New Professional Growth Framework for Teaching Assistants

Australian Teacher Aide recently facilitated the second of three workshops to schools in the Australian Teaching Assistant Professional Standards (ATAPS) School Pilot program.

The school leaders and teaching assistants attending the workshops, facilitated by Stella Liliendal and Kim Nuske, are coached on how to apply the ATAPS framework to their school’s performance and professional growth processes.

The workshops are an enormous commitment by schools and have included challenges for both school leaders and teaching assistants, as they grappled with the demands of their role, time constraints and a steep learning curve!  

The feedback from the interactive activities also highlighted the many benefits gained through participation in the pilot program such as: 

  • Opportunities to think about all the things teaching assistants actually do in their role 

  • Validation through recognition that teaching assistants are doing a lot of great things already 

  • Understanding of how to use the ATAPS framework in annual review meetings and goal setting processes 

  • Opportunities for consistency across schools. 

In the first workshop, participants learned to use the ATAPS framework to set goals, and in Workshop 2, the focus was on how to achieve their goals through professional learning and practice. 

Abbie  Gilchrist, a Tutor and Mentor at Katherine School of the Air in the Northern Territory,  is leading their pilot program, and found the activities on professional learning provided valuable guidance to assist tutors in formulating strategies to achieve their goals. 

Abbie showed outstanding initiative by adapting the three-way Venn diagram strategy on Observation, Professional Conversation & Professional Learning Resources designed by ATA.  

Abbie conducted a professional development session for tutors, involving them in creating a document specific to their school, and collectively brainstorming various strategies to achieve their goals.  



“The tutors' responses were insightful, and this exercise enabled leadership and me to identify existing strategies that were working well, and areas for enhancement. As a mentor, I now feel as though I have a clear and effective document to assist tutors in formulating strategies to achieve their goals.”- Abbie Gilchrist, Tutor and Mentor, Katherine School of the Air, NT. 

If you would like to know more about how schools can use ATAPS  to support the performance and professional growth of teaching assistants, view our resource, Introducing ATAPS - A performance and professional growth framework