Course code: ACAD 1189
HEI: University of Greenwich
Assignment type: Essay (1500 words)
Title: How well is the concept of professionalism evident in my setting? Submission date: 6 November 2012
This is an essay to discuss the evidence of professionalism in my setting in relation to the schools own guidelines and the national standards set down by the Teachers’ Standards.
Definition of professionalism
* 1 [mass noun] the competence or skill expected of a professional:the key to quality and efficiency is professionalism * 2the practising of an activity, especially a sport, by professional rather than amateur players:the trend towards professionalism (http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/professionalism?q=professionalism) This essay is going to discuss how the concept of professionalism is evident in the setting in which I work. Establishing the different elements that contribute to this concept is necessary to successfully do this. These in my opinion are staffs; behaviour, appearance, attitude, effectiveness and communication skills. The learning environment is also very important, the presentation of classrooms and school areas are of upmost importance. Professionalism in school settings is very important as they are responsible for educating and caring for the children who pass through them. Education within schools does not stop at academia. Schools are also responsible for teaching children social skills and behaviour, without a good model of professional behaviour teaching children how to behave and make friends would not be possible as teaching and learning by example in this case are of paramount importance. Included are the Teachers’ Standards, May 2012 (Appendix 1) to help draw conclusions within this essay. These are the national standards for people working within schools to work towards. The Teachers standards ‘apply to the vast majority of teachers regardless of their career stage.’ (Appendix 1, page 2) People who do not adhere to the Teaching Standards are expected to have peer mentoring from other members of staff and be given extra support to try and help them be working to the correct standard, but the if these measures are not sufficient the schools can decide that dismissal of the teacher or member of staff in question is their only option. The school I am working in currently has a Behaviour Policy (appendix 2) this dictates how everyone at the school, pupils, parents and staff should act when in and around the school. At the beginning it includes the schools ethos;
To go further than I thought.
To reach higher than I dreamed.
To become the person I need to be.
This ethos shows that the school puts importance on helping all children achieve to the best of their abilities, professional standards within the school will help children reach this far more easily.
The purpose of this essay is to discuss how well professionalism is exhibited in the setting in which I am working. To do this I am going to compare the government guidelines with that of the school and then discuss how well these are upheld in the school.
The government guidelines are set out in part 2 of the Teachers’ Standard (please see appendix 1, page 10). These say that teachers must ‘demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct’ (Teachers’ Standards, May 2012, Page 10). The Standards say that teachers hold a position of trust within society and must maintain the standards in order to keep this trust and standing. They say a teachers must treat all children respectfully and fairly, make sure they understand the schools safeguarding rules and making sure they uphold them, upholding values, laws and tolerance. The Behaviour Policy of the school is in line with the Teachers’ standards and upholds the points made by it. The policy relates to and has different sections relating to all the people that are in the school community this includes; parents and careers, pupils, teaching staff and governors. It says that children need to be taught clear moral values and members of staff need to show them how and they must be consistent in everything they do this includes the use of things such as rewards and sanctions used within the school as it is of upmost importance to provide consistent rewards and punishment throughout the staff and all members of staff need to be using the same system and boundaries. These are the policies stipulations in relation to the behaviours of staff. In the policy it dictates that staff must treat all children respectfully and carefully, help raise children’s self-esteem and to reach their full potential this relates to the part of the school ethos ‘To be the person I need to be’. These things being correctly applied will set children up to do the best they can both whilst at school and in their futures. It also talks about how the teachers provide the children’s learning material and place of learning, highlighting the importance of the physical, environmental and emotional state of the learning environment. Another point is the importance of being a role model for the children you come into contact with. Forming a positive relationship with parents and carers of children is also an important stipulation of the policy. These relationships show children that their parents are working with the school and they see that the two are linked. Special needs awareness and citizenship education are also in the staff behaviour policy. The policy also has a separate section dictating the teaching stratagies used within the school. This also talks about the importance of the educational environment. The second point in this is about the schools equipment being multicultural to promote equality and equal opportunities; this is something that the policy focuses quite heavily on. It says that children from different backgrounds should all be given the education that gives them the best chance and start in life. The importance of knowing how children learn and different situations that can occur to cause problems with behaviour and learning. It says that children should have a voice within the classroom and in the way the schools is run through things such as School Council and circle time. The policy also talks about giving children responsibilities, that teachers are responsible for motivating them. There is also another focus on the importance of effective home-school liaison.
The members of staff within the school do follow the schools behaviour policy and the teaching standards well. These are the criteria that relate to the level of staffs professionalism in the school setting. The environment the children learn in is a good educational environment there is a lot of interactive things within the schools like buttons they can press that give them information and they have many colourful displays up. In the playground they have a sensory garden which is very good for the learning and development of the children.
Throughout the school the ladder system of rewards and sanctions is used. When the children do something good they are put a step up the ladder, if they reach the top of the ladder (3 steps up) within a school day they get a reward, usually a certificate or a special sticker. If they reach the bottom (3 steps down) they are sent to see either the acting head teacher or the SENCO. This system is used and upheld effectively throughout most of the school, this leaves the children feeling secure in knowing what the consequences of their actions will be. Staff doing this provides an understanding across the whole school of the correct procedures of dealing with negative and positive behaviour. This also adheres to the Teachers’ standards code of practice that teachers have to be trustable, children that know what to expect from their teachers will have more trust in them than teachers that are unpredictable. The staff in the school also provide a multicultural education very well, through things such as the recent diversity week where the children had a week where both their academic and vocational subjects. For example the children were taught their maths lessons in Spanish and the children were taught to cook food from different countries like sushi and spring rolls. There are also day to day things that teach the children about all the different cultures of the people who both work and attend the school. This adheres to the Teachers’ Standards and the behavioural policy of making every child feel valued and important. A point in the behavioural policy that the school need to work on is the parent-staff liaison. Whilst working within the school I have not seen much teacher-parent liaising, whilst there is some going on the amount is not sufficient for a school that is in such a disadvantaged area. Many children in the school have different social backgrounds and problems. This could lead to children with different social and economic problems that could require extra measures such as counselling not getting this and that could have detrimental effects on them. It is of huge importance that children know that their parents and teachers are working together, if children think that their parents are not supportive of the teachers they will not respect their teachers as much and will feel that it doesn’t matter what their teachers say because their parents will not take any notice of what they say, or if there is no parent-teacher communication at all they know their parents will not know what is going on at school so it will not have any effect on them at home. Another point that could be better is professional dress, the staff do not wear grossly inappropriate clothing but most of the staff do dress very casually. This could be improved by introducing a staff dress code. My setting do adhere to their behaviour policy and the Teaching Standards’ to a reasonable standard and I feel that this shows a good level of professionalism as these are the criteria for a teacher or member of school staff to follow in order to be professional at work.
Oxford Online Dictionary
http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/professionalism?q=professionalism Teachers’ standards, May 2012
Cherry Orchard Primary School Behaviour Policy
Appendix 1 – Teachers’ Standards
Appendix 2 – Cherry Orchard Primary School Behaviour Policy