Saturday, 28 November 2015


Our teacher meeting this week was on the topic of Professionalism. Our guest speaker was Tony Burkin.

I thought it was a fantastic session. The one big takeaway I got from this session is that we are professionals. The emphasis is all too often on teaching practice - it is what teacher meetings are made up of and it's what appraisal is made of. Therefore, the perception by default, is that you are a good teacher if you can teach. The perception is only a portion of the whole.

It was easy to get caught up in the surface discussion of the session - the things you are allowed to do, the things you probably shouldn't and the things you aren't. Then there was the grey areas like drinking in public and crying. These have caused a lot of discussion amongst the staff and it's interesting to listen to the perspectives. 

But, there was more to the session, and the nitty gritty really is looking carefully at the code of ethics. 

1 - Commitment to Learners
2 - Commitment to Parents/Guardians and Family/Whanau
3 - Commitment to Society
4 - Commitment to the Profession

And the four Principles - Autonomy, Justice, Responsible Care, Truth

All of these can be broken very easily - missing deadline, not reflecting, making up awesome lessons when you have a scheduled observation, not reading emails, resisting change, poor punctuality, talking behind backs.... etc. 

The word of the day for me was Truth. I was fortunate to have attended an earlier session with Tony as well that talked about Truth being an indicator of a Growth Mindset. You have to be truthful to yourself and to others.

The session has certainly provided me with food for thought, and I'm pleased mostly to be thought of as a professional, but now there is a standard to live up to! 

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