Reflection on Professionalism
Being part of the profession
I have been an early childhood professional which means I have worked with children who fall under the age group of infancy to eight (Katz, 1985). I have been an early childhood education professional. So, my basic role has been to teach children between the age group mentioned above. I believe that the experiences and learnings of children before the age of eight has an impact on his/her later life. This is why, for me, being a childhood professional means providing care and learnings for children and making enough time for their healthy development.
As I have been a part of this profession, I have experienced that the wages in this field are low in comparison with what they should be. But still, I choose to be an early childhood teacher because I like being in this profession. Being a childhood professional, my aim has been to find out and implement the ways with which continuous quality improvement can be done for the kids (Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority, 2020). I like the roles and responsibilities of this profession, and mostly I love to contribute to the better later life of the kids.
Characteristics of a professional teacher
In my opinion, caring is one of the basic characteristics of an early childhood professional and I think that I have this. It is because, for me, the basic reason for choosing this profession is that I genuinely care about the kids which is why I want to be a contributor to their lives. I love nurturing the kids and providing them with the comfort in which they can learn and grow. Being a caring childhood professional, I have always ensured being empathetic with kids. I always took their concerns and needs seriously and never ignored anything about them. I have always believed that being caring for them sometimes need to go beyond quality which I have done. Caring for them and going beyond quality while helps in resolving a lot of issues in early childhood education (Moss, 2016). I have always tried to bring out my best in terms of being caring for them.
Another characteristic is making quality improvements in the life of kids. I believe that I have always used my powers as the tools to make quality improvements in the lives of kids I have been working with (Barnes, 2013). I have been so responsible for providing quality improvement in the life of kids. For providing this quality improvement, or for contributing to it, I had to be patient with the kids which is also another characteristic of early childhood professionals.
I believe that being organized is one more characteristic an early childhood professional needs to have. In this regard, I have always tried to be organized and to an extent, I did so. But I think I can be more organized with children. Teaching good qualities to kids like making them diplomatic and learning the values of compromise are also the characteristics of being in this profession.
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
These are the seven standards which are the public statements that describe the level of professional engagement, practice, and knowledge teachers must-have. The standards are also known as APST also describe the things teachers should be able to do and the things they must know. These seven standards are categorized into three domains of teaching including professional knowledge, professional engagement, and professional practice.
Figure 1: Domains of Teaching in which Australian Standards are Categorized
Source: By Author
In my knowledge, the first standard is knowing the standard and the way they learn and the second standard is to know the content required to teach them and the ways for teaching it. Both these standards fall under the domain of professional knowledge. The third, fourth and fifth standards according to my knowledge fall under the domain of professional practice. The third standard is about planning and implementing effective learning and teaching. Fourth is about creating and maintaining a supportive and safe learning environment for children, and fifth is about assessing and providing reports on the learning of students. The last two standards, in my opinion, fall under the remaining domain that is professional engagement (NSW Education Standards Authority, 2018). The sixth standard is about being engaged in professional learning and the last standard is about engaging with parents/carers of the students, the community, and with colleagues.
Being in the early childhood profession made me experience that it is a must to follow all these principles. It is because I felt that these standards have helped me and can be helpful to every other childhood professional in enhancing their teaching performance (Skattebol, Adamson & Woodrow, 2016). Following the standards as per what I think serves as benchmarks for teachers like me because these standards increase the consistency of teaching quality of childhood professionals like us. I felt that by following the standards, a childhood professional like me can test their own skills and knowledge base for teaching. The standards serve as a framework in order to improve the quality of teaching.
As a childhood professional, I believe that I have been applying my knowledge and skills in an appropriate manner for teaching the kids. I think that my experience, knowledge and skills comply well with the Australian Professional Standards of Teaching discussed above. I have been following the standards as long as I have been in this profession and I judge my skills and abilities as a teacher consistently by taking these standards as the base.
Being in this childhood profession for many years have made me realize my good and bad regarding my profession. I feel that I have been playing a dynamic role in this profession. As I have discussed in the characteristic section, I have been good at caring for kids and contributing to their quality improvement, but I really need to make myself more organized in order to be more professional.
Barnes, H. (2013). Critical Reflection as a Tool for Change: Stories about Quality Improvement. Early Childhood Australia.
Edwards, C. P., & Gandini, L. (2015). Teacher research in Reggio Emilia, Italy: Essence of a dynamic, evolving role.
Katz, L. G. (1985). The Nature of Professions: Where Is Early Childhood Education?.
Moss, P. (2016). Why can’t we get beyond quality?: Contemporary issues in early childhood, 17(1), 8-15.
Skattebol, J., Adamson, E., & Woodrow, C. (2016). Revisioning professionalism from the periphery. Early Years, 36(2), 116-131.