The CARES model is something that you may have heard of before. It’s one of the new buzzwords for educators and professionals alike, and for a good reason.
What is the CARES model?
The CARES model is a way of telling a story.
As educators, we know that we need more than just data. We can collect test scores, attendance data, and behaviour records, but these are never going to give the full picture. It will never tell you exactly what a student is experiencing or how they are improving.
The CARES model is a structured way that you can tell these stories. Educators in particular have lept on this because it is so relevant to our everyday jobs. This is due to both the complexity of our work and the fact that we need to be collecting and recording meaningful data.
What does CARES stand for?
CARES is an acronym. It stands for:
The first thing to do is give the context of the situation. What was happening for this student? What problem did you encounter?
Here is where you state what you did. How did you gather more information? Who did you work with? What teaching strategies did you try to improve the situation outlined in the context?
What were the results of your actions? Include data or evidence of what the student did after you intervened.
Did your actions have the impact that you wanted? Were you able to improve the situation? Would you do anything differently next time?
Which of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers did you cover in this story?
The first four steps are relevant in a huge range of contexts. The last one is specifically used when you’re using the CARES model to collect evidence in a teaching context.
What is the CARES model used for?
You might want to use the CARES model if you are:
- Writing a job application.
- Speaking in a job interview.
- Collecting evidence for your teaching portfolio.
- Collecting evidence for your Annual Performance Review.
In all of these situations, it is important for you to tell the full story of each situation.
Why should I use the CARES model?
Following the CARES structure will ensure that you give examples with depth.
If you go into a job interview planning some examples of your teaching that you can share, the CARES model can help provide structure. You can check that you’ve included all the important pieces that directly tie your actions to improving a situation, what proof you have, and how you’ve grown as a teacher since.
Having a neat, easy-to-remember acronym can help you when you’re writing, but also in high-pressure situations. Stepping through the CARES model in your head is easier than trying to remember each piece of information individually.
What is the best way to use the CARES model?
The CARES model works really well if you include it in a set of evidence. Having evidence such as screenshots, student work, and email evidence to demonstrate the different steps of the CARES model can paint a strong picture of your teaching.
Be confident when using the CARES model. It helps focus you on your actions and the results that they’ve had. Don’t shy away from this! Having the structure of the CARES model can help you remember to put your best foot forward.