Element 7 - Teachers are actively engaged members of the profession and the wider community.
Communicating with parents and caregivers
7.1.1 - Demonstrate the capacity to communicate effectively with parents and caregivers.
7.1.2 - Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of effective home-school links and processes for reporting student progress to parents and caregivers.
Engaging parents and caregivers in the educative process
7.1.3 - Demonstrate the importance of involving parents and caregivers in the educative process and the use of a limited number of strategies to seek that involvement.
Contributing to the school and wider community
7.1.4 - Demostrate the capacity the work effectively with external professionals, teachers' aides and community based personnel to enhance student learning opportunities.
Professional ethics and conduct
7.1.5 - Understand regulations and statutes related to teachers' responsibilities and students' rights.
7.1.6 - Demonstrate the capacity to liaise, communicate and interact effectively and appropriately with parents, caregivers, colleagues, industry and the local community.
I have participated in interschool sports (PSSA) which allowed me to network with other teachers from the local area. I have always developed a rapport with my cooperating teacher and the other teachers on staff. The support staff can often go unnoticed; however they can do a lot to make your life easier as a beginning teacher. I have maintained a very difficult conversation with a student’s parents about giving their son special provisions in class to do homework activities because they were illiterate and unable to assist him with school work.
I need to focus on my communication with parents. The only communication I have had thus far has been limited and not very positive. I am quite comfortable chatting to parents who attend sporting events and volunteer for reading groups. My negative experience was when I was verbally abused by one of the parents. I was able to deal with the situation professionally and remain composed without requiring the intervention of my cooperating teacher.
I will implement communication books with my students. This will give me the opportunity to communicate to each student and their parents on a regular basis. Some students tend to slip under the radar; however this method of communication can be easily recorded so that all students are receiving feedback which is key to their further learning. I will also invite Aboriginal elders and community leaders to co-teach with me about certain issues such as NAIDOC week celebrations. This will have specific relevance on my next practicum as my school has a significant Indigenous population and a full time Aboriginal Education Assistant (AEA).
I believe it is important to keep promises that you make to the students, parents and the wider community. Although the Aboriginal Education Policy (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2008) was strictly written to improve the educational outcomes of Indigenous students, the core principles of community involvement, hands on-learning and relevant subject matter are universal to all classrooms across the state. Sticking to your word as a teacher and following through with things which may seem less important at the time allow you to rise in the esteem of your students, their parents and the wider community by way of earning it. For example I went back to my second practicum school 6 months later to attend a fun day as promised. A lot of the students were surprised that I came back because they presumed I was lying.