ENGAGE PROFESSIONALLY WITH COLLEAGUES, PARENTS/CARERS AND THE COMMUNITY
In relation to standard 7 I hold the following beliefs:
As a qualified teacher I have a duty (AITSL 2014; MTCEEYA 2008) to act and engage professionally with students, colleagues, parents/carers and the community. This is true ethically, in terms of conduct and responsibility and legally. However, relationships remain at the core of teachers’ work (Churchill et al, 2013). By holding true to the ideals outlined in the MCEETYA (2008), and the AITSL standards, then the teacher will believe in the value of education, that all students can be successful learners, show respect for the perspectives of all other people, social equity and justice, be a leader and a devotee of reflective and practice (Churchill et al, 2013). This attitude will naturally build positive relationships to effectively, sensitively and confidentially engage with parents/carers, professional teaching networks and broader communities as well as strengthen professional knowledge and practice.
During my GDTL at USQ and my practical experiences at different state schools in the Brisbane area I have been required to show professional ethics and responsibility at all times. These responsibilities range from my own ethical student behaviour such as citing references, to professional conduct during interactions with parents and colleagues as a student teacher.
During practical placements and additional volunteering time in classrooms, I have witnessed many different school and learning environments, teaching styles and attitudes towards families of students.
The teacher attitude to parents and carers was evident in the amount of interaction the teachers had with the parents during the school term. During my final practicum the teacher only met parents at teacher interviews. This contrasted with my second practicum where family members regularly contributed to the class e.g. one student grandparent demonstrated regular art activities, parents came helped collate and fold newsletters, and a regular group of volunteers helped with reading groups. The participation of the family in classroom environment helped to develop a cohesive sense of community and the teacher could quite regularly referenced parents in conversations to students about work, behaviour or expectations.
Wishing to establish a similar dynamic in my own classroom in the future I took the opportunity to interact with parents (7.3) whenever possible whilst on practicum. I also requested that I could communicate to parents with a class newsletter and permission (7B) or request letters (7C).
Throughout my studies I have shown awareness of ethical responsibilities including citing others work in assignments, such as the full APA referencing in my backwards design of assessment assignment (7.1; 7D, p.24). When on each practical experience I obtained parent permission (7.1; 7A) to use student work and images for teaching related purposes.
I successfully built relations with parents and colleagues (7E p.2). In one instance, a parent approached me to tutor her child in Maths after school.
I intend to build the relationship with parents and carers into my behaviour management plan so that parents are involved with the classroom on a regular basis. I also intend to run the class in conjunction with my own website (www.ourclass.com.au) so that parents can always access up to date information regarding class activities. I’d also like to conduct a parent student night where the parents and carers participate in the class as if they were students. The results of this experiment (Wiliam, 2010) allowed parents to be much more helpful and engaged with their children’s school experience.
I understand the requirement of professional engagement and will continue my professional development by participating in employer organised professional development training and seeking courses and information from Education Queensland and professional association newsletters and journals. I will build on my familiarity with the Australian Curriculum with future colleagues and school Head of Curriculum and consult C2C, Scootle and The Learning Place for additional support.
Australian institute for teaching and school leadership (AITSL). (2014). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. http://www.aitsl.edu.au/australian-professional-standards-for-teachers/standards/career-stage/graduate
Churchill, R., Ferguson, P., Godinho, S., Johnson, N. F., Keddie, A., Letts, W., … Vick, M. (2011). Teaching: Making a difference. Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). (2003). National Safe Schools Framework. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Wiliam, D. (2010). The classroom experiment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iD6Zadhg4M