Who we are matters!

Both personal and professional growth

As we know, education is undergoing a major transformation which has, at its heart, a fundamental shift in the nature of the teacher-student relationship.  This is a shift from a teaching relationship to a learning relationship and as teaching itself professionalises it is a shift from a focus solely on what a teacher does to include also who a teacher is.

This is a difficult shift under any circumstances and particularly so in a sector whose importance is growing and where what it could do in terms of developing our children towards adulthood is running ahead of what it does do.  The weight of these expectations falls on the teaching profession.

This transformation is clearly underway with some educators already there.These educators see themselves as professionals with high levels of self-efficacy - confidence in their own ability – a strong drive towards mastery, the continuous development of their practice, and a willingness to try and to fail, seeing failure as a necessary part of success.Such teachers embrace feedback from students as a valuable means to support their own learning and thereby improve student learning and outcomes.

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At the other end of the spectrum are educators who remain rooted in the past, retaining the beliefs that were current decades ago now.  They learnt to cope in their first few years of teaching and have retained the same habits today, their professional practice is largely static, some believe they have achieved mastery, others that what they do is as good as it can be, although they accept that it may not be that great.  Fear of failure, or simply an unwillingness to try anything new, makes them resistant to change efforts. 

Most educators fall along a spectrum between these extremes and recognise that their beliefs must change but still struggle to change the associated behaviours, as we all do.

This is what makes being in education so exciting today!

John Corrigan