Through human nature, I feel we all slowly grow into our own beliefs and values. Core values can be influenced by close family (parents/carers) as we tend to follow beliefs we are brought up around – probably just due to habit. Following from this, we are in education from around the age of 4, and so teachers have likely had some sort of impact one way or another on our values and beliefs. Thinking about this has made me question how often I actually challenge my own key beliefs and core values, especially as a professional, since as a future teacher there is a good chance I will influence someone’s core beliefs, values or principles. So, which ones are important to me, which ones do I try to reflect, and why?
Firstly, I like to believe I live by honesty. I have a strong belief that being honest is the easiest way to live and is something that comes naturally to me. If there is no purpose in being dishonest (by this I mean I would never go out to hurt someones feelings by being direct!), then I see no reason for people to not be open and truthful. I feel as a teacher, how can I expect my pupils to be honest with me if I am not honest with them? This brings me onto my second key value: respect. Again, I will of course respect all of my pupils, and would expect the same back. It is something that can also be earned, along with trust. A mutual respect is key for positive relationships in schools, not just with pupils, but with parents and colleagues, too.
Another key value for me is to be understanding and mindful of others. I like to think I am non-judgmental and a good listener to all. If everyone followed this belief, I feel the world would be a safer and kinder place. If a school can follow this core value as a whole, it could promote the 4 capacities – especially responsible citizens (CfE) – and make the atmosphere calmer, and the school a more open place for children to attend and feel safe every day.
Lastly, I like to ensure I can adapt and develop the best version of myself, not just personally, but professionally too, as I am aware I carry a responsibility to educate, influence and nurture younger minds in my class. If I can show them that it is okay to make mistakes and show that it makes me a better person by reflecting and adapting for future, then it might encourage them to have the confidence and perseverance to do the same and challenge themselves.
This was a small snippet and reflection of some of my key values, beliefs and principles. My key values of honesty, respect, understanding and personal development all impact my practice, as I would like to come across as a positive, pleasant person and make noticeable efforts to get to know my pupils, their families, and those I work with to build positive and healthy relationships. Trying to show children all of these in the classroom might feel difficult, but by being myself and making key values quite explicit, I think I might be able to get them across a bit easier than I think (I hope!).