Reading Response- Nov. 26th

3 Things I Learned

  1. As the majority of the three resources posted were surrounding professionalism and teaching as a profession, I found myself questioning and learning what a profession truly is. Teaching as a profession seems to have a lot to do with the autonomy of teachers in their classroom work and the interpretation of curriculum as well as seeking knowledge through colleague based sharing and learning. To date, I had not considered teaching as anything other than a profession, as we consider the Faculty of Education a professional faculty and teachers require specialized training in order to practice teaching . Fenstermacher is referenced int he first article however stating that education is a separate domain as teachers work closely with students and families, rather than at a :social distance” with a “mystification of knowledge” as doctors and lawyers. Therefore we can see teaching as a “flexible or extended profession”.
  2. I was interested to read the Code of Conduct for Alberta Teachers and comparing it to the Saskatchewan version noting the similarities in basic professionalism such as pushing for the highest quality of education for students. A subject of the Alberta Code of Conduct that stood out to me was the section teachers being unable to accept payment for special help or tutoring in a subject that they teach. this is a widely contested topic within the musical community as many choir and band directors do teach private music lessons, which could be considered unprofessional. On top of professionalism, the esteem one holds with their colleagues should be taken into account in situation such as these as it can impact a working relationship.
  3. I have been thinking about the relationship between personal and professional identity for quire some time now, often seeing myself bounce between a professional student, teacher and musician who speaks and dresses “appropriately”. I was interested to learn that many beginning teachers feel this way such as Krista Yerkes in her year long exploration to discover the balance between a professional and personal life. My learning here comes from the realization that living with two separate identities is a difficult act to balance, and ultimately one identity will shine through.

2 Connections I Made

  1. Within the first article I was reminded of my elementary school’s strike during my grade 6 year. At first, teachers used the work to rule strategy and although I knew the realities of a teacher workload, to see the whole school shut down at 3:30 was shocking. Today, I can realize that teachers do not only provide the essential service of education but also safety in childcare, physical activity for students and sometimes meals. A school is a community and therefore the power to strike comes with significant consequences for the public and the ability to send a loud message.
  2. My second connection came when reading several codes of conduct and regulations surrounding public education in the first article. Until this reading it was easy to go along with the idea that these rules are a “how to guide to not being fired” for teachers. When reading further however, I can now more clearly see that these rules are more so in place to keep children respected, safe and growing and are children’s issues to be followed by all adults within a school.

1 Question I Have

  1. How much time do teachers spend thinking about these codes of conduct and regulations? Is every teacher well versed in their union rights?

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