Established by the British Columbia Teachers’ Council for individuals who hold a certificate of qualification (https://www.bcteacherregulation.ca/Standards/StandardsDevelopment.aspx). I have also included a short piece about how I have met these standards in my practice.
- Educators value and care for all students and act in their best interests.Educators are responsible for fostering the emotional, esthetic, intellectual, physical, social and vocational development of students. They are responsible for the emotional and physical safety of students. Educators treat students with respect and dignity. Educators respect the diversity in their classrooms, schools and communities. Educators have a privileged position of power and trust. They respect confidentiality unless disclosure is required by law. Educators do not abuse or exploit students or minors for personal, sexual, ideological, material or other advantage.
For most teachers, I feel that this one comes fairly naturally. In the class, this means creating a learning environment in which each student can excel. In practice, this means a number of things. In order to excel, students need to be able to represent their learning in different ways and need to have material presented in different ways. An example of this is both talking about drawing circuit diagrams and using a pre-built circuit “kit” to let students learn by doing, or letting students choose between completing a final project relating to linear relations or just writing the final test and being done with it. To complete this standard requires building a relationship and getting to know your students personally. An example of utilizing this is talking to each student about their friends and enemies and using this information to create a minimal-conflict seating plan.
- Educators are role models who act ethically and honestly.Educators act with integrity, maintaining the dignity and credibility of the profession. They understand that their individual conduct contributes to the perception of the profession as a whole. Educators are accountable for their conduct while on duty, as well as off duty, where that conduct has an effect on the education system. Educators have an understanding of the education system in BC and the law as it relates to their duties.
As a role model, you must hold yourself to a higher standard. To me, this means dressing to impress, being prepared before you arrive, being honest when you’re wrong, and giving credit where credit is due (good and bad). I don’t get angry in class because that’s not how I want my students to solve problems. I admit when I make a mistake and when I don’t know something because I expect the same from my students. I stop harmful behaviour when it happens and explain why it is harmful because I want my students to treat others the way they want to be treated.
- Educators understand and apply knowledge of student growth and development.Educators are knowledgeable about how children develop as learners and as social beings, and demonstrate an understanding of individual learning differences and special needs. This knowledge is used to assist educators in making decisions about curriculum, instruction, assessment and classroom management.
Good assessment practices are necessary to tracking student growth. I use a variety of assessment methods including self, group, and peer assessment, personal observation and student participation marks to track effort, and utilize formative assessment to judge where students are “at”. In both a Grade 9 Science and a Math 8 Honours class I have used whiteboards, worksheets, and group activities to see if students are ready to advance. In both of these cases I had to alter my units to fast-track certain ideas and slow down to teach others that weren’t developed enough to continue. Not all observation is for “marks”, much is simply emotional development as well like cooperation when working in a group, contributing to discussions, and effectively communicating ideas.
- Educators value the involvement and support of parents, guardians, families and communities in schools.Educators understand, respect and support the role of parents and the community in the education of students. Educators communicate effectively and in a timely manner with parents and consider their advice on matters pertaining to their children.
I have coordinated with all of the above when working on designing a personalized education plan for students who are struggling. Since students spend most of their time at home or in the community, it is necessary to consult with these resources in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. For example, a number of different teachers and I had observed problem behaviour in a student in all of our classes. We talked it over with the foster parent, who gave us some context for it. In the end, we found out that the student had a very difficult time reading and that was most likely the reason for disruptive and passive-aggressive behaviour. We worked with the student to utilize resources like Google Read&Write to help them understand written lesson material, as well as speaking with them one-on-one to reiterate instructions verbally.
- Educators implement effective practices in areas of classroom management, planning, instruction, assessment, evaluation and reporting.Educators have the knowledge and skills to facilitate learning for all students and know when to seek additional support for their practice. Educators thoughtfully consider all aspects of teaching, from planning through reporting, and understand the relationships among them. Educators employ a variety of instructional and assessment strategies.
Classroom management is something I have continued to refine since starting my practice, and it is something that you never really stop learning. I have learned to plan extensively, even if I don’t use all of it. The advantage of having a unit planned is that in the case of say, a surprise fire drill, I can rearrange my plan to still allow for the correct material be taught before we go on the accompanying field trip. I plan my units with instructional objectives in mind and aligned with the formative and summative assessments. I make sure my students know of the criteria, have the resources to achieve everything I ask of them, and give work back within 2 days of it being turned in to let students learn from their mistakes.
- Educators have a broad knowledge base and understand the subject areas they teach.Educators understand the curricular, conceptual and methodological foundations of education and of the subject areas they teach. Educators must be able to communicate effectively in English or French. Educators teach students to understand relevant curricula in a Canadian, Aboriginal, and global context. Educators convey the values, beliefs and knowledge of our democratic society.
I always consult the BC curriculum when building units and lessons to provide the basis for my ideas. When I am unknowledgable in a subject, I will consult as many resources as I can until I feel I have a deep enough grasp on the concept to explain it. I researched a variety of indigenous cultures and the stories of their colonization in order to provide enough context for a Grade 9 socials inquiry project, utilizing teachers, library, and Aboriginal Education department resources. For my Core 7, I learned all about the Haudenosaunee confederation so my students could compare both the traditional Mediterranean-European early civilizations as well as one Indigenous to the Americas. Students were very interested in how women differed in their roles in society and government. I have extensive knowledge of math and science concepts thanks to my previous university background.
- Educators engage in career-long learning.Educators engage in professional development and reflective practice, understanding that a hallmark of professionalism is the concept of professional growth over time. Educators develop and refine personal philosophies of education, teaching and learning that are informed by theory and practice. Educators identify their professional needs and work to meet those needs individually and collaboratively.
I will be the first to admit I don’t know everything, and if I had the chance to redo my final practicum I would have done MANY things differently. This is natural though, because I know that since students change each year we must change as well. I have participated in professional development days, department meetings, and school-wide learning initiatives to better my practice. I will continue to learn new things, most recently the addition of programming content to computers courses, to give my students a better educational experience.
- Educators contribute to the profession.Educators support, mentor or encourage other educators and those preparing to enter the profession. Educators contribute their expertise to activities offered by their schools, districts, professional organizations, post-secondary institutions or contribute in other ways. I observed the importance of formal and informal school clubs in my practicum. While coaching may not be my thing, I would love to lead a chemistry club at whatever school I end up at. I have also considered a DnD club at lunch time as well (unfortunately I didn’t teach it to enough of them during the practicum). At the same time, contributing to the school can be as easy as opening your doors during recess and lunch breaks to give students a space to “hang out”, spending a prep block in the AI or LAC room, or staying in to help your students catch up on work.