Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Defining Your Role in Education

What is my role as an educator?  I've written many posts about this question.  The interesting outcome of my reflection is that the more I ponder the question, the more narrow and specific my role becomes. When I began this quest, I thought my role would become broader, but instead, I'm finding that my search is leading me full circle to my original professional intent which was to become an effective elementary school teacher.

My role is that of child guide, coach, teacher, advocate and caretaker which means that it is my role to do all I can to best educate the children in my charge.

To educate children well means that I am an advocate who stands up and speaks out for the best that schools can be with regard to the care and education of children. I will continue to pose ideas for the world of education outside of my classroom because that world affects the work I do each day, and when the broader world of education supports students and teachers, we are able to do our work well.

This role also means that I am knowledgeable about the content, cognition, and 21st century pedagogy and methodology. I work as a kind and thoughtful counselor and guide to help students develop academic, social, emotional and physical fitness skills, concepts and knowledge in positive ways, and I communicate with students, colleagues and families regularly regarding students' program and performance. It also means that I collaborate well with colleagues, students and families for best effect as I recognize that one educator cannot be all things.

I've wrestled with role definition all year.  I've pushed role boundaries to advocate for new ideas and systematic support. And with this refined, streamlined role definition, I will continue to develop my skill and repertoire with regard to the role's scope.

I'm happy to move towards summer with a greater understanding of my role and the work I do today and in the future. I am thankful to those in my PLN, online and off, who have journeyed with me on this quest; I appreciate the support, debate and guidance.

How do you define your professional role in education, and how does that definition lead your work and professional development?  While roles shouldn't be static, accurate definitions and process can lend structure and direction to the work we do.