Explain the importance of continually improving
knowledge and practice.
The importance of continually improving my knowledge and working practice
is to make sure that I am fully aware of and can abide to all current
educational policies, health and safety rules, legislations and guidelines for
good and effective practice in my work place.
According to the oxford dictionary Professional development refers to the
acquisitions of skills and knowledge both for personal development and career
Improving my personal development benefits not only me but my work place,
the society at large, staff, children and parents. It enables me to keep up to
date with my knowledge and skills and change proactively to make sure I meet
the needs of all stakeholders. They all should be confident that they can trust
the organization they are getting their educational service from.
As a lead teacher in my organization I am responsible for others such as
my staff and the children, so it’s imperative that I am knowledgeable in all
areas of management to enable me to manage effectively and within the
legislations and guidelines set by my workplace.
Continuing my professional development has been important in my career
building and holistic development.
2.2 Analyse potential barriers to professional development.
barriers to continuing professional development could be:
Lack of budget/ financial help from the
organization – adequate and effective budget plan should be in place to meet
the demand of the educational needs.
Lack of supportive staff – staff that are only
concern with a pay cheque every month. They should care about the knowledge and
day to day running of the nursery.
No time to train – adequate time should be set
aside for each staff member so that they are confident in what they are
learning and doing.
Demotivated – no encouragement from management
or senior staff. The directors should encourage and sustain a friendly and
encouraging environment for work.
Poor time management
Lack of resources
Inadequate regular supervisions
Conflict of interest
Low self- esteem – If an individual lacks
Not an effective communicator
Not having enough qualifications.
Compare the use of different sources and systems
of support professional development
We all have a world of knowledge
and resources. This can be channelled in either a formal and structured
approached or by observations.
Different ways in which professional
development can be carried out can be in formal methods such appraisals and
supervisions. This allows the directors or lead teachers who conducts these to
assess staffs performances. They look at future goals and identify the needs of
the staff member or an individual basis according to the nursery’s policies and
This will create a plan for them
to move forward and identify their training needs to allow them to grow and develop
as a person. This in turn, in the long run helps not only the individual but the
The directors ,family members,
Ministry of Education, Cache 5,peers,seminars workshops, short courses,
websites, e-learning all forms a part of our system of support.
Mentoring is a huge support tool
here at Future International Nursery. It is used mostly when employing new
members of staff and allows them to see how a long standing member of staff
works. It allows them to pass on their knowledge and expertise and guide them
through policies and procedures and allows the new member of staff to find a
way in which to work with the guidelines given. The mentor helps to create a
friendly work environment.
Within the organization we do in
house training workshops to enhance our staff knowledge. This is ongoing
throughout the entire school year. The simplest form of development is our
safety and security policy, swimming policy and communication policy. They are
about the highest standards that we are expected to follow and implement.
We meet and discuss what is not
working and what will work. It’s done in depth and all have a say.
Beyond the organization external
agencies can help the nursery and staff with professional development. These
includes: KHDA and other professional bodies.
External training agencies can
offer training or a specific course that maybe beneficial to the employees.
Explain factors to consider when selecting
opportunities and activities for keeping knowledge and practice up to date.
Prioritizing important elements I can assist in highlighting what
training should selected. What goals need to be achieved for the
parents and other stakeholders we have? What training does the staff team wants
and needs? What training courses are mandatory for a staff team? All these
factors need to be considered and then compared to
the training budget the organization has. Cost has to be weighed
against what the consequences entail if professional development is not
followed through .For example if the parents require more special needs
teachers then a training must be done or the nursery will be left in a vulnerable
The lead teachers must be up to date on new policies as this will help
them prioritize what training is needed and when.
is also a consideration. If you have a large staff team it can be difficult to
organise training to which they can all attend. This is also true of the
place the training is to be held. Is it more advantageous for
the training to be held on site at the nursery rather than all have to travel to a
training facility as travelling can create extra cost and time . It may be wise
for the director to look at just sending lead teachers on a course to be
trained in several important courses so that they can train other staff in
these topics .Although it may be a high cost to start off with it can work out
more cost effective in the long run, especially if the organization has a high
turnover of staff. These trainers can then train in house as
and when required at times suitable for all staff and at times
suited to the rota as to not leave the support staff or children in a
vulnerable position due to lack of staff members.
