Top tips for creating a high impact application
The Academy’s Teaching Excellence Program offers an exciting opportunity for Victorian teachers to engage in advanced professional learning. The program is specifically designed for teachers who demonstrate exceptional classroom practice in Victorian schools. If you think this is you, we can’t wait to learn more about what makes you an exceptional teacher!
Applying for the Teaching Excellence Program requires you to submit 4 items and we suggest setting aside around 3 hours to complete these.
Tip 1: how to structure your 250-word statement
This is the first part of the application that we read, so it is critical that you make an impact quickly and effectively. Being limited to 250 words is a challenge - excellent teachers often have a lot to say about their practice, but this needs to be brief and to the point.
Consider breaking the 250 words down into chunks. Try writing 50 words on each of the following prompts:
- Why would you like to be a part of the program?
- How will the program benefit your teaching?
- What skills and knowledge do you bring?
- What responsive pedagogies do you harness in your teaching?
- How will your involvement benefit the teaching profession?
Tip 2: what to include in your curriculum vitae (CV)
A CV is a personal document. The best advice I can offer is to consider how your CV reflects who you are as a teacher NOW.
You might like to include a brief overview of your teaching philosophy, as well as your interests and ambitions, not just your experience.
We are most interested in the impact you have made in your classroom over the last 5 years. Refer briefly to the excellence in your teaching that you have achieved previously, as appropriate.
It’s worth including the proudest achievements you have experienced in your teaching.
Tip 3: how to construct your 3 annotated examples
This is your opportunity to shine across 3 pages. By applying for the Teaching Excellence Program, you are saying that you are a unique, exceptional teacher and you should demonstrate this through the 3 examples you choose.
Once again, it’s a challenge to capture so much in only 3 pages, so choose examples where you demonstrate deep knowledge of your discipline and exceptional practice using responsive pedagogy. Think about examples of your teaching that you are particularly proud of – especially those where you were able to see an effective impact upon your students.
I’d like to stress that you do not need to submit 3 pages of just writing. Instead, consider the opportunity to be the exception and stand out. You might like to include images, links to videos, or podcasts you have created, research you have published and more!
Tip 4: seeking your principal’s endorsement
Your principal’s support for your participation in the program is key to a successful application. It is important that you are both on the same page about why you want to engage in this professional learning, and its intended benefits.
I highly recommend you find a time to meet with your principal and discuss your application before they endorse you. Sharing your 250-word statement and 3 annotated examples can help you both develop an agreed upon vision for how the program will be of benefit to you and your school.
The very best of luck to you in your application. We cannot wait to find out all about what makes you an exceptional teacher!