An enquiring practitioner carries out research in order to enhance their breadth of knowledge. The practitioner can then share this information with colleagues. To be an effective practitioner, working together with other people is vital. However, working with others doesn’t come challenge free. There may be communication difficulties which can be rather problematic when trying to work collaboratively and cooperatively as it could cause misunderstandings and interpretations that may lead to unpleasant relationships within the group. Disagreement is a good thing as it shows everyone has formed their own idea in their head. However, by not accepting someone’s opinion and not showing that you appreciate that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, conflicts can then arise. This kind of conflict between team members hampers the amount of work completed and lowers the group moral. In addition, certain members of the group could start to feel very isolated and become separated from the rest which may deter them greatly from taking part in group activities in the future.
On the other hand, there are many benefits that come from working in a group. Not only does group work provide the opportunity for and individual to gain confidence, it gives them a chance to get their voice heard and gain some kind of reassurance. Moreover, it also creates opportunities to share and develop ideas, allowing team members a chance to gain knowledge from their peers. Working as part of a team can also improve efficiency in the successful process and completion of group tasks. Moreover, the workload can be shared and any problems discussed, thereby reducing the stress and strain put on one person. The calmer the process of completing the task can be, the higher the quality of the finished product.
As a student teacher I think it is extremely important to be an enquiring practitioner. It allows student teachers to work with colleagues to develop and plan lessons in an effective manner. Furthermore, being part of group discussions also allows areas of improvement to be highlighted. This is extremely important for a student teacher so that they can take on board the suggested improvements in order for them to develop into the best teachers they can be. It is all about recognising areas of weaknesses and learning how to improve them. Working with colleagues in the school environment can also give you the opportunity to observe how other teachers conduct their lessons and perhaps adapt some of their techniques and incorporate them into your own lessons. Being able to research issues and share your findings is valuable as it demonstrates the ability to learn and share new ideas and how to reinforce your findings. I believe that being an enquiring practitioner can develop our teaching skills and professional attributes which are two key areas essential in order to provide a high quality education.
I chose to watch One Born Every Minute. It was such a great way to demonstrate professionalism working at its very best. The programme has opened my eyes to the core of what a professional is. Yes, it’s about conducting your work in a suitable way and having correct behaviour , impressive presentation and possess the knowledge needed to carry out the job, but I now believe that it is so much more than that. Professionalism is about the passion and love you have for what you’re doing. Waking up every morning looking forward to the work you will be carrying out and the impact it will have on others. I’ve learned that professionals don’t just do their job for themselves- they do it for others. A professional cares about the welfare of the people they are helping- it’s all about looking at the wider world and being prepared to go that extra mile for someone you don’t even know. Selfless acts of kindness and a commitment and dedication to others is what professionalism is to me. You are loyal to those you are helping. The midwives demonstrated all of these skills and more.
I believe that anyone has the ability to become a professional. We need to step away from the idea that professionalism is all about academic excellence. Just because a person achieves top marks in exams does not mean they will necessarily be more effective in a profession than someone who doesn’t. As we set off on our route to becoming teachers it’s vital that we understand that nobody should be bound to society’s preconceived stereotypes.
Anyone can be a professional. Anyone can have that love, passion and dedication required, but we must never confine anyone so that they cannot utilise these just because that‘s the way generations have before. We want future generations to live to their full potential no matter what their situation and to do that mindsets have to change.
An attribute I feel a professional requires is that of fairness. Fairness is important to being professional as showing signs of preference towards one person over the other or perhaps allowing one child to behave in a particular way that others can’t, could create a very tense and unpleasant atmosphere in the classroom. Being an individual that promotes fairness is an excellent way to gain trust and respect from others. Both of these are vital to gain from the children you teach and helps create a bond with them. Fairness also works hand in hand with equality. For me, a professional needs to be able to treat everyone equally and understand that any kind of discrimination of anyone in the work place of work is just not acceptable. In a classroom setting this could not be more important.
Another attribute is Justice, which helps create a safe and healthy environment for all to work in. Justice means no tolerance to what is wrong and championing what is good and right. I feel that justice in a classroom environment creates a better sense of community and shows children the difference between right and wrong. By doing this it would hopefully improve a child’s self-discipline and help them develop their own set of morals. Justice demonstrates that unacceptable behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated and there will be consequences as a result of such behavior. Implementing justice at a young age would hopefully mean that children will grow up having developed a solid understating of how to treat others in a respectable and appropriate manner.
