Professional Milestones - Element 6

Element 6 - Teachers continually improve their professional knowledge and practice.

Capacity to analyse and reflect on practice

6.1.1 - Demonstrate a capacity to reflect critically on and improve teaching and practice.

Engagement in personal and collegial professional development

6.1.2 - Demonstrate knowledge of the professional standards framework and its impact on the professional life of a teacher.

6.1.3 - Demonstrate knowledge of the available professional development opportunities and the importance of personal planning to ongoing professional growth.

Capacity to contribute to a professional community

6.1.4 - Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of teamwork in an educational context.

6.1.5 - Accept constructive feedback to improve and refine teaching and learning practices.

6.1.6 - Prepare for and contribute to discussions about the teaching profession or subject/content.

6.1.7 - Explore educational ideas and issues through research. 

6.1.8 - Recognise the range of policies and policy documents that teachers in NSW may need to comply with following employment in a school.

I have endeavoured to take criticism on board in order to improve my teaching practice. I have reflected on the success of the lesson and changed the direction of the lesson mid-way through because it was not working. This shows that I have the ability to be flexible in my planning, and mould my lessons to the ever changing needs of the students on a particular day. I have attended a number of professional development days while on practicum such as a speech and language in-service, a planning afternoon to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes within the school, and also how to incorporate ICT into learning, and a guided tour of the connected classroom and how to utilise this rare resource. I also participated in a workshop called 'Toonschool', in which a famous cartoonist Jeff Taylor, or 'Joffa' as he is known as professionally. The purpose of the workshop was to provide solutions to the behaviour issues within the school by each of the students illustrating the new school rules. This workshop was electric due solely to presenter demonstrating such a wide array of behaviour management techniques to mesmorise the students such as playing the piano, speaking using puns, and the use of magic tricks. This was very beneficial not only for improving my drawing ability but for thinking outside the square in terms of behaviour management. I have improved my professional knowledge by attaining my Senior First Aid Certificate, and attending a workshop run by the Australian Electoral Commission. Working in the Curriculum Resources Collection at Sydney University opened my eyes to the resources available to teachers and how to teach with them effectively. I have embraced opportunities that have come my way during practicum including Year 6 camp to Canberra. Those three days provided a steep learning curve, and increased my professional knowledge about pastoral care and duty of care! I have sat in on a DoCS interview about the removal of a student in my class from her family home and am confident with reporting procedures. I have also been lucky to teach in a team-teaching open classroom setting which is at the forefront of collaboration between colleagues and draws upon the talents of each staff member.

I need to join more professional organisations such as e-lit and PETA. This will ensure that my knowledge of current research and findings will remain up to date, which will in turn benefit the students. I need to be open to accept any form of professional development available so that I remain on the ball after I leave University.

I will use the connected classroom with neighbouring schools in the Western Sydney Area. This way, I can share lessons with other schools in the area and run a mock debate through the use of cameras and microphones between two different schools. I will join the English association e-lit for $50 so that I remain up to date with all current research and keep my mind open to new ideas being trialed in schools.

I believe that the ability to work well with your colleagues is the key to not burning out. If there is someone to debrief with at the end of the day than that will be beneficial in the long run. Having nobody to turn to when things get tough makes surviving that extra bit harder. I also believe that having a comprehensive knowledge of crucial policies and government documents regarding student welfare and child protection is critical; not only to develop professional knowledge, but to fulfil your duty of care to your students (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2009). The Australian Institue of Health and Welfare releases a document titled 'Child Protection Australia' every two years with all the latest statistics and information. I believe all teachers should review the report upon it's release.

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