A Chartered Teacher, what’s one of those then?
Yesterday was the graduation ceremony for the first cohort of Chartered Teachers. As the first to become Chartered Teachers, it is pretty much down to us to define exactly what that means. Throughout the programme whenever I’ve been asked what a Chartered Teacher is I’ve responded with words to the effect of ‘you know, there are Chartered surveyors, engineers etc, this is the teacher version’. Not really a satisfactory definition though, is it?
The college’s website says this:
Successful completion of the programme confers participants with Chartered Teacher Status, which recognises the knowledge, skills and behaviours of excellent teachers, highlights the importance of their expertise in supporting the learning of children and young people and represents the first step in the development of a career pathway focused on effective classroom practice, not leadership.
But that still doesn’t completely answer the question. Comments from new Chartered Teachers note things such as feeling empowered, a change in their relationship with research, becoming informed and engaged. They note a new confidence in challenging themselves and the things they see/hear and a desire to read more widely and more frequently.
So what does Chartered Teacher status actually show about a teacher then? As far as I see it, it shows a teacher who is committed to the aims of the Chartered College of Teaching. Chartered teachers want to shape the future of the profession, they engage with research to help make decisions when it comes to their teaching, they connect with other teachers both to seek and to give support.
Chartered teachers are finding ways of being recognised for their expertise whilst staying in the classroom. As of yet this is a path that hasn’t been explored very far, to the best of my knowledge. I would think that Chartered Teachers would be well-suited to roles such as lead practitioners and research leads, the type of roles that involve leading best practice, sharing ideas and supporting others. These sorts of roles are becoming more common if Twitter is to be believed, but we all know Edutwitter is no accurate reflection of what is really going on.
I can’t wait to see where this year’s Chartered Teachers end up in a year or more. More than that, I’m looking forward to seeing the next cohort come through and what they make of it. If Chartered Teacher Status is going to really take off though, it needs many more teachers to get behind the Chartered College. The CCT is there for teachers in all stages of their career. To celebrate and recognise us, to support us through sharing research and insight, to connect us and to empower us.
I started this post by mentioning other professions with Chartered status, they’ve all had professional bodies for years. If we want teaching to be considered as a high status profession, then why don’t we give it a try? The CCT has the potential to be the professional body we need, it just needs to be given the chance.