I believe that respect means treating others how you would like to be treated yourself. Showing and receiving respect is so important in a profession. It can help create much needed working relationships. Thus, meaning that you are exposing yourself to a much greater wealth of opportunities as you can work alongside a broad range of people that can all bring their own talents to the table. In the end, this could result in a much more positive working environment. Showing respect towards pupils in the classroom is important as pupils would then begin to respect you back and it also demonstrates to them that they must respect each other.
Patience is extremely important in all professions. When a teacher displays patience, it shows to the children how to behave in difficult or compromising circumstances. In a classroom, things can go against us and try to test us, so being patient and calm allows for straight and clear thinking and an ability to successively teach and control the class. Children can be unpredictable and not always behave in a way which we deem as appropriate or sometimes not understand a specific element that you’re teaching. Therefore, by being calm and patient we can deal with the difficulties in a composed manner and not let the small issues reflect negatively on a child’s learning environment.
Honesty works simultaneously with trust. Gaining a pupil’s trust makes them more likely to want to open up with you and share problems they might be facing or are concerned about. Teaching children to be honest will allow them to grow up to be responsible and successful adults. Honestly is vital in a profession as without honesty you have no trust and without trust there is no respect and with little respect for someone it means you have even less patience with them. All of these work hand in hand and without one of these key elements a professional environment just can’t work.
Having taken time to consider what reflection means to me I have come to the conclusion that I think reflection means to look back on a past experience. We should use reflection to learn, develop and improve on something we’ve already done. By doing this we can improve the quality of our future experience. Reflection is all about positively criticising past actions and thinking about what was done well and what we can do to improve. It is also about thinking clearly about what we felt during certain points and what we can do to enhance these feelings positively. Reflection is key to further our learning and without it we deprive ourselves of the chance to grow, build on what we have and continue in a positive direction. We are thereby taking control of our own learning and are being open minded to learning and adapting – skills that are so important for teachers to possess. I hope by reflecting I will be able to continuously improve all aspects of my work.
As an a educator, you are a role model. A role model sets examples and through the correct use of social media there is no greater opportunity to for these examples to be set.
Online technology is brilliant for adding another dimension to the classroom experience but great caution has to be taken in regards to what is used and how we use it. Utilising technology to communicate with children outside the classroom is also a very beneficial tool. However, when having that interaction with the pupils it can only be done on official channels of communication: using a formal and courteous tone so that the pupils don’t push the boundaries when they are back in the classroom.
To me, I feel that it is extremely important and very much a necessity to show pupils how to be safe online and the importance of doing so. Highlighting the need to be safe isn’t a way to try and hamper their fun and learning online, it is to try and protect them from the dangers that the internet sadly possesses. Moreover, as a teacher you have a duty of care to those children so if any issues are brought to your attention that suggest a child’s online safety is being compromised, you must inform your line manager immediately.
When online and using social media there are certain precautions that need to be put in place. Firstly, never accept a friend request from a pupil on a personal social media profile. If you are going to use approved social media to correspond with pupils it is highly recommended to make one account for personal use and a separate one for your professional use. Any personal accounts should ideally be made private and prevent anyone being able to tag you in pictures/posts without permission. When it comes to what you are posting it is very important that before hitting that ‘share’ button you consider whether or not it would compromise your professional and personal integrity. In addition, never discuss pupils or criticise the school you’re at or employer. It is highly unprofessional and could cost you dearly.
The internet is a fantastic way to enhance learning and taking that little bit of time to ensure your safety and the safety of your pupils when using it makes for a much more enjoyable experience.
Having read pages 236 – 280 of the ‘Study Skills book’, it has been brought to my attention that there are certain aspects of my English I can make an improvement on. Reading the recommended pages I soon realised that some of the information I was reading I had actually considered to be just basic knowledge. However, on reflection I now realise that this ‘basic knowledge’ I just assumed I knew, isn’t quite as sharp as I would prefer.
The book really highlighted to me the importance of using punctuation correctly and the necessity of precise spelling. I was already aware of how important these both were but now that I am at University I have to be writing pieces that are clear and concise. This means that the expression and spelling all have to be completely accurate. From reading about this I’m going to be more conscious of what and how I’m writing and be sure to double, if not triple check my work before submitting.
The most interesting piece of advice I discovered during my reading was a completely new way of laying out a paragraph. ‘Study Skills’ suggested that a paragraph should be laid out as such:
- Topic sentence
- Developer Sentence
- Modulator Sentence
- Terminator Sentence.
I feel that this plan for a paragraph is very useful and will make essay writing that little bit easier and hopefully enhance the quality of my work.
This book is bursting at the seams with advice and suggestions and I hope to take on board this valuable information to further develop my writing skills.