Element 6- Teachers continually improve their professional knowledge and practice
I have demonstrated the ability to reflect critically on my teaching practice as well as accepting constructive feedback from my supervising teacher. This has allowed me to reflect on teaching practices and activities that worked well and consequently identify areas that need improvement or modifications. This is evident in the evaluations completed by myself after each lesson and the lesson feedback forms provided by my supervising teacher.
I have also demonstrated my interest in educational ideas and issues in my current honours project. My research aims to investigate gifted students’ perceptions of academic, social and emotional provisions of their school and classroom environments. I am also aware of the various policies and policy documents that I need to comply with including the child protection policy and other student welfare programs and policies. I am also aware of the importance of teamwork within an educational context and have attended staff meetings and stage meetings during practicum. I also understand the importance of engaging in professional development to continue professional growth and have created a presentation to facilitate understanding of the need to challenge gifted students.
I will continue to reflect critically on lessons and teaching practices that I implement in the classroom, to ensure that I evaluate my teaching practices and strategies. This will be a process that will involve myself and will be further facilitated by the provision of constructive feedback from my supervising teacher to improve and refine my teaching and learning practices. I will also continue to apply my knowledge of the professional standards framework to the various aspects of my professional life as a teacher. I will continue to involve myself in the professional school community by attending staff meetings and available professional development opportunities that arise. I will also continue to comply with the various policies that are implemented within the school, which may require me to access and revise my knowledge of existing policy documents.
I need to involve myself more frequently in the professional community by joining associations such as E-lit. I also need to ensure that I establish a positive relationship with my supervising teacher to ensure that I am provided with constructive feedback to further assist my critical reflection on teaching and learning practices. I also need to establish a positive relationship with the other staff within the school community to facilitate teamwork when the occasion arises.
I believe that teachers have many roles, one of which is to be a constant learner. This is based on the belief that teachers are not in the role of an expert and that I as a teacher have the potential to take control of my own practice and learning (Posner, 1989). However, in acquiring professional knowledge, it must be then transformed into personal knowledge through trialing and hypothesising (Retallick & Groundwater-Smith, 1996). It is therefore important to continually reflect as a means of evaluating and improving teaching and learning practices. By engaging in this process, a learning enviornment where students' needs are met is created. By continually reflecting, my teaching and learning practices are also modified to ensure that students are engaged and are reflective of current educational research and pedagogies.
In the role of a constant learner, it is also important that I as a teacher not only read current research to update my knowledge base, but also contribute to the growing educational research base. It is therefore important that a teacher adopts the role of a researcher, whether informal or formal.