Gaining Advanced Teacher Status has benefits way beyond simply improving teaching practice and is recognised by colleagues, students, employers and family alike. Elaine Battams – who was a member of the first tranche of teachers and trainers to achieve ATS – of Barnfield College explains.
My college has done a great deal to recognise my Advanced Teacher Status. When I was awarded it, the college made a big announcement at the all staff briefing and gave me a ‘star teacher’ award and the marketing dept wrote a piece on me which now features on our website. It also went on twitter and into the local paper. We have recently merged with another college and the Principal has shown a great interest in my journey and my research.
My family are immensely proud of my achievement and excited that I was part of the first cohort. My Mum has kept clippings from the local paper and our college website where our marketing dept posted an item about my ATS.
My students are excited that their tutor is one of the first people in the country to gain this award and have said that they find it inspiring and motivating as they start their own journeys into teaching. As I teach teachers, my ATS journey has really highlighted to me the importance of reflective practice and the impact this has on teachers, students and the organisation. This is something that I work hard at with my students to encourage them to become more reflective in their own practice. I also now instil into them that it is okay to make mistakes, but that they need to try new strategies and ideas and work on these with their own students.
The impact of achieving ATS is much wider than the way it has enhanced my teaching though. I was asked to share my research at a recent TELL (Teacher Education in Lifelong Learning) research event at Lincoln College and have been invited to share it at Bedford College’s Research Meet in July. I have also been asked to share my ATS journey with our new quality manager to look at this as a development activity for other advanced practitioners. I am currently in discussion with a colleague who is writing her third teaching book regarding me writing a book for student teachers.
I unexpectedly became a mentor for a friend and colleague on the second ATS cohort when her first mentor left the college. I found myself in a position to be able to share my experiences and help to support her through her own journey, benefitting both of us through the experience. That’s inspired me to become an ATS reviewer and mentor.
I am intending to celebrate my achievement at the Chartered Teacher awards ceremony in July when those who have earned ATS will additionally be conferred with that status. I feel quite privileged and very proud to have achieved ATS in the first cohort and hope that I can help to inspire and motivate others.
I also feel that my achievement helps me to raise the status of the PCE sector, often referred to as the Cinderella Sector. Well, ATS means that Cinderella is now going to the ball!