Category Archives: edushare

Professionalism and social media

We are living during a time ruled over by the internet and a whole host of forms of social media, this is both exciting and daunting, especially when starting out on a professional career. Social media can be incredibly useful as it allows for rapid spread of information, we find out about global events at a much faster rate than ever before, in fact in 2012 there were more than five million Instagram posts, 175 million tweets and 250 million Facebook photos being uploaded per day. This wide variety of information being available to us is extremely useful as we can now know far more about the world we live in and take part much more in a global community. Professionally social media is useful as it allows for discussion over many topics and encourages participation from many people who care about the profession, for example new teaching regulations can be discussed by the teaching professionals and this will lead to a stronger and more developed profession where all those involved have had an input. However as a professional you must keep your personal life separate from your working life, you must also always keep your professional boundaries and moral standards. Social media gives us a chance to voice any thoughts and opinions you may have and this is a fantastic opportunity but can also lead to serious issues or ruin your professional appearance. There have been many cases where an inappropriate comment made on social media or a photo showing non-professional behavior have emerged and ruined the career or reputation of a member of the teaching profession. However through careful monitoring and thought you can marry your personal and professional life online. You can share interesting ideas and news stories which you feel will enhance your professional life, sites like Pinterest are also useful as they provide a vast resource pf creative ideas and help make new and exciting ways to teach. I plan to keep social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram separate from my professional life as I feel these are more personal and I use them as a way to keep in touch with friends. However I have a Pinterest which I collect interesting teaching ideas on and if I was to get Twitter I would use it for my professional life. However all forms of social media need to be kept professional and I monitor what I allow to be put up and will never make a statement which could be deemed unprofessional or put my career at risk. They key factor when using social media as a professional is that you have to remain sensible and always be aware of how you are presenting yourself.

Why did I choose teaching?

If you asked me five years ago what I wanted to do I would have told you “not teaching!” I was adamant that I would never be in another classroom once I had finished school. I always enjoyed school and, despite one or two teachers who I didn’t quite see eye to eye with, I found the majority of my teachers interesting and supportive people, I just did not want to return to school once I had finished with my time there.  However over the last two years of my school life this changed, I began to be drawn to the idea of teaching to such an extent that at this point I couldn’t tell you any thing I would rather be doing with my University career and then my life afterwards.

I gradually started to do more and more work experience; helping the s1’s with their transition from primary to secondary school, spending two hours a week in a p6 class in my local primary school, working with a boy who needed extra support for an hour week and a week during my October holiday in which I went to stay with my aunt and work in her primary school down in Harrogate. This was hard work, she was determined to give me the full experience, starting at 7:30 and marking late into the night, however I had never been so sure of what I wanted to do with my life. As soon as I got home from the week with my Aunt I started my personal statement and applied to do Primary education at University. After this came interviews which encouraged me to read into the theory’s behind teaching and I began to realise that teaching was more than just a love of being in the classroom and helping children understand the world around them and that it was built upon a fascinating world of theory’s and concepts. This made me want to study teaching at University and to go on to be a teacher even more.

When thinking about what sort of teacher I want to be the first thought which comes into my head, is my year six teacher back in England. He was considered the scary teacher of the school by some, mainly the pupils who were in trouble a large percentage of the time, yet to me he was interesting, fun and incredibly caring. At that point in my school career I was struggling a great deal, I had always been a slow learner and by the time I was starting my last year of primary school, my teachers and parents were concerned over my maths and spelling ability, in fact I was told that there was little chance of me receiving a GCSE in maths or English, I managed to get a B at higher maths and a B in advanced higher English. I believe that my year six teacher had a lot to do with my success, he never wrote me off and was always willing to support me and go through everything again with me until I understood. He gave me back the confidence I had lost and let me know that our brains all need different types of help. I want to be a teacher like him, one who understands the pupils struggles and one who, as long as I can see they are working hard, will support a pupil no matter what level they are at. He also used to ensure that there were fifteen minutes at the end of each day in which he would read the class a chapter or two of a book. This was a great help to us as pupils as it encouraged a love of reading and books while giving us all a chance to unwind and relax before going home to our parents. This is a practice which I am determined to keep in any classroom in which I am lucky enough to teach.

In conclusion, although when I started my school life I never wanted to be a teacher I can now no longer imagine myself doing everything else with my life, and that throughout my life I have found inspiration for who I want to be as a teacher from those who have helped teach me and shape my future.