Is Teaching A Profession?

I recently came across a photo on an educational page I follow on facebook which I absolutely loved and linked very well with a few news articles lately. I felt this following blog might be of some interest (and help) especially to the MA1 who will writing their essay on professional now or in the near future.

The quote (of Donald D. Quinn) came from the Education to the Core’s facebook page (this does not mean I endorse or support this facebook page at all). “If a doctor, lawyer or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble and the doctor, lawyer or dentist without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job”.

Now, I am not all one hundred percent in favour of this quote as it seems to dismay how much work doctors, lawyers and dentists do. I have never been either of those or studied any of their professions in depth but I am sure they are very hard working people from those I have had the pleasure meeting whilst at university.

However, there are a few sources out there that also seem to think that teacher do not quite make it as professionals or teaching does not quite make it as a profession. Teachers compared to doctors, lawyers and dentists seem to the least trusted – the government hold a lot more power over teachers than these other professions. A Guardian Education Correspondent, Sally Weale, summed up that the teaching profession is very closely monitored by the government by saying in her article “despite Michael Gove’s intentions, teaching has become a profession monitored to within an inch of its life. Weale links this to the reason for the huge drop out of newly qualified teachers very early in their career. This is something that doctors, lawyers or dentists do not have as much pressure on them as teachers.

There has been a record number of teachers leaving their profession due to the amount of work and stress they are under. “A combination of unacceptable number of hours worked, a punitive accountability system, the introduction of performance-related pay and being expected to work until 68 for a pension has turned teaching into a less than attractive career choice” (Blower, Quoted in The TES, 2015). I personally believe that teacher work just as hard as any other professional in professions such as medicine or law. However, due to quotes such as “He who can does. He who cannot teaches,” we do not get the same trust from the government or same respect as other professionals. Shaw (quoted in The Importance of Teaching, Volume 70 No. 5) rebuts this by stating that “teachers can do something, and do do something; they teach. Like any other professional activity, teaching requires a cultivated ability. To be done exceptionally well, it also requires a special talent and a sense of vocation”

Additionally, Quinn’s quote suggests that teachers have an incredibly hard job which most of the time goes unappreciated. Teachers work under many pressure listed in Quinn’s quote as well as the Guardian article which many other professions and professionals do not have. I believe this makes a good stance as to why teachers should be deemed as professionals and the job we do a profession.

I hope this has sparked some thoughts on teaching being a profession and teachers are professionals. However, in my own opinion, I clearly still believe that yes we are professionals for reasons such as those stated in Quinn’s quote and many more.

My Journey to University of Dundee

I am Kim Rennie at the University of Dundee studying an MA (Hons) in Education. I decided to do this course in my third year at academy, after I went to my local primary school on work experience week. Before the work experience, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as I had many different options and careers paths that I thought I would enjoy. However, my work experience in third year was incredibly: I had a lot of fun working with the children and felt I learnt a lot from the teachers supporting me whilst in the classroom. This settle my decision that I wanted to be a primary teacher. Therefore, I went back to the same primary school in my sixth year twice a week, once in a primary 6 class and once in a primary 2/3 class. Throughout the year, there was not any point that I thought I was bored, each time was a different experience, with new challenges, experience and things to learn. The variety was what I thoroughly enjoyed.

To secure a place in at the University of Dundee as an undergraduate in education, personally meant a lot to me. I believe I haven’t worked more for anything than to secure a university place. I committed fully to getting my grades and experience since third year and it all paid off. Starting has a university student has made me grow up and take a lot more responsibility for myself and my studies. However, I think being an undergraduate in education has made me grow up more than any other course would, it has made me think about: my actions and the consequences; being a professional; acting in an appropriate way; my ethics and morals.

I believe even though it was a lot of hard work to get here, so far university has changed my life and I am grateful for all the hours I put in to get here. I am making the same commitment to my degree, to commit the full amount of time, effort, hard work and professionalism to achieve my goals.

My goal is to be able to engage fully with my degree to come out of university with a high standard of knowledge and profession attitude to be able to teach children and make a difference to any children I meet throughout my career as a primary teacher in an imaginative and creative way. I want to take all experiences possible whilst at university, to take away something from everything I engage in. Whilst on placement, I wish to be able to take away invaluable experience and to learn from the other teachers around me. In my opinion, children are at the heart of education and they are the reason we are there. I feel as if I am able to make a positive difference in even one child’s life as a teacher then it will be worthwhile.

Blackboard to Glow Transition

After our ICT lecture with Derek on the ePortfolio transition to the VLE Blackboard to Glow Blogs, I have decided to blog the changes. Last year in MA1 we had a bit of a disastrous time using blackboard for our ePortfolio, the lack of engagement with the ePortfolio showed because of this.

The blackboard ePortfolio was a long list of pages with no interconnectivity between them, this meant that the students  had to write and copy and paste anything they wanted to feature in more than one page. However, on the Glow blogs, students can categorise  one blog post onto as many pages as they wish as well as linking each blog post to the professional standards.

The Glow blogs allows easier sifting through posts. In the ePortfolio on blackboard, there was endless pages and posts getting lost throughout the pages which I can only believe made life difficult for the advisor of studies and markers to look through and find the relevance of each post. However, on the glow blogs ePortfolio, the blog posts can be tagged and categorised into different pages and professional standards which means that the posts can be found with a lot more ease in my opinion.

I personally think that adding links, different blogs/ePortfolio’s, media I think is a lot easier on the glow blogs than the ePortfolio from blackboard. I think adding links, videos, pictures is more straight forward on glow blogs than it was on the ePortfolio, I never once added a video or picture to my old ePortfolio but I will not hesitate to add to my new ePortfolio.

Overall, in my own opinion, I definitely prefer the new glow blog ePortfolio over the blackboard ePortfolio and I think this will show especially with the MA2 engagement in the ePortfolio.

Hello world!

This is the first post in my education blog in my journey through the standards for provisional registration as a student teacher at University of Dundee.

“Just Another Teaching Blog” is my first ever blog – so bare with me please! My blog is going to contain anything and everything with a link to my degree and my journey as a student teacher through to graduating as a teacher!

I hope you find something interesting!

Happy Reading.