Last week we took part in a workshop as part of the 1CM1 module, looking at professional values. Our main focus was the GTC Scotland Standards Section 1 (found in the above link). We started in our ‘home groups’ and then after being given a number we moved into our ‘expert groups’ where we talked in more depth about one particular area, before reporting back to our home groups. This is a task that I will definitely use as a teacher for group work activities as it was a good way of breaking down a big topic but still being able to engage with the whole task.
The standards are split into five sections:
- Social justice
- Trust and Respect
- Professional Commitment
Although each section has a set criteria, we were encouraged to think about why these things are important and what they might look like in practice. As this is a key area which we will revisit throughout our time as student teachers, but also once we enter the teaching profession, I thought I would share the ideas that our home group had about each section.
- It is important to ensure that pupils are aware of different regional and global lifestyles, cultures and traditions.
- No child should feel singled out in the classroom.
- Children should be made aware of the rights and responsibilities that they have as a child but also what these will look like when they are adults.
- As a teacher it is important to look out for any issues that pupils may have and to ensure that these are treated sensitively.
- Be aware that children come from different backgrounds and not everyone is at the same stage in their learning journey.
- Make adaptable lesson plans so that they meet the needs of every child.
- As a student teacher it is important to seek help if you encounter a problem.
- It’s important to see every pupils’ question as a serious one- even if it seems silly. You should always try and answer in as open and honest a way as possible.
- Use your own experiences as well as your knowledge of how to act in a professional manner to be a good example to the pupils.
- Don’t enforce beliefs or opinions on your pupils but encourage open discussions, giving the children the chance to ask questions.
- See the potential in every child. Just because they have areas of weakness doesn’t mean they will always be weak in those areas.
- Talk about being respectful and how what you say can hurt others. (e.g. name calling or phrases like “that’s so gay!”)
Trust and Respect (my expert group’s focus)
- Mutual trust between pupils and teachers is key.
- If there is good communication between pupils and teachers then they will gain each other’s trust. Pupils like to feel as though they are being heard.
- It is important to respect other members of staff and members of the community to set a good example for your pupils to follow.
- Make sure you have a good balance between fun a discipline in the classroom to maintain the respect of your pupils.
- Being clear about what is appropriate behaviour in and outside the classroom is important so that pupils respect the rules which are ultimately be there for safety purposes.
- Teaching good manners as simple as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ shows pupils how to respect others.
- Being open to questions about different cultures and religions is important so that pupils respect each other’s differences.
- Being aware of physical boundaries and individual school policies and remembering to act professionally at all times is vital as a respectful role model.
- Letting the pupils be part of their own learning by having a saying in what and how they want to learn can build a good, trusting teacher-pupil relationship.
- Be enthusiastic and make learning fun for the pupils wherever possible.
- Work co-operatively with members of staff and other wider bodies of the community.
- Take criticism productively and learn from your mistakes.
- Be prepared for lessons and every day life as a professional teacher.
- Keep a professional relationship with pupils and their parents at all times.
- Maintain high standards for yourself so that you are leading by example.
- Practise what you preach.