Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

Reflection on Feedback.

In my opinion, the process of feedback is vital. Receiving feedback allows you to develop an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and also gives you the opportunity to improve upon any weaknesses. It is a very beneficial process, not only to the person receiving feedback but also to the person giving the feedback. By reflecting on someone else’s work you can gain a deeper understanding of their views and opinions, and can compare these with your own to see how they are similar and how they differ. This then helps you to reflect and analyse your own work in the same way, and allow you to spot the strengths and weaknesses in your work and improve upon them yourself.

For me, the most important advantage of feedback is being able to gain constructive advice from your peers. It can be extremely difficult to look back on your own work and pick out areas which need changed, and so someone else taking a look at your work and making it clear where these areas are can be extremely helpful. Feedback does also not only apply to the piece of work which it is received upon, if one piece of feedback is reflected upon the advice received can be transferred to other items of work to allow you to continue improving. Positive feedback is also useful as receiving praise can really better the individuals self-confidence.

From personal experience, I have found feedback to be a really useful process. I can often find it difficult to reflect on my own work and so having someone to provide me with constructive feedback really helps me to improve upon my work. However, I do find that feedback is not always helpful, as people can either be overly nice or overly critical. When being overly nice with feedback it really provides no useful comments and so does not help you when trying to improve. However, being overly critical is also not beneficial as all it does is knock the individuals confidence. If the entire feedback is negative then the individual is not going to feel good about their abilities, and so their self-confidence will decrease.

This post has helped me to reflect on my own thoughts about feedback and I have realised how important it is. When I become a teacher providing feedback will be a large part of my career. It will be important that I supply pupils with advice to help them improve their work, but also with enough praise to allow them to see their own skills and abilities. I hope that I can provide my pupils with feedback which will boost their confidence to make them feel good about themselves and their work.


The Enquiring Practitioner

Practitioner enquiry is to investigate with a set of reasons which can be explained and justified. The results of these investigations can then be shared amongst colleagues, and therefore practitioner enquiry appears to hold more value than reflection. As a group, the practitioners will develop a common question, then will all research this are from different viewpoints as this improves knowledge creation and understanding.

Practitioner enquiry has many benefits to it, for example, it allows teachers to notably better the quality of their students’ learning experiences by making important changes to the curriculum. Practitioner enquiry also enables teachers to work collaboratively and so they can not only work together to develop the curriculum but also to learn from each other to help develop their own skills and abilities.

However, there are also challenges with practitioner enquiry, such as certain members of the group feeling uncomfortable to speak out or overpowered by another member, and so it is important that everyone’s opinions are respected and that everyone is given an opportunity to speak. Another challenge when implementing practitioner enquiry is that the older generation of teachers may find it difficult to adapt to this new way of thinking, whereas the newer generation will be more familiar with it. The older generation of teachers will not have been trained with this new method and so may find it extremely challenging to change their whole mind-set.

Personally, I feel that as a student teacher I can include practitioner enquiry into my training and therefore will be more accustomed to this way of thinking. This will benefit me as I will not struggle when it comes to working collaboratively with my colleagues and sharing my opinions with them. It will also allow me to take on board the suggestions and ideas of others and therefore could allow me to develop my knowledge and also abilities to help me become a fully qualified teacher.

Qualities of a Professional Teacher.

I feel that to be a professional teacher it is necessary that you have patience. Some children may take longer to understand certain subjects or pieces of information and it is vital that you are patient and take the time to fully explain so that they understand and learn from your teaching. During school, I found that in particular subjects I would require the teacher to explain things in a little more depth before I fully understood, and this would only help my learning if the teacher had the patience to spend extra time on the same thing. Many teachers wouldn’t do this and I would therefore struggle in their subjects. I feel that it is unacceptable for a teacher to act this way. As a teacher it is your job to make sure that all pupils can work and learn to the best of their ability, and without the patience to do so you are not fulfilling your role as a professional teacher. In my opinion, a professional teacher would consider their teaching style to make sure that it is meeting the needs of all learners, remembering that everyone learns in different ways – visually, orally and kinaesthetically.

Another quality which I feel is vital for a teacher to possess is fairness. Teachers must have the ability to treat all children equally. Teachers must take a fair approach, for example when it comes to behaviour, and ensure that all children are disciplined equally. From my own experience of primary school, I found that many of the male pupils in my class would receive harsher discipline than the females, even though they were being punished for the exact same thing. I find this to be extremely unprofessional as a teacher should make a conscious effort to ensure that all of her pupils are treated equally. It is also a requirement that as a teacher you must adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and so this helps to guarantee that all teachers will be fair.

An extremely important virtue for a professional teacher to hold is respect. Teachers must be able to show their pupils that they respect everyone around them, no matter what religion or culture they belong to. Respect is a quality which everybody should have, and so if teachers reinforce this idea with their own actions, children are more likely to follow and respect others. Teachers should always consider themselves to be role models for their pupils and so they should model this virtue alongside all of the others so that children can learn from it.

Personally, I feel that empathy is a very important quality in being a professional teacher. Being empathetic allows teachers to understand their pupils’ emotions and gives them the ability to relate to them. Pupils will originate from various cultures and backgrounds and so teachers need to be able to understand each individual’s situation as this will help the children to feel more comfortable to discuss any problems which they might be having at home. It is necessary to keep professional boundaries between student and teacher, but learners should see their teacher as someone that they can approach if they need or want to. Having empathy can help the children to understand that they are not alone and that the things that they are feeling are normal.

I feel that integrity is an important characteristic for a professional teacher to have. Integrity is the quality of honesty and having strong moral principles and so it is necessary for the teacher to have these so that the pupils can be educated to act in the same way. Pupils should see their teachers as a figure to look up to and so integrity allows teachers to be a role model for their pupils.

I have chosen these five qualities to be the most important from the list, however I believe that all of the qualities listed are important and that they should come naturally to a professional teacher.

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.