My personal philosophy is still being formed and organised as I discover my way through the teaching field. I believe that it will grow and change as I explore my career and discover who I am as a teacher. As of now my philosophy is built by my personal beliefs, values and experiences within primary school settings as well as my own life experiences.
Throughout my work I have come to develop a sense of inclusivity and the lack of it within areas of the schooling system and Australia. I am a big believer in that all children, teachers and parents have a right to be respected for who they are regardless of their background, class, ethnicity or gender. As a teacher of the next generation I believe that teaching students this core value is necessary.
School is more than a place children go to learn reading, writing and math. It is also a place where students learn and develop social and communication skills. These skills are extremely important to interact in Australia’s cultural environment, it’s imperative that these skills are developed properly, this is why I believe that a stimulating classroom environment will help students excel inside and outside the classroom.
I believe that in the near future technology will be a dominant figure within Australian classrooms, this is why I believe it’s important for me to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of its use within my classroom. It’s also extremely important that I have an understanding on how to use certain technology within the classroom.
When I was in my senior year in high school social media had started to become bigger and bigger, Instagram was in its infancy, snapchat had just been launched and everyone had Facebook accounts. It wasn’t long until it engulfed everything we did, everyone was posting photos and videos with no care to who could see them. Even though Facebook has a strict “12 and over’ policy it’s well know that children younger than twelve are using these sites. This is why I am very passionate about schools having informational lessons on the effects of social media, especially when it comes to bullying, photographs and consent to post. We are in a world where technology overshadows everything we do, it’s imperative that students are being taught how to navigate and stay safe in this technology driven world.
I want students look forward to coming to school and enjoy themselves. As a teacher I want to provide a caring, supportive and happy environment where all students are striving to achieve their best. I will encourage students to take pride in their work and to not be ashamed. With an open-door policy, I want students to know that I am there to listen and help to the best of my ability may it be academic or personal issues.
As a teacher I want to create positive and respectful relationships with every student, but also with parents, co-workers and the community.
Guided by the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers I will determine my students learning capabilities and will create an environment that will bring the best out of each child. Australia is large a multicultural country and as a teacher I will have a classroom with students with many different backgrounds. As not all students are at the same level in their learning, my teaching will need to be differentiated for each student and by doing so I will meet the APST 1.2: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching (Australian professional standards for teachers, 2011).
When I was in primary school I remember having a large blackboard at the front of the class and a separate computer lab which we would occasionally visit. But over the years the classroom has embraced new technology to allow for better teaching and learning opportunities, this is why I believe it’s imperative for me to address APST 2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students (Australian professional standards for teachers, 2011).
Through understanding my students learning abilities l will be able to create an environment that compliments each student’s needs to further their education. As a Pre-service teacher I want to see my students thrive and grow into wonderful people, and I will do this be following the Australian professional standards for teachers and my values as a teacher.
Code of conduct
The NSW Department of Education’s code of conduct is comprised of standards of behaviour that is expected to be obeyed in all educational workplaces. The conduct applies to all employees of the NSW Department of Education, including those employed on a permanent, casual or temporary. This includes all pre-service teachers assigned within NSW schools.
Duty of care
Duty of care is a standard within the code of conduct. For a pre-service teacher it means that we have a legal duty to maintain a safe environment free of any harm for any student within our care. This includes providing students with adequate supervision and safe environments. A common example of poor duty of care would be incompetent supervision in the playground resulting in a student hurting themselves (Churchill, 2016). It is imperative that teachers behave in a way that promotes the safety and well-being of students. It is forbidden for teachers to harm a student, or to participate in any personal relationships. Failing to abide by this could result in termination and/or legal action (Lembke, 2017a).
Teachers and the law
Teachers need to have adequate understanding of the terms within the duty of care. This includes being where you are supposed to be, if you’re running late to work your class could be left unsupervised and an incident can occur. By planning ahead, you can eliminate any potential risks they may arise.
There are laws and requirements in place to keep students and teachers safe when using technology. Cyberbullying is the use of targeting/bullying someone through the use of technology and it is becoming an epidemic within schools.
Teachers can also become victims to cyberbullying, this is why it’s vital to protect and hide your online presence. As a pre-service teacher I have made my online presence private and have changed my name (Lembke, 2017a). If I become aware of any cyberbullying in the classroom or towards myself it is a part of the duty of care to report all concerns to my mentor teacher.
All teachers have a responsibility to recognise and respond to any concerns about a student’s safety, welfare or wellbeing being at risk. Teachers must conduct mandatory reporting to the correct services or person in authority. As a pre-service teacher I would report any concerns to my mentor teacher who would ten take it to the appropriate person.
It is a requirement that all pre-service teachers produce written lesson plans for each lesson that is taught. Lesson plans need to be written and given to your mentor teacher at least 24 hours before the lesson. Your mentor teacher will then be able to provide feedback regarding the lesson plan and adjust if necessary. After the end of your lessons must provide self-reflection, this will help you in your next lesson (Lembke, 2017b) .
While on your professional experience you must be supervised by a qualified teacher at all times. You must be supervised during all activities, this includes activities inside and outside the classroom. If you find yourself alone with any students make a teacher aware immediately.
During your professional experience you’re expected to be involved in all aspects of school life. You’re required to become involved with your mentor teachers’ duties, this includes playground duties, staff meetings and extracurricular activities. You are expected to be present at least thirty minutes before and after school, this time can be used for debriefing with your mentor teacher and planning for the following day(Lembke, 2017b).
During your professional placement your mentor teacher will conduct an interim and final report assessing your abilities to achieve the Australian professional teacher standards to the graduate level.
The professional experience
Your professional experience is an opportunity for you to utilise your knowledge obtained from university into a real classroom. You should always be observing and taking meaningful notes when your mentor teacher is teaching. You can later discuss the use of certain techniques and how and why they implement them. By doing this you will become aware of certain behavioural techniques your pre-service teacher utilises, for example they may clap to get the students attention.
By working with your mentor teacher, you can use this opportunity to trial new learning experiences. Professional experience is where you develop professional growth and start to build the type of teacher you want to be.
The expectations and requirements of a pre-service teacher during a professional experience demonstrates and understanding of focus area 7.2 comply with legislative, administrative and organisational requirements (Australian professional standards for teachers, 2011). The artefact demonstrates the legislative policies required by those who work within the education system. An area in which pre-service teachers must abide by is the duty of care, as we have a legal duty to maintain a safe environment free of any harm for any student within our care. The artefact also identifies the crucial role a teacher has in regarding a student’s well-being, this includes the importance of mandatory reporting.
- Churchill, R. (2016). Teaching: Making a difference (3rd ed.). Milton: John Wiley and Sons.
- Lembke, C. (2019a). Topic Nine: Policies & Legislation [Tutorial Notes]. Retrieved from Southern Cross University TCH10014 Blackboard site.
- Lembke, C. (2019b). Topic Ten: Preparing for professional experience [Tutorial Notes]. Retrieved from Southern Cross University TCH10014 Blackboard site.
- The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2011). Australian professional standards for teachers.