Element 6: Teachers continually improve their professional knowledge and practice

I have been exposed to a range of learning experiences in my tertiary studies that require me to evaluate and assess my own teaching, and as a result I have developed a self evaluative element in my lesson planning (Appendix 3.2). I have also found a successful way to achieve a comprehensive and clear method of personal planning, which makes teaching less complicated. Throughout my studies and during practicum placements, I have taken constructive criticism of my teaching practices and have used peer and colleague comments, as a springboard for improvement (Appendix 2.5) in both my teaching and personal learning. I have demonstrated clear understanding of the NSW Institute of Teachers professional Standards (2003) and this is reflected in practicum reports and feedback (Appendix 1.3). Teaching is a demanding profession, and I have been fortunate enough to have had the chance to plan and teach in a team environment. I have also been involved in supervising sport, sitting in on staff meetings and welfare interventions with other teachers. I have explored some current issues in education through examining current research and educational policy, including the latest Aboriginal Education Policy (2008). 

I will extend my professional knowledge, post-graduation, by continuing to seek professional development (NSW, DET, 2003)whenever the opportunity arises. I will also aspire to achieve a deeper understanding of policy documents required by the NSW Department of Education. I will aim to involve myself in discussion and dialogue with other teachers about teaching and innovative pedagogy and I will broaden my professional knowledge by continuing to examine research on current and pertinent educational concerns, especially in the area of Indigenous Education. 

I need to ascertain the scope of professional development opportunities available, in accordance with the needs and attributes of my new classroom and school. I need to continue to refine and improve my personal planning as my workload increases, so that busy classroom life is manageable. I need to continue to work in team environments with a range of teachers, in order to increase my exposure to people with teaching experiences other than my own. 

I believe that to be a successful teacher, one who is able to manage a diverse classroom, professional knowledge and practice will never be stagnant (McInerny & McInerny, 2006, p. 27)). I believe that a proficient teacher continually practices learning and learning to teach and I believe that working as a part of a team is imperative to success in a school.