2.1 Evaluate own knowledge and performance against standards
I have worked in
the educational field for over seventeen years. Before I began my career in
teaching I worked in a post office doing administration. Before changing career
paths I did some research on learning disabilities, autism and challenging
behaviour .A lot of research and pratical was done on the internet getting snap shots of
how to care for and teach children. When I began teaching I started out
shadowing an established member of staff so I could get to know how things are
done .I read my company’s policies and procedures. I was given the opportunity
to advance my knowledge by attending I was given the opportunity to
advance my knowledge by attending training courses provided by the company. I
found that I could learn more when the course was as part of
a group. -earning the codes of practice ensures that I promote and
uphold the privacy, dignity and rights of the children I teach and that
I strive to improve the quality of education and support through
continuing professional development. I achieve this within my job role by
ensuring that the children and their parents are informed
and included in all aspects of their education planning. The
codes of practice state that I am accountable for the quality
of my work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving my
knowledge and skills. This means that if there is a course I
could benefit from which in turn benefits the company that I needed
to make the management aware. By obtaining my diploma/ degree qualification and all in house training
courses I was promoted to a classroom
teacher and then when the vacancy
was available to senior/ lead
teacher of my classroom . In this position I have to make
sure that my staff and I are up to date on the national standards
which are set out by the ministry of education. This means that I have to
make sure that there are enough members of staff to the ratio of children to
keep the children safe and happy while they learn and play . I make sure that
all members of staff are trained and have the appropriate knowledge, skills and
experience needed to meet their educational needs. To ensure that my staff are
well managed and have the correct knowledge, skills and experience through
training to meet the educational and holistic needs of the children and
parents. If I fail at this then it means that the classroom I manage does
not meet the essential standards set out by the ministry of education mean that
the educational institution is shut down meaning all employees will be out
of work and the children without an education. I will inform the directors
of any courses which will help in my job role to improve my working knowledge
and skills which in turn I can pass on to my staff/team.
2.2 Prioritise development goals and targets to meet
We have an in house training programme which covers an
extensive range of topics which is ongoing for staff. These include
Emergency first aid, food hygiene and sanitation, curriculum development,
health and safety and team building to name a few. All lead teachers have attended
autism awareness courses and are just about to attend a team building course. We have
an annual course on health and safety awareness. All teachers are
working on their cache level three and five. According to the ministry of
education criteria all staff should be properly trained and supervised,
and have the chance to develop and improve their skills .All
employees files have a record of training showing that there is an ongoing programme
of development to make sure that they have undertaken training in key areas
such as: health and safety, person centered approaches, communication and how
to protect children. Training is monitored to make sure it is kept up to
date. Specialist training is completed as and when necessary.
3.1 Select learning opportunities to meet development
objectives and reflect personal learning style.
We have ongoing in house training all topics of knowledge I
need to work in the educational setting. These are given through
knowledge papers which we then answer questions on the specific topic. This
is a very specific style which does not suit everyone but due to training
budget this is a very cost efficient way to train a staff/ team on
all key essential training standards. I am a mix between a visual learner and
auditory learner, I like to see pictures or watch cd’s and visualizing an
outcome and also like to learn as a group so that I can discuss the topic and
to ask questions as and when I need. This involves the use of seen or observed
things including pictures, demonstrations and handouts. This is why
external agencies coming in or me attending training courses as Identified
above is far more beneficial for me than sitting on my own and learning
from a book or doing knowledge papers which we have as an in house training course.
3.2 Produce a plan for own professional development, using
an appropriate source of support.
I start my
personal development plan by taking a self- evaluation, focusing on my strengths
as follows: Motivated person, Eager to
learn new skills, Team Builder, Interested in the education sector, caring
.I then decide on my goals in my job and where I want to be or what I want
to achieve in my job. Now I am the lead teacher of my class I want to
fully read up on all the essential standards set out by the ministry of
education .I am very new to this post I want to learn everything I can about
this job and everything around this. This can not only benefit me but my
staff, parents and children and the owners of the school .Keep up to date with
the ongoing training knowledge papers. Book my staff any additional/relevant
training courses as and when they require them. I then set my goals/plan
out. Part of my development as a leader is also gaining my level five
cache qualification. This expands on my diploma/ degree and can only
benefit me and the business in the long term. What is my goal? What do I need to do?
What resources do I need? Who can help me? What is my time
scale? Read up and understand all essential standards set out by the KHDA. Read
guidance of compliance – Essential standards of quality and safety. Sign up for
email alerts to keep up to date on any changes download and
print out a copy of the booklet Keep up to date on all in house
training make sure training is completed on time: The information books,
company policies and procedures I plan to do one a month so this should be
completed within a year. These certificates are then valid for five years when
I will then refresh myself. Complete my level five cache qualification
Keep up to date on completing my units, Internet, assessor policies
and procedures, by October 31, 2018 .Goals will be added to
the development plan as and when needed.
Teacher Hawaa told us about the smart plan and its
3.3 Establish a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the
I will evaluate
and amend my professional development plan regularly using the SMART technique
which is outlined as followed:
Specific – target a specific area for improvement
Measureable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of
Assignable – specify who will do it
Realistic- state what results can be realistically be
achieved, given available resources.
Time-related – specify when the results can be achieved.
By doing this I will be able to identify any problems
or obstacles which may have delayed my progress and find ways in which to find
the time to get back on track or find alternative ways if I am having trouble
achieving them in my current way. At my regular supervisions my the directors
will be able to discussed with me how the plan is going and at any time get
suggestions from them and additional ideas going forward .With regular meetings
I can see how much I have achieved which will make me strive to achieve so much
more But can also identify if the time allocated to a goal is in fact
achievable and if not amend the time scale. This is not seen as a failure
if not completed when originally said but just adjusting the reality. By
completing my level five cache qualification I am setting myself a specific
target and my knowledge of the education sector will only expand as I complete
each unit. Perhaps learning something I would not have been aware of or looking
at a topic in far more depth than I would have done before. I will have outside support
from my assessor who will also