Becoming a professional teacher

A professional teacher has a commitment to those they teach and applies decision-making skills, reflective practices and professional knowledge to enhance their lessons and provide maximise learning opportunities. (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010) Brandt (1993) also notes the importance of university preparation, continued education on the job, well-equipped classrooms, interactions with colleagues and ability to make decisions. Havens (1993) states the importance of “ developing a strong commitment to and belief in the profession itself”. My self-efficacy, belief that I can make a difference to those I teach, is the most important characteristic I can develop. With commitment to my students, I can make informed decisions and apply my knowledge to adapt lessons to individual students needs, developmental differences, emotions, social relations and maturity and provide appropriate activities to demonstrate and reinforce each concept. I can enhance my skills and knowledge base through professional development and peer mentorship. As a professional teacher, it is important that I develop content knowledge of the lesson topics and pedagogical content knowledge so that I can relate and teach this knowledge to my students. Further richness is added to these lessons through the use of authentic learning experiences; examples, case studies, models. General pedagogical knowledge is also important so that I can apply procedures to manage my classroom with minimal disruptions and adequately set up my classroom environment for maximum learning. A crucial part in becoming a professional teacher is my use of reflective practices and self-evaluation of my lesson plans to decide whether or not future adaptations and improvement is required. “ Reflective practice requires critical appraisal of experiences, and the understanding we gain through it adds to our knowledge. ” (Ashby 2006, p. 28) “ A professional doesn’t view his or her profession as just a job but rather sees it as a calling that is all about caring for children”. (Kramer 2003, p. 23) It is this passion for education that is my motivation to develop my skills as a professional teacher. REFERENCES: Ashby, C. (2006). Models for Reflective Practice: The Journal for Nurses in General Practice. Practice Nurse. 32(10), 28-32. Brandt, R. (1993). What Do You Mean, “ Professional”?: The Professional Teacher, 50(6), 5. Retrieved from http://www. ascd. org/publications/educational- leadership/mar93/vol50/num06/What-Do-You-Mean,-“ Professional”¢. aspx Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology- Windows on Classrooms (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education. Havens, B. (1993). Teaching “ Cadet Teachers”: The Professional Teacher, 50(6), 50- 51. Retrieved from http://www. ascd. org/publications/educational- leadership/mar93/vol50/num06/Teaching-“ Cadet-Teachers”. aspx Kramer, P. A. (2003). The ABC’s of Professionalism. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 40(1), 22—25.