Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment


The video clips used for discussion gave feedback and comments from different people, who gave their opinion on what it takes to be a professional. The clips focused on the views of how many professional occupations can have similar outlooks and characteristics, as that of a teacher. On a whole, the issues that were raised throughout the clips did pinpoint what was needed to be a professional, but they did not fully delve into all the negative viewpoints of being referred to as a professional.

Within the video, there were several comments made which reinforced that teaching requires you to be constantly trying to update your professional skills, and develop these. Teaching was referred to as a “calling” and a “caring profession”. Both the medics and teachers questioned believed that if you did not keep up with the new advances in the profession, then you would not be providing an adequate service to your patient/pupil. If someone within your community of professions was not doing the same amount of work, then the system would break down as there could be a lack of understanding between each professional.

One comment made suggested that in order to be a successful professional teacher, then you must ensure that you are becoming integrated into society. This means that believing that just because you have a diploma, that this is all the work needed to be done. The teachers believed that you must be reachable to the parents, pupils, community and the police, and that you must be prepared to go the extra mile. This could be done by discussing issues with other teachers or subject support groups, which was created to emphasise the huge benefits that came from discussing with others, in turn allowing you to develop other people’s skills and educate the communities.

Another comment that was made was very direct in stating that teachers need to be held accountable for their actions. It was clear they thought that teachers must be positive role models, and this was done by the way we speak and act, as our behaviours can be rubbed off on to others. The comment made also described that teachers must be held accountable for their own actions and they should be  benchmarking grades, in order to see how well their students are progressing.

Professionalism in regards to social media

Social media and the hype around it have been a major topic of conversation within the backdrop of professionals lives. Will this comment I post be frowned upon? Is it okay to add this picture to Facebook? Would my manager be alright with the content of this tweet?

As professionals we are constantly having to double check on what impact our online actions could have on our own personal and professional lives. There is a constant reminder to consider the following:
• Will it reflect poorly on you, the school, employer or teaching profession?
• Is the intention to post this comment driven by professional or personal reasons?
• Are you confident that the comment, if accessed by others, would be considered reasonable and appropriate?

With a growing number of children being on social media websites, and parents being keen to have a snoop at the person who is educating their child each day, there is a higher demand for privacy settings online. Public trust in a teacher is key for a good, working relationship with others and with different upbringings for people, there can be significant differences in what is deemed acceptable or not.

As technology is becoming more and more present within school settings, it is vital that boundaries are set in regards to what is acceptable for a pupil/staff online relationship. This is why a safety barrier can be to only communicate through websites such as GLOW, or official email addresses for the school. Communicating through these tools allows for clear boundaries, and can mean that there is less risk of people forgetting the boundaries of pupil/staff.

Whilst social media and the use of the internet can help children’s education thrive, there are also barriers which come from the use of it. Many people will post comments, tweets, pictures etc. without realising the full implications of what they have done. It can often be forgotten that even once a post or picture has been deleted, the file information is archived on to the website and is never fully gone. This is why there should never be any derogatory comments made in regards to pupils, parents or colleagues, which can easily be done whilst venting comments on sites such as Twitter or Facebook, and may lead to a concern over the teacher’s fitness to teach.

On the other hand, social media and the internet also benefits staff, parents and children. It allows for access to new teaching materials and assignments, whilst also being able to communicate with a huge host of other professionals in a real-time manner and discuss subjects.

5 Values for a Professional

As a professional, we are constantly questioning the skills and traits that we possess in order to aim to be the best possible teacher. Our values are key in the way that we deal with our emotions and also how we deal with those around us. From the list provided, 5 values have been chosen and a description of how they relate to the role of a teacher has been given:

1. Patience – As a teacher, this is a vital skill to have. With the needs of children constantly changing, and additional support needs being given a higher recognition within the class, patience can be a key factor in supporting development. It allows for there to be time to educate to a quality standard, whilst understanding that learning styles/rates will mean that each child will learn at a different pace – the end result of a child being able to understand is key though, regardless of the time.

2. Respect – Teachers are meant to be respected. They are after all educating the future generation? Correct? Wrong. Respect is something which must be earned, and is in a two way street – the child must learn to respect the teacher, and the teacher must learn to respect the child. Respect is an attitude of admiration for someone, which shows that you regard them in a high manner. As a teacher, we are able to show respect to the children in the classroom to the children, but also to other members of staff, parents and professionals. This can be key for providing the best possible care for children, as many schools host weekly meetings with other organisations such as Social Work, police and NHS professionals should there be any kind of concern for a child’s welfare.

3. Fairness – This is the personal quality of making judgements about situations without being purposefully discriminatory towards someone. Within a school setting, it is extremely important to be fair towards the children so that they do not feel as though they have been individually picked on. Whilst it is easy to have a favourite and least favourite child, for whatever reason, this should be discouraged to ensure each child is treated the same.

4. Empathy – This is when you are able to enter and relate into a mutual understanding of another person’s feelings. Whilst acting as a professional, the role of a teacher would effect this as we must consider a range of people such as the parents, children and staff’s feelings when in discussion about different matters. This is because we must consider how we would feel if we were in that particular situation, so that we can be approachable for anyone to come and speak to us.

5. Integrity – This relates to our own moral soundness as a professional. To work within schools, we are constantly reminded and encouraged to be having independent professional development. If we are aware of what our own aims are, and what we expect, then we are then able to conform our educating around this to be able to allow the children to see our expectations. By knowing what we would like to achieve, we can then set goals and hope to achieve this.

How did gender affect my education as a child?

Trying to remember how boys and girls were treated within my primary school was difficult to examine compared to the current schooling situation. Sure, both genders were allowed to participate in the different activities which took place – these were part of the curriculum. However, sports were aimed more at supporting the boys within the class and activities such as baking and art were generally focussed at the girls. This type of separation continued during “Golden Time” – a short period of time on a Friday afternoon which allowed for children to freely choose from a list of activities, what they would like to do. Each week it was clear which activity particular children would pick, and the activities such as sewing were predominantly girls. It would be almost frowned upon for a boy to be within that activity.

To summarise on my experience, whilst I did not feel excluded from any particular activities at school, on reflection I can see that there was not an entire focus on the inclusion of both genders into both types of activities, and instead there was an emphasis on selected activities being encouraged to individual genders.

Times have changed since then. With the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence, and of course the changing expectations and understandings from people’s general lifestyles, it is becoming less of a “girl activity” or a “boy activity”. Criteria’s for the curriculum allow for inclusion of all, regardless of things such as gender or ability. The future is encouraging for children to be within a more inclusive society regardless of gender, social class or ethnicity.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your eportfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The eportfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can pull in a Flickr page

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.