Reflective Essay: Standard 8 – Commitment and Care
Commitment and care are one of the eight standards of the teaching profession and are quite important towards effective professional development as an educator. As a growing professional, I have made it part of my deliberate journey to grow in commitment and care, and I believe that the education I have received and my decision and dedication to growing in this standard will see me develop further professionally. Commitment and care in the education profession entail being able to practice social justice when dealing with others, both students and teachers. Teachers should believe that all children are able to learn. Teachers who exhibit commitment and care not only believe in their students but also have high expectations of themselves. They also carry out a sustained commitment to their teaching profession and continuous learning for professional growth.
Growth, Strengths, and Weaknesses
As a teacher in training, I see myself developing various competencies and skills that are instrumental in exhibiting commitment and care. I love and have absolute respect for the teaching profession, and I consider it a noble profession. For this reason, I have dedicated my time to building commitment, and as a result, I have found myself loving and being committed to my students and the teaching profession in its entirety. I abide by the rules and regulations that are set to guide teachers in relating to students and managing their roles as educators. I also ensure that I achieve all the requirements that are outlined in the teaching ethical code of conduct. While I am still a student, I believe that the deliberate efforts I have made towards achieving this level of commitment during my practice in teaching have built in me skills and competencies that will see me attain the bar with regards to commitment and care for my students and the profession.
Professional commitment and care in the teaching profession relate significantly to the attitude that a teacher has towards his/her job. Commitment reflects the perspective of the teacher and the level of active participation that the teacher can exhibit in the profession. I have built commitment as a lifelong learner, and I continuously seek to understand changes in the profession and how they affect professional practice. I am dedicated to portraying elements of commitment throughout my academic process and subsequently in my future teaching career. Through the belief that I need to be more than a professional, I have been able to demonstrate care by addressing the needs of my students and showing empathy to the situations in which they find themselves consistently. I have also come to believe that commitment and care in the teaching profession is best illustrated by consistent follow-up on students, continuous interaction with them to determine what factors affect their capacity to learn beyond the classroom process, and making learner-centered decisions.
As a developing professional in the teaching profession, I have built some strengths in the area of commitment and care through the years of academic training. For instance, I can say that I am committed to my students as I have developed sufficient capabilities in understanding student needs and wants. I am certain that through the academic courses I have undertaken, I have developed sufficient skills to be able to use various unique methods and techniques in teaching to address the needs and wants of diverse student populations. I have the capacity to not only teach in a culturally diverse environment but also one with diverse cognitive capabilities, such as in inclusive classroom settings. In such a setting, I am aware that commitment plays a major role in determining learning and teaching efficiency, and I am certain that the skills gained will enable me to develop even further in this area. I also believe that I am a committed and caring teacher because of my potential to contribute to the teaching profession. I understand teaching to be a process that cannot be confined to the school set-up, and I hold the mantra that once one is a teacher, he/she is a teacher for life. I, therefore, take the initiative to guide, mentor, and educate not only students with whom I have direct contact as a teacher but also others who may not have their teachers in close proximity when they need guidance.
Despite my strengths in exhibiting commitment and care as a teacher, I tend to feel I have some weaknesses in communication. Continuous contact with and sustained relationships with students and the school mean that I have to be a good communicator. I have developed sufficient emotional and psychological competence to exhibit commitment and care, yet I always feel that my communication skills do not exactly reflect those of a committed and caring teacher. I feel that this deficiency is due to my introverted nature, which limits me from expressing some of my feelings openly. I think that addressing the communication challenges that I have will make me even better at portraying commitment and care as part of my conventional teaching professional practice.
Considering that I now fully understand my strengths and weaknesses in showing commitment and care, I am in a position to develop strategies for capitalizing on my strengths and building myself in areas of weakness. For the strengths, I believe that continuous interactions with students will be instrumental in building my skills further and translating knowledge into practice. Specifically, continuously working with students from diverse cultural and household backgrounds will enable me to utilize my skills in identifying student needs and wants and using the appropriate techniques and methods to satisfy those needs and wants. In order to minimize the effects of my limitations in communication, I intend to undertake a course in communication skills that will enable me to identify the personalities of my students and colleagues and be able to communicate with each person according to their preferred personality styles. I believe that such communication not only strengthens trust between people but is also instrumental in showing care and commitment.
I can say that so far, my academic journey has been beneficial towards building skills and competencies that will enable me to realize the standard of commitment and care attributable to the teaching profession. I have developed some skills and built strengths in various areas that are evidence of the expected level of commitment and care. However, I still need to focus on building greater skills in communication. As a lifelong learner, I am certain that I am on the journey to complete alignment with the standard and that it will be possible for me to be both an educator and a mentor.