For me, professionalism as an educator extends from my personal values and beliefs. Empathy, kindness, and respect are my core values that also act as the foundation of my professionalism and guide how I treat everyone in the education community. When it comes to my students, I will show professionalism through my daily interactions with them. Although technically I am an authority figure, I will find a balance between maintaining professional distance but still allowing myself to be vulnerable with them to help develop mutual trust. It is my goal to create a safe place for my students. As a professional who is very visible in the community, I understand the importance of how I portray myself in the community and online. Professionalism in my teaching practise and daily life will manifest itself in my willingness to collaborate and learn from my colleagues in an inclusive way. I will build relationships with my colleagues by nurturing a collaborative spirit when I communicate and interact with them during regular visits to the staffroom. I will be intentional when I interact with everyone in the learning community and will uphold the ethics and standards of the teaching profession by practising professionalism daily.
I will encourage curiosity in my classroom through the culture that I build in the classroom. I will not shame students when they feel they have failed or are experiencing difficulty understanding a concept. I genuinely believe there are no stupid questions and will make sure my students understand that nothing less than this will be tolerated in my classroom. Science is not just for the analytical or traditionally bright students. Science is for anyone and everyone. By creating a culture of inclusivity and open-mindedness, my hope is students will feel that they have the space and freedom to allow curiosity to guide their minds. I will not let fear or shame restrict their creativity in my classroom.
Regarding critical thinking, I want my students to understand that what we choose to focus on in science always reflects what is culturally and politically important or relevant at that moment in time. There is always a hidden agenda in the direction our studies go. This is evident in the science curriculum and the current events that guide our studies. I will always ask my students to think critically about why we cover the content that we do and whose voices are being heard or silenced in that content.
I will encourage students to think critically about science by simply asking them questions that encourage them to look at whose perspective we are considering in our lessons. Specifically, my goal is to incorporate Indigenous perspectives and different ways of looking at the world in each unit we cover. I will do this by consulting with and bringing into the classroom elders and knowledge keepers. I will also encourage critical thinking by using science in the news to provide real world examples of science being used to privilege certain groups and where it is helping under-represented groups.
Truth and Reconciliation
I owe my physical presence on this land to the Indigenous peoples who were here before my White settler ancestors came from Europe. Because of this, I believe everything I will teach has its roots in traditional ways of knowing and should be reflected in the lessons I teach. In order for our collective society to come closer to truth and reconciliation, it is my belief that all students should be taught the true history of the effects of colonization on the Indigenous peoples and every effort should be made to include Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous perspectives in my lessons. I am very passionate about anti-racist education and will do what I can to disrupt ignorance around colonization. I also acknowledge that I am still learning how to live truth and reconciliation and accept that I will make many mistakes along the way. I am excited to grow as an ambassador for Indigenous education and eager to learn from as many resources as I can along my journey.