8. Professional Practice Criteria – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.
8.1 Element – Participating in a Professional Community
8.1 Example of Proficient – Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation.
Program standard 8 encompasses working with other educators to learn about the teaching profession to improve student outcomes. In Introduction to Teaching (EDU6918), we learned about the teaching profession by reading research articles, participating in group blogs, and working together on a group wiki assignment called the Internship Performance Criteria (IPC). According to Gentry et al. (2011), exemplary teachers exhibit certain characteristics that distinguish them from others (see Figure 1). This article discussed teachers that have a passion for their work and relate coursework to the student’s lives and future choices. Teachers who view their students as people first and students second are successful at forming a positive relationship with them (Gentry et al., 2011). By reading articles such as the one in Figure 1, I was able to have a better sense of what it takes to be an exemplary teacher.
The group wiki assignment IPC was an excellent way for me to work collaboratively with other teacher candidates in brainstorming what it means to be a distinguished educator. Figure 2 shows a portion of the work that one of my group members and myself wrote. For program standard 5.5 Managing Student Behavior by Monitoring, I discussed characteristics from the Gentry article about setting high expectations. By monitoring student behavior throughout the year, I can set a good example for my students so that they also begin to monitor themselves and their peers. I also incorporated some ideas from Marzano (2007) regarding walking around the room to monitor behavior and looking at a student who is causing a disruption until they realize they’re not on task (see Figure 3).
By reviewing these articles and resources with my peers and reading what they described as distinguished characteristics, I am better able to picture what an exemplary teacher encompasses. By working together with my colleagues and having their input to consider, I learned that teaching is both an art and a science. Participating in this Introduction to Teaching class with other teacher candidates gave me a clearer understanding of the teaching profession. If we can utilize these characteristics in our own classrooms, student behavior will be improved, creating a more conducive learning environment. I hope to continue to explore ways to be an exemplary teacher by reading more books about teaching. As I continue in the MAT program, I hope to work with my fellow colleagues again and learn more about how to have a positive impact on student learning.
Gentry, M., Steenbergen-Hu, S., Choi, B. (2011). Student-Identified Exemplary Teachers: Insights From Talented Teachers. Gifted Child Quarterly. 55(2). 111-125.
Marzano, R. J. (2007). The Art and Science of Teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.