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Teaching: a balancing act

EDUC4820 group presentation on balancing personal and professional life as a teacher

Liam McComb

on 22 October 2014

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Transcript of Teaching: a balancing act

Teaching: a balancing act
Finding the balance
Conclusion and Recommendations
“Society expects role model behaviour for someone like a teacher”
(Newland 2013).

“It’s a tragedy that my reaction to seeing something interesting is turning away to grab my camera. The first thought is that there is something beautiful happening, and the second thought is that it will be meaningless if I don’t share it. Those are frightening moments. The ones where you go ‘God, I’ve been living for everyone else.’ (Palmer, 2012).

“Teachers have a professional obligation to develop and maintain professional relationships with learners based on the best interests of those learners. A teacher who is both aware of social media and a competent and confident user will be a role model for their learners and encourage them to become good digital citizens” (South Australian Teachers Association, 2014).
Teachers and non-teaching staff
Keep it general

If you are friends online, keep school talk for school. Be careful not to violently disagree with someone on a public forum as they might be a parent who knows you!

Avoid social media contact unless your platform is a specific ‘class’ page.
Online communications

“We are people too”
There is no fixed point that we get to in order to suddenly become a professional. It is a process and it is very important that it is understood, especially for young aspiring teachers, that we know the difference between our personal lives and our professional lives.

Don't post anything your parents or boss would be ashamed reading.
Be very picky about who can view your page (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)
Never comment on political issues (most teachers are employed by very conservative government agencies)
Accept the fact that your profession is community oriented and what you do can affect your image both positively and negatively (Ferugson, 2008)
Never accept friend requests from your friend’s kids (or anyone under 18) and basically check these settings monthly - as social media sites often changes things!
Remember your values and why you chose to be a teacher in the first place.

Sky’s tips (now that she’s a whiz on the topic)

Abbasnejad, E., Farahani, A., & Nakhaei, A. (2013, August). The relationship between time management and job stress in teachers of physical education and non physical education. Advances in Environmental Biology , 1340-1347.

Aquila, F. (1992). Is there ever enough time? Twelve time-management tips for teachers. The Clearing House , 65 (4), 201-203.

Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA), (2012), Response to the Consolidation of Anti-Discrimination Law Discussion Paper retrieved 8 Oct 2014 <http://www.ag.gov.au
Caritas College . 2010). Staff Professional Dress Code. Retrieved from http://www.cc.catholic.edu.au/__files/f/2146/staff
Chilcott T., (2014), Queensland Homosexual teachers fear discrimination if they come out

Chung, Frank, news, ‘How to get a job by spring cleaning your social media accounts’, September 30, 2014, retrieved 7 October, 2014 <http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/how-to-get-a-job-by-spring-cleaning-your-social-media-accounts/story-fnkgbb3b-1227074706930>

Ferguson D., (2008) ‘What teachers need to know about personal wellbeing’, Australian Council for Educational Research Ltd
Liberal Party of Australia NSW. (2014). Dress Code for Public School Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.nsw.liberal.org.au/secure/shelltemplates/dress-code-nsw-public-school-teachers
Marsh, C. (2010). Professional and Cultural Dimensions of Teaching. In Becoming a Teacher (pp. 340-367). Sydney: Pearson Australia.

Marsh, C. (2010). Professional and cultural dimensions of teaching. In Becoming a Teacher (5th Ed, pp. 340-367). Sydney: Pearson Australia

McKinnon A (2013) Catholic school Denied Help to Gay Student

McNeilage, A. (2013). PISA study highlights resources and teacher quality as factors in the world's top-performing school systems. The Sydney Morning Herald. December 5th 2013.

NSW Department of Education & Communities. (2014). Dress code a first for teachers. Retrieved from http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/about-us/news-at-det/media-releases1/dress-code-a-first-for-teachers
South Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) retrieved 7 Oct <http://www.humanrights.sa.gov.au>

Rennie, A. (2014). Our children will be in better hands when the pay and entry standards for teaching are raised. The Sydney Morning Heralds. February 17th 2014

Supporting Sexual Diversity in Schools retrieved 7 Oct 2014 <http://www.decd.sa.gov.au>

Tovey, J (2013), Gay Teachers in Catholic Schools hide sexuality , retrieved 7 October 2014 <http://smh.com.au/nsw/gay-teachers-in-catholic-schools-hide-sexuality>
Be Professional
Be discreet
Form positive relationships with parents and the community
Document everything

Democratic values
Service, respect and courtesy
Honesty and integrity
Meet professional conduct standards

Code of Ethics

Hobbies and Personal Interests


Example – Elise Mosca
“Teacher stress is high and there are increasing numbers of teachers suffering burn-out and low morale” (Brown, Ralph McPhee, Forde & Skelton, 2002 in Marsh, 2010, p. 364).

Be organised
Do something you love
Have time for yourself
Switch off
Find the fun.

“It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important”
– Steve Jobs

Record how you use time
Avoid ‘perfection syndrome’
Set aside planning time & establish priorities
Take a break
Make the most of meetings
Think creatively
Use personal time-saving techniques/gadgets
Use technology
Say no
Time Management Tips


(Abbasnejad, Farahani, & Nakhaei, 2013)

AND: time-management skill increases as work-experience and age increases

2008 study of Australian schools (McKenzie et al quoted in Marsh, 2010, p. 350)

Be organised
Do something you love
Have time for yourself
Switch off
Find the fun
do we,
as teachers,
balance our personal
and professional lives?

What can we do?
No state-wide dress code.

Dress expectations vary from school to school.

Some Catholic schools have dress codes.

No thongs, sneakers, tank tops, board shorts or denim.
Dress socks required.
No explicit exposure, e.g. cleavage, midriff, short dress, visible underwear.
No facial jewellery or excessive piercing.
Tattoos must be covered.

South Australia
Image from popsugar.com

How does the way we dress affect our image as teachers?
Make yourself aware of dress expectations for your school.

Be professional and respect the school’s dress code.

If no dress code, use your judgement when dressing for school – what consequences could there be for wearing certain items?

Still have a personal life – just remember that you always represent the profession.

Dress Code
State teacher dress code announced in March

Effective from Term 2, 2014

Collared shirts for males

‘Professional attire’ for formal events.

No revealing or suggestive/offensive clothing.

No singlets, t-shirts, tracksuits, rubber thongs, torn or dirty clothes, or clothes with inappropriate slogans.
NSW Dress Code

Teaching as a Valued Profession?
Ongoing Production of Quality Teachers
Public's Perception of Teachers
Be discreet
Be sensible
Be honest
Take time out for yourself
Realise that teaching is your career not your life
Be honest
The professions ability to attract and retain good teachers within the profession
If we set high expectations of teachers, we will produce great teachers (McNeilage, 2013)
If society better respected and valued the teaching profession, would we find ourselves justifying our career paths as often?
"Rural teachers are generally highly valued by their local community" (Marsh, 2010, pp. 347)
62% of both Primary and Secondary Educators are either 'dissatisfied' or 'very dissatisfied' with the value society places on teachers' work (Marsh, 2010, pp. 348)
Incentives come and go, but where does respect lie?
How Do We View Teachers?
The way in which the community views our profession has a huge impact on the way the profession functions within society
Not professional
Lots of holidays
Back-up plan
Not academically gifted (Peter Garrett, 2008)
Second-class citizens
Full transcript