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Teacher Identity

by, Alicia Barker
by

Alicia Barker

on 4 August 2013

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Transcript of Teacher Identity

Teacher Identity
Purpose
When asked the question, Why do you want to teach? Frequent answers are, 'Because I like children. I want to make a difference. I want to make students love my subject.'

As future teachers we need to move away from this way of thinking, which is naïve. We need to move from our expectations to reality. Sincerity of intention does not guarantee purity of practice.

A teacher is many things. A teacher is a researcher, a leader, an advocate, a confidant, a change agent, a moral agent, a role model, a mentor, a problem solver, a curriculum designer, an informed and integrated person, and a learner.

We must not forget all of these aspects of being a teacher when asked, Why do you want to teach?
Teacher as Change Agent
Teachers are a very significant part of society. Teachers have a far reaching influence, they can either help or harm society. A popular teacher may become a prominent role model. By educating students teachers become change agents.

When it comes to making changes around the school, many professional development programs are having their administrators come up with new programs to revolutionize teaching and learning. Sometimes the administrators come up with so many new programs that teachers are left with no real direction and little understanding what they are to do to improve teaching and learning. Professional development plans should be given the same amount of planning that goes into curriculum, unit, and lesson plans (Colantonio, J. N., 2013).

It is important that teachers be involved in the changes being made to schools.
Teacher as Leader and Mentor
Being a leader is an important aspect of being a teacher. A teacher who is a leader is a teacher who thinks outside their classrooms, takes risks within their classroom, who is not afraid to say that they don't know something and sharing what they know.

Being a leader is another way to 'make a difference'.
Leaders don't create follwers, they create more leaders.

A teacher leader wants to make an impact beyond the classroom, they think about the big problems, they act as mentors to new teachers, they act as advisers for colleagues, and they always want to know more.
Teacher as Researcher
Teaching is living research.

When teachers enter into the learning environment, they are engaging in research on an ongoing basis. Teaching is lived research. Teachers can think of themselves as explorers and researchers, with their workshop being the students, their families and neighborhoods, and society (Binder, M., 2012).

Documenting what goes on in the classroom and asking questions can lead to positive pedagogical changes. Teacher research allows us to look at our practices and then transform them. Teachers need to to engage in research to transform the self, curriculum, teaching, and even society (Souto-Manning, M., 2012).

Teacher as Advocate
Although being an advocate is not something often talked about when talking about teaching, it is in fact a primary part of the job. Being an advocate is more than just mandatory reporting, where if the teacher suspects that the student is being neglected or abused they are required by law to call social services.

Being an advocate means working to protect students welfare, involving parents, promoting and raising awareness of educational programs. Advocacy is about promoting the greater good.

A teacher acting as an advocate works to help their students grow, protect them from harm, provide encouragement, and fight to give them every opportunity possible.

Teachers are advocates for all students, not just students with disabilities.
Conclusion
Looking at this presentation, a teacher is a change agent, a leader and mentor, a researcher, and an advocate. Being a teacher is a complex job, and is much more than just what was covered here. Through these aspects of being a teacher we can raise awareness in the critical and transformative aspects of teaching and learning. It is important for a teacher to know that there is more than to teaching than, 'Because I like children' and 'Because I want to make a difference'.

By being a researcher, leader, mentor, change agent, and advocate the teacher is proving that they like children and care for them, and that they want to make an impact. Being more than just a teacher, is how a future teacher can move away from the innocence and idealism that often comes with being a new teacher.

Now, why do you want to teach?
Implications and Future Actions
It is important to be more than just a teacher.

With the knowledge I gained from reading these articles, and others, I know that it is important to be a teacher-researcher, a teacher-advocate, a teacher-change agent, a teacher-leader, and a teacher-mentor.

I will know to implement all these aspects and more into my role as a teacher. I will try to be all of these different roles, and implement them into my classroom.

As said before, "we become better teachers through research" (Sauto-Manning, M., 2012). Becoming a researcher is an almost inevitable part of teaching, but making it a conscious thing is important.
Mentoring and Leadership Development
Mentoring is a standard tool used in many education programs to develop leadership skills. There are many roles a mentor can take, including coaches, supporters, counselors, and educators.

