Standard 1: 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.
Ashley has the earmarks of a very good teacher: she possesses a strong work ethic; she is patient and generous with her time; she is fair and equitable with her students; she is constantly re-evaluating and thinking of ways to improve her practice. Above all, I have been most impressed by her level of self-awareness and reflection – that she appraises her strategies and seeks to refine her practice is the indicator of someone who understands the roe of a teacher.
-Excerpt from my School Advisor’s Final Report
Ashley structured her assignments so students who needed more time or assistance were able to receive it. She was in touch with the Learning Centre and counsellors so was able to make arrangements for students to take tests in other locations so diagnosed students could have the support they were allowed. She planned to provide information in more than one format and instructions were regularly available visually as well as orally.
– Excerpt from my Faculty Advisor’s Final Report
I really do feel that every child is important, whether he or she is my student or not. With this thinking in mind, I made myself available to all students at the school and treated each of them with an equal level of respect and support. I supported an after school study club which took place in the classroom under my supervision for any student who chose to attend. Outside of the classroom I spoke to the students as individuals and in the classroom I built upon teachable moments and the students really responded to them. In one situation, a student had taken credit for another student’s assignment and when I spoke to him outside of class about this he was curious as to how I discovered that he had done so and we had a frank discussion about the reasons he had done this. With his permission we shared his story with the rest of the class and I was able to then explain to them how teachers are there to support students in every way and if there is ever a situation where they feel unable to cope or complete the workload that they are better off to speak to the teacher than to cheat. The students really got into this discussion since it related to their lives directly. I then explained copyright, trademarks and patents briefly to give them some background to possible legal implications that they would face in a work environment for similar behaviour. After class I had a student who writes her own songs and posts them on YouTube come to me and ask me for some information on copyright and other issues related to what she was doing.
I engaged with students outside of class about their personal interests such as art, music, sports, etc and was then able to bring these areas into the classroom and cater assignments to be more focused around their passions while meeting curricular standards. Additionally, I am involved with an organization called Education Generation which uses an online community to crowd fund scholarships for student leaders in developing countries to go to school. Before starting my B.Ed program I volunteered at Science World with their Super Science Club, an after school program for Elementary students in inner city schools in Vancouver. The program brought hands on science activities to students whose parents would not be able to afford tutors or extracurricular programs on their own.
In my teaching I will always try to incorporate the individual interests of my students both inside and outside of the classroom, being a resource to them as a positive role model in their lives. I believe that even students who may struggle with your class will be able to learn and enjoy themselves if they see you as someone who really cares about them and their needs. I will continue to talk to my students about a variety of topics which relate to their lives because that is really how strong connections are made and if students see me as a role model they will be more interested in what I have to say and hopefully will enjoy their classes with me more.