The very essence of Suzuki method is change. Dr. Suzuki himself was careful to bring to teachers’ attention any development by announcing “new idea!”. We all then tried to incorporate this new idea into our own teaching.
It was with this in mind that the requirement a particular amount of ongoing professional development came into existence. After all, we can only teach using Suzuki Method’s most current ideas by attending regular professional development sessions. The Professional Development Committee aims to offer stimulating core Suzuki Method sessions throughout the year to excite the interest and growth of all of us. In addition, a wide range of professionally enriching activities from other sources and providers are able to be included towards the minimum requirement. Professional associations in many fields have such a requirement. Suzuki Associations in Australia and around the world have varying ways of quantifying an ongoing professional development requirement but the same aim of encouraging ongoing enquiry and development in Suzuki teachers.
The Annual Professional Development Requirement
Suzuki Music has implemented a system for teachers’ required professional development that allows flexibility for teachers, acknowledges active involvement in the Association and recognises other relevant training and professional development.
Teachers are required to complete 100 Professional Development points per year, commencing 1 January and ending 31 December each year. Within the 100 points, at least 60 must be core Suzuki Professional Development sessions. The core Suzuki Professional Development requirement of 60 points includes the completion of at least 30 points specific to the discipline/s that a teacher is trained in (or 20 points for a second closely related discipline such as piano/organ, violin/viola or flute/recorder). The remaining 40 points can be completed using points for a range of activities including:
- More core Suzuki PD (instrument specific or general philosophy based)
- Completion of further levels of Suzuki accreditation
- Other relevant non-Suzuki studies and certification
- Self-directed learning (reading Suzuki texts etc)
- Observation of Suzuki lessons
- Undertaking teachers’ own individual lessons to further develop their own playing ability
- Specific contributions to Suzuki Committees and Suzuki Music Victoria official events
The PD Points system applies to all teachers (including teacher trainers) and teacher trainees.
PD Points will be accrued each year from 1 January to 31 December, for all teachers who are already teacher members of Suzuki Music. Teachers who join the association for the first time part way through a PD points cycle, or who re-join after a period of absence, will be advised of what the PD points requirement specific to their situation will be.
Points cannot be accrued for any activity that is a requirement of an Accreditation Course that a teacher is undertaking (Primary Course volunteering, Observation, Required Private lessons, etc).
Points cannot be accrued for any activities for which you have received payment.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CERTIFIED SUZUKI TEACHER?
Teachers who are certified are eligible for inclusion on the published Suzuki Teachers list and to enter students for Graduation (subject to accreditation and additional requirements being met). Certified teachers are teachers who met the Professional Development requirement in the previous calendar year.
PD POINTS REQUIREMENT
Suzuki teacher members of Suzuki Music in Victoria, regardless of their level of accreditation, are required to complete 100 points of Professional Development each calendar year. The majority of these points must be core Suzuki professional development, including a minimum number of points specific to each discipline you are trained in. The professional development must be completed between 1 January and 31 December in the current year.
Teachers are required to keep a record chart of the professional development points they have completed and submit this to Suzuki once per term for checking and reconciling.
Attendance rolls will be kept by Suzuki Music at all official Suzuki PD events held in Victoria. Points will be added to our database using the attendance rolls but should also be added to your own record chart.
Random audits of Professional Development Record charts will take place at the end of each year. Audited teachers will need to provide a copy of any required evidence along with their completed record chart.
For more information about the PD points requirement, including the list of tables and points for each activity, please refer to the current document Professional Development Points for Teachers and Teachers in training.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PD REQUIREMENT IS NOT COMPLETED BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
If a teacher has not completed 100 points at the end of the period; i.e. if a teacher has 75 points, they would lose certification at the start of the following year.
If exceptional circumstances have stopped a teacher from completing the requirement, an application for special consideration can be submitted to the Professional Development committee for consideration by 30 October.
The teacher may then be granted an extension to complete their outstanding points and if the points are completed within this time frame the teacher is then certified from that time. If the points are not completed within this time frame the teacher will not be certified for the remainder of the year.