The roots of mentoring can be found in Greek mythology, and is supported by many researchers/philosophers, including Vygotsky, Rogoff, and Bruner.

There are many benefits for both mentors and mentees, increased self-esteem, awareness, insight, stress reduction, and professional skills. There are some downsides to mentoring, personal and societal constraints like time, incompatibility, and inadequate training.

Mentoring takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment to gain the results that ae desired.

Dziczkowski, J. (2013). Mentoring and Leadership Development. The Educational Forum, 77(3), 351-360.
Leadership and Technology
There are five ways that a teacher can access the teacher leader, impact, advice, visionary thinking, mentoring, and life-long learning.

Technology has changed,and is changing the ways in which curriculum is created, delivered, taught, and learned. There is careful picking and choosing of curriculum, delivery systems, and content for effective learning. There are studies that show students are positively affected by classroom computer technology.

The five reasons used to prove teacher leadership point towards collabortation and modeling. The leader needs to take charge and incorporate this technology. Technology used properly can enhance and contrubute to learning.

Marcoux, E. (2012). Leadership & Technology. Teacher Librarian, 39(5), 74.
Teaching as Lived Research
At first there was teaching and there was researching, with with little overlap. Being a teacher researcher was looked down upon, there was being an academic researcher or there was not.

Becoming a teacher researcher is an important aspect of teaching, it allows for new knowledge and discoveries to be used to implement changes in pedagogy. The practice of inquiry becomes research as voiced by the teacher through every day classroom experiences.

Binder, M. (2012). Teacher as Researcher: Teaching as Lived Research. Childhood Education, 88(2), 118-120.
Teacher Action Research in Teacher Education
Teacher education research is is important, but often it is an invisible practice and not seen as 'real' research. Research raises awareness of the critical and transformative aspects of teaching and learning. Through posing questions that 'problematize normative definitions of teaching' pedagogy can become more informed and improved. Teacher action research involves a systematic and sustained study of teaching and learning.

There is the notion of teachers as students of learning. This leads to 'self study' among teachers. Self study should be critical. Teacher research should lead to tranformative actions.

'We become better teachers through teacher research'.\

Souto-Manning, M. (2012). Teacher as Researcher: Teacher Action Research in Teacher Education. Childhood Education, 88(1), 54-56.
Advocating for Students With Disabilities at the School Level
Whitby, P. S., Marx, T., McIntire, J., & Wienke, W. (2013). Advocating for Students With Disabilities at the School Level. Teaching Exceptional Children, 45(5), 32-39.
Preparing Parents to Advocate for a Child With Autism
Foster, A., Rude, D., & Grannan, C. (2012). Preparing parents to advocate for a child with autism. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(4), 16-20.
Bibliography
1. Binder, M. (2012). Teacher as Researcher: Teaching as Lived Research. Childhood Education, 88(2), 118-120.

2. Colantonio, J. N. (2013). Dogs Chasing Frisbees. Educational Leadership. 70(9), 58-60.

3. Dziczkowski, J. (2013). Mentoring and Leadership Development. The Educational Forum, 77(3), 351-360.

4. Foster, A., Rude, D., & Grannan, C. (2012). Preparing parents to advocate for a child with autism. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(4), 16-20.

5. Harrison, C., & Killion, J. (2007). Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders. Educational Leadership. 65(1), 74-77.

6. Marcoux, E. (2012). Leadership & Technology. Teacher Librarian, 39(5), 74.

7. Souto-Manning, M. (2012). Teacher as Researcher: Teacher Action Research in Teacher Education. Childhood Education, 88(1), 54-56.

8. Whitby, P. S., Marx, T., McIntire, J., & Wienke, W. (2013). Advocating for Students With Disabilities at the School Level. Teaching Exceptional Children, 45(5), 32-39.
Overview
In this presentation we will discuss:
Teacher as Change Agent
Teacher as Leader and Mentor
Teacher as Researcher
Teacher as Advocate
Conclusions and
Implications and Future Actions
Dogs Chasing Frisbees
by, John N. Colantonio
Problem
Many professional development programs are held hostage by bandwagon leadership. Administrators should undertake the planning, preparation, and implementation of professional development opportunities with the same level of thought that goes into curriculum, unit, and lesson planning.
Practice the Virtues
Questions:
Where do we want our school to go?
Why do we want to go there?
How do we plan to get there?
What will our students know, do and understand?
Is our goal to increase test scores or to improve student learning?

Seek out connections between current classroom practice and the desired change, where pedagogy may overlap the new strategies or where it may fall short.
The Virtues
Virtue 1
Involve teachers in the planning process.

Remember to listen.
Teacher involvement is pragmatic, effective leadership practice.
Virtue 2
Identify the experts.

Long term: find experts within the school.
Short term: may need to get experts from outside the school.
Virtue 3
Gather data.

Have teachers share strategies, suggestions, and constructive feedback.
Point out what approaches did or did not work, and additional information they might need.
Virtue 4
Promote patience.

Sometimes when making changes, things may get harder before they get easier.
Be encouraging.
Virtue 5
Be realistic.

Be realistic in making claims about what this change will do.
Virtue 6
Think collaboration.

You alone are not responsible for developing, implementing, and presenting ongoing staff development initiatives in your school.
Virtue 7
Leave your ego at home.

Be willing to open up what you have/do to scrutiny and reflection.
We are in this together.
Ask questions.
Open the door for dialogue.
An Afterthought No Longer
Success as administrators is linked to teacher success.
Teacher success is linked to student success.

Staff development is a core responsibility that lies at the heart of the decisions we make every day in school.

Colantonio, J. N. (2013). Dogs Chasing Frisbees. Educational Leadership, 70(9), 58-60.
Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders
by, Cindy Harrison and Joellen Killion
Harrison, C., & Killion, J. (2007). Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders. Educational Leadership, 65(1). 74-77.
Resource Provider
Teachers help their colleagues by sharing instructional resources.
Instructional Specialist
An instuctional specialist helps colleagues implement effective teaching strategies.
Curriculum Specialist
Understanding content standards, how various components of the curriculum link together, and how to us te curriculum in planning instruction and assesments.
Classroom Supporter
Classroom supporters work inside classrooms to help teachers implement new ideas.
Learning Facilitator
Facilitating professional learning opportunities among staff member.
Mentor
Serving as a mentor for a novice teacher is a common role for teacher leaders.
School Leader
A school leader shares the vision of the school, aligns their professional goals with those of the school and disctrict, and shares responsibility for the success of the school as a whole.
Data Coach
Teacher leaders can lead conversations that engage their peers in analyzing and using data to strengthen instruction.
Catalyst for Change
"Never content with the status quo but rather always looking for a better way."
Learner
Learners model continual improvement, demonstrate lifelong learning, and use what they learn to help all students achieve.
Parent Advocates
For parents living with children diagnosed with autism, advocating for their child presents a new reality in parenthood, often unexpected and with more questions than answers.
Develop a Network for Advocacy
Effective advocacy requires a network of personal and professional support.

Four steps for educators to guide parents through the K-12 system.
Don't Get Emotional
To be effective advocates, parents must also be great case managers - managing medical records, school records, evaluations, and history.

Reign in anger and keep calm.
You have to do this and get on with your life.
Step #1.

Show parents how to consider the child's perspective above all others - even their own.
Step #2.

Help parents build a community of advocates.
Step #3.

Educate parents about the system, including how to be prepared with information and know their rights.
Step #4.

Understand the classroom - the vital link.
There are four themes surrounding advocacy risks in special education.
1. Discomfort engaging in advocacy.
2. Discinplinary response from administration.
3. Discomfort collaborating with colleagues they may have upset.
4. Time taken away from instruction.
Be knowledgeable of special education law and its implementation at the local level.
Always place the needs of the child first.
Develop respectful relationships with the IEP team members.
Use diplomacy to create a win-win situation.
Be professional at all times.
Some Important Strategies
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2006)
and
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (2009)
IEP team meeting - individualized to the evaluated needs of the student.

Advocacy Strategies.

Major Tenets and Interpretation of IDEA
In response to the conflicts faced in advocacy, special education professionals should use diplomacy to create win-win situations with collegeagues and parents.
Be a professional, even if it is not easy.
Emotions can and do run high when advocating for students.
Control your emotions.
Offer your expertise.
Follow up with the members of the IEP team and help support.
By, Alicia Barker
Full transcript