In your program, the Administrator, Lead Teacher and Classroom Teacher will work as a team to implement PBLA.
Administrators are responsible to IRCC for overall PBLA implementation. They support the Lead Teachers and Classroom Teachers. Responsibilities include
- Set or change program policies and practices to facilitate PBLA implementation.
- Monitor PBLA implementation in the program.
- Supervise teachers.
- Coordinate with IRCC to ensure that appropriate resources and supports are in place.
- Complete an annual program self-assessment using the PBLA Practice Review Framework and identify and complete an action plan.8
- Provide support for lead teachers and classroom teachers completing their action
Administrators have a valuable role in supporting teachers. In feedback on forums and in workshops, teachers have commented that they feel supported when administrators
- Keep up on developments in PBLA and strategize solutions to implementation challenges.
- Organize classes to minimize multilevel classes.
- Manage intake of and orientation for new learners, using processes that minimize disruption to teachers and learners.
- Develop program-wide policies for things like attendance and making up of missed assessment tasks, to provide consistency for learners and support for teachers.
- Provide opportunities for teachers to collaborate, plan and work together – such as peer support sessions for reviewing learner portfolios.
- Encourage the sharing of classroom resources and set up mechanisms for teachers to easily access these resources.
- Provide professional learning support (professional development sessions, CCLB Professional Learning Sessions) based on teacher-identified needs and priorities.
- Consider developing a volunteer program (including recruitment and training of volunteers) to provide classroom support.
- Allow time for change to occur, celebrating successes along the way.
While administrators play an active role in facilitating PBLA, they are not expected to review all learner portfolios. In a classroom-based assessment approach, the responsibility for instruction and assessment, including making judgments about portfolios and assigning benchmark levels, rests with teachers.
If you are an administrator, however, you will want to occasionally review selected portfolios in the program to better understand teachers’ assessment practices and plan for professional development. You might also provide focused support for a teacher who is new or is having difficulty with portfolio assessment. For additional suggestions for supporting PBLA in your program, see the supplementary documents, Administrator Tips for Supporting PBLA and PBLA 101 for Administrators.
Lead Teacher Role
The Lead Teacher is responsible to the administrator for assisting teachers in PBLA implementation. Responsibilities include
- Provide PBLA orientation, and support to new teachers.
- Advise administrators on needed supports such as PD or resources.
- Complete an annual self assessment using the PBLA Practice Review framework and identify and complete an action plan.
The Lead Teacher also plays a valuable role in supporting colleagues, using strategies that might include the following:
- Facilitate informal small-group discussions or learning groups to address common concerns using classroom teachers as resources for one other.
- Offer workshops related to PBLA implementation, such as the CCLB Professional Learning Sessions.
- Observe teachers and provide feedback and/or suggestions as a peer and colleague.
- Team teach or team plan on occasion.
- Give demonstration lessons.
If you are a lead teacher, you have an important supportive role, but should not be supervising or evaluating colleagues or screening portfolios or artefacts from colleagues’ classrooms.
Classroom Teacher Role
The Classroom Teacher is responsible for planning instruction and assessment in the classroom. Responsibilities include
- Work with learners to identify language needs and goals.
- Use CLB-aligned skill-using and assessment tasks that learners include in their portfolio and that provide evidence of learner growth and achievement.
- Provide action-oriented feedback that learners can use to improve.
- Use a variety of strategies to engage learners in the assessment process and encourage learner reflection and self-assessment.
- Review learner portfolios at the end of a reporting period and assign benchmarks based on the evidence.
- Complete an annual self-assessment using the PBLA Practice Review Framework and identify and complete an action plan.
In the end, PBLA builds on the understanding that ongoing, effective assessment provides learners with feedback that they can use to improve. It also recognizes that as a teacher, you are best situated to observe and assess learners’ language proficiency related to CLB expectations, and your professional judgements are foundational to the reflective teaching and assessment practices that best support learners in their learning journeys.