The roles, responsibilities and expectations of Victorian Government School Teachers as professionals are set out in four main documents.

The Victorian Teaching Profession Code of Conduct describes the professional conduct, personal conduct and professional competence expected of teachers by their colleagues and the community in Victoria. These are represented as a series of Principles which focus on and promote integrity, respect and responsibility in teachers' relationships with students, parents, families, community and colleagues.

Roles and Responsibilities Teacher and Principal Class sets out the roles and responsibilities of Victorian Government School Teachers in terms of the employer's expectations. This document is used as a means of shaping professional learning opportunities, reviewing professional development/competence and assessing performance. The roles and responsibilites in this document are aligned with teacher pay scales.

The two peak bodies in terms of setting standards and making explicit what is expected of teachers in Victorian schools are the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). Both bodies publish detailed standards and expectations for teachers aligned to teachers' experience and accomplishment.

The AITSL Standards are set out in terms of four levels of proficiency and experience: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead and are assessed according to three areas of practice: Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement. The AITSL website offers a wide range of resources including video illustrations of practice and case studies which exemplify the Standards.

The Victorian Institute of Teaching

The VIT Standards set out what is expected of Graduate Teachers and what is required to qualify for Full Registration. The VIT website offers a wide range of professional learning opportunities and resources as well as specific support for teachers returning to practice.

You will be required to renew your registration and are required to undertake professional learning in order to achieve this. A question that often concerns Refresher Teachers in Victoria is:

How can I make up the hours necessary for renewal of registration (recognition of practice) if I cannot get enough CRT work?

The VIT has tried to accommodate concerns by recognizing equivalent practice, that is, where you might undertake work that is equivalent to teaching in a school. This needs to be work where you teach defined content, make assessments of learning and adjust your practice accordingly. This may be paid or voluntary – all types of teaching fulfil the practice requirement.

Days you spend in schools working with other teachers and students with the Teacher Refresher Course can also be counted. If you cannot meet the renewal days by the due date then you can apply for non-practising registration, which will maintain your registration and cover off on working with children requirements if you gain work teaching in a workplace other than a school. If you gain work in a school you can apply for Returning registration and must teach 10 days in 12 months and undertake 20 hours standards referenced PD.

How can you learn what is expected of you in a Victorian School?

There are numerous ways to understand what is expected of Victorian Government School Teachers these include:
  • Reading recently published Research Papers on the DEECD site (recent topics inlcude Assessment in online learning environments; Connections between built learning spaces and student outcomes; Connecting people: Digital Learning Platforms and Using student assessment for professional learning).
  • Exploring the DEECD website beginning with this web-page where it is clear that the following areas of focus are currently significant: Technologies and Innovation; Personalised Learning; (new) Learning Environments and Community Partnerships - each of these areas of focus is linked to a range of professional reading and other support materials;
  • Reading education related news stories in the press, such as this story in the Age newspaper, which promotes two current professional learning areas of focus;
  • Searching the DEECD website for hot topics heard in the staff-room where searching on the term 'Ultranet' which returns pages like this one => the Ultranet, which all Victorian Government School teachers are expected to learn about and use in their day-to-day practice.
  • Tapping in to the wealth of resources available on the DEECD website, such as this page dedicated to supporting teacher professional learning, which provides links to all of the current major areas of focus.

Reflective Prompts
  1. Choose one of the four standards based documents and consider the standards in relation to your previous practice. Which of these standards represent existing strengths? Which areas of your practice do you recognise a need to strengthen?
  2. Choose one of the other resources offered above and look for links between the areas of focus highlighted in that resource and the standards you would like to strengthen. What are the relationships between them? How does this resource help to shape and sharpen your focus? How might you develop these areas of your practice?
  3. Choose one of the videos in the Illustrations of Practice link above and identify links to the VIT standards or to the Roles and Responsibilities Teacher and Principal Class document - How are the standards similar? How are they different?
  4. Choose two standards which you perceive to be particularly challenging for you and identify ways that you could begin to develop against these standards as soon as you return to practice. How might you track and monitor your progress?