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Philosophy Statement

I believe that is vital for an educator to be critically reflective


of their teaching philosophy and are able to justify their conceptions
of education in relation to professionalism, relationships within the
community, diversity of communities and contexts, and relevant
issues involved in the educational context.

Teacher as a Professional
As an educator, I am dedicated to my professional
development and take pride in engaging in critical reflection to
improve my teaching practice. Critical reflection is a vital part of
professional development because it provides an opportunity to
analyse your own learning and teaching.
All teachers are constantly developing their own working
theory of the curriculum and how it is implemented (Blaise &
Nuttal, 2011). For this reason I believe that amongst the numerous
roles that a teacher dons during their career, curriculum theorist is
one of the most challenging. Attending and contributing to staff,
parent, cohort and development meetings is a vitally rewarding
experience. Collaboration with colleagues is invaluable and will
provide an educator with a wide range of resources including the
opinions, practices and insights that would otherwise be missed out
on.
Teachers are constantly involved in professional development
through collaboration, reflection and ongoing commitments to
learning. Professional development is an invaluable resource for
educators because it provides an opportunity to reflect upon their
practice and discover new ideas and skills to incorporate into the
classroom (Mezzino, 2010).

Sinead OMara

Relationships with Students and Colleagues


An educator has a responsibility to assume an enabling role
to build a strong team (Rodd,2006). A classroom teacher who
promotes a culture of open communication and mutual respect
between themselves and students, parents and colleagues will find
their classroom life much easier. The family of a child is the first
educational system that they experience (Bronfenbrenner, 1994)
therefore it would be to the educators deficit if they did not
recognise the impact that a childs background has on their
education. Ebbeck and Waniganayake (2003 as cited in Rodd, 2006)
suggest that building these teams is essential to effective practice.
Within these partnerships it is vital for the educator to ensure that
the way they communicate with the class is effective (Australian
Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2011). Students will
inevitably reproduce much of the behaviour modelled by those
around them, especially those who hold leadership roles to the child.
The National Professional Standards for Teachers (Australian
Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2011) requires
educators to demonstrate effective and ethical leadership of a class
with the use of verbal communication (Australian Institute for
Teaching and School Leadership, 2011).

Diversity of Communities and Contexts


The National Professional Standards for Teachers (Australian
Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2011) suggests that in
order for teachers to know their students and understand how they
learn, they must develop a working and constantly developing
knowledge of students in their class with diverse needs including
linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds
(Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2011). As
an educator it is important to understand that every classroom is a
group of individuals and should be treated as such. I wholeSinead OMara

heartedly agree that educators should strive to provide effective


adjustments to their teaching practice in order to cater for different
cultures, learning styles and special needs.

Issues with Knowledge and Learning


There are many issues that educators face in relation to
teaching and learning. Socio-economic status of a family can prove
to have a large impact on a childs education. Being aware of and
sensitive to the diversity of the students in the classroom can go a
long way to making the student comfortable and engaged in the
classroom. Knowing your students is vital to effective teaching
instruction and differentiated teaching and learning experiences.
Teaching in a classroom of students from multiple year levels, such
as a multi-age setting, is obviously a challenge however it is one
that can be overcome by teacher determination and a willingness to
focus on student ability rather that age. Familiarity with the
curriculum will also be a very valuable asset to a teacher in a multiage classroom.
As an educator I am dedicated to developing effective
planning and utilising appropriate resources to fully engage all
students in my class. In order to do this a teacher must be able to
accurately identify the learning needs of their students and provide
students with differentiated learning experiences. I also believe that
planning for the process of learning including the 5 Es (QCT,
1998, as cited by Department of Education and Training, 2015) is an
excellent way for educators to ensure quality of their teaching and
that the students meet learning goals effectively.
As an educator, I am committed to ongoing professional
development and consider myself a life-long learner. In order to
continue my growth as a teacher I strive to be familiar the contexts
that influence my students and understand how they effect that
Sinead OMara

childs achievement in my classroom. This information is used to


implement effective differentiated lessons to cater for learning
styles, cultures and special needs. Working collaboratively with
students, families, colleagues and the community through open and
effective communication is a vital part of my teaching philosophy
and will continue to be a priority in my classroom.

Sinead OMara

References
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and reporting Authority (2015).
General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved
from
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/ov
erview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (2011).
National
Professional Standards for Teachers. Carlton South, VIC:
Education Services Australia
Blaise, M., & Nuttal, J. (2011). Learning to teach in the early years
classroom. South
Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological Models of Human Development.
International
Encyclopaedia of Education, Vol. 3 (2nd ed). Oxford: Elsevier

Department of Education and Training. (2015). Employee


Professional
Development Including Study and Research Assistance
Scheme (SARAS). Retrieved from:
http://ppr.det.qld.gov.au/corp/hr/development/Pages/Employee
-Professional-Development-Including-Study-and-ResearchAssistance-Scheme-%28SARAS%29.aspx
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Department of Education, Training and Employment. (2013). Parent


and
Community Engagement Framework. Retrieved from
http://education.qld.gov.au/schools/parent-communityengagement-framework/collaboration/school-strategies/
Department of Education and Training. (2015). Planning. Retrieved
from
http://education.qld.gov.au/staff/learning/diversity/teaching/plannin
g.html
Department of Education, Training and Employment. (2015).
Pedagogical
Framework at a glance. Retrieved from
http://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/pdfs/pedagogicalframework-a-glance.pdf
Early Childhood Australia. (2006). ECA Code of Ethics. Retrieved
from
http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/ourpublications/eca-code-ethics/#early-childhood-australia-codeof-ethics
Rodd, J. (2006). Leadership in Early Childhood (3rd ed.). Victoria,
Australia: Allen &
Unwin
Mezzino, R. (2010). Clearly organised. [online]. Professional
Educator; v.9 n.1 p.22Sinead OMara

25; March 2010. Retrieved from:


http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy2.acu.edu.au/fullText;dn
=182094;res=AEIPT
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth
Affairs (2008).
Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young
Australians. Retrieved from:
http://education.qld.gov.au/schools/inclusive/

Sinead OMara