion groups and plenary, provided the raw material from which the steering group managed (with much discussion) to produce the aims that were presented during the meeting at the 7 th June Chartered Teacher Conference, these being to: 1. Support the community of Chartered Teachers in all its forms 2. Encourage communication and collaboration between Chartered Teachers 3. Encourage the provision of appropriate level CPD opportunities for Chartered Teachers 4. Develop awareness of the professional identity of Chartered Teachers 5. Make representation on issues affecting those in the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland. 2


Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 Summer 2008 So what do they mean? The first aim - Support the community of Chartered Teachers in all its forms - gets to the heart of the ideas behind the association. These ideas seem to be shared by a large number of Chartered Teachers and Chartered Teacher candidates, judging by the support which has been shown for the fledgling association. There is a feeling that this ‘community of Chartered Teachers’ really exists and that many Chartered Teachers consider themselves to be part of it. Yet Chartered Teachers are all different and all individual. Their work contexts vary from large schools to tiny units. Each Chartered Teacher has proved that their professional practice is enhanced, but each one has done this in their own individual way. Some have Chartered Teacher colleagues in their own school, some are part of local groups, some still feel isolated from others in the community of Chartered Teachers, yet many want to participate in and communicate with that wider community of Chartered Teachers. Encourage communication and collaboration between Chartered Teachers, the second aim, takes this idea a step further. Recognising the wish for communication, the association must support existing face-to-face or online groups. It will also have to provide new ways for Chartered teachers to communicate and not just to communicate, but also to collaborate and work together on projects that interest them. The third Chartered should be Chartered Chartered level.

aim, Encourage the provision of appropriate level CPD opportunities for Teachers, reflects both the suggestion that Chartered Teachers can and actively involved in offering CPD to others and also the sense of ‘After Teacher, what next?’ Having been involved in high quality CPD, many Teachers want to continue with the lifelong learning path at an appropriate

‘Develop awareness of the professional identity of Chartered Teachers’, the fourth aim, refers to developing the awareness of that professional identity within themselves as individuals, within the context of Scottish education and in the wider world. The final aim, ‘Make representation on issues affecting those in the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland’ is about providing a way for the voice of Chartered Teachers to be heard. A well-supported association can speak wherever necessary for the body of Chartered Teachers on issues which have been discussed within the association. Annie McSeveney

Initial Constitution Drafted Over the summer the group has been working on a draft constitution for the association. A constitution might not sound very exciting, 3


Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 Summer 2008 but it’s an important document and will form the framework around which the association operates. Clearly, it has to be right. That’s why our starting point was a draft constitution from the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations – they’ve already thought out all the things that need to be included and the possible problems. Their draft constitution is geared towards recognition as a charity and includes the legal bits that are essential if an association wants to be able to apply for grants from public funds at some stage. For example, there’s a clause that says that the association can’t just hand out money to members, other clauses designed to safeguard the funds of the association and clauses about what happens to the assets should the association ever be dissolved. This last is not the sort of thing that’s uppermost in your minds when you are just trying to get the association off the ground, but there is a need to make sure that such eventualities are covered. In our role as steering group for the emerging Association of Chartered Teachers, Scotland, we’ve adapted the draft constitution to what we think are the needs of the association. However, we’re just doing the ground work. It’s up to you, the future members of the association, to look carefully at the constitution over the years and make sure that it still meets the needs of the association. No constitution is fixed in stone and this one can be changed by a two thirds majority at a general meeting. Annie McSeveney

Working with wikis The steering group has been using a wikispace to discuss and develop our ideas. For some of us this was a new experience, but with customary Chartered Teacher “give it a go” approach everyone has embraced the learning opportunity effectively. The flexibility of the wikispace has allowed us to fix mundane matters of dates, venues and agendas, while giving everyone the opportunity to have an input to the fundamentals such as our aims, constitution and preparation for events such as the conference and the launch. If you’d like to know more about using wikispaces and how I’ve used them with children from P4 to P7, please email me. Dorothy Coe dorothycoe@lineone.net 4


Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 Summer 2008

Going for Gold I’ve just watched Usain Bolt run an electrifying 100m sprint, at the Beijing 08 Olympics. He set a new world record, leaving the rest of the field lengths behind, though in reality the 2 nd placed athlete was a mere blink of 0.2 seconds behind him. Astounded as I was by the man’s extraordinary talent, my attention was caught by that 0.2 second difference between winning and coming second. It took Google 0.35 seconds to find out for me how long a blink actually is - 0.33 secs, so if I had blinked I would have missed the second and third finishers. Compare this with 0.05 secs. That’s about one frame of video, or a sixth of a blink According to the latest research, that’s how long it will have taken you to look at this e-newsletter and decide how appealing to you it was. If you decided it wasn’t that appealing, we need to hear from you. What do you want to find in the ACTS newsletter? How do you want it to present itself to you so that you know you’re going to get something valuable from it? Take a few seconds to let us know please. Dorothy Coe actscotland@yahoo.com

ACTS Official Launch on the horizon! Look out for details of this event in your inbox soon!

The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors whose names follow each item represent those of the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland.

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ACTS Newsletter 01 Summer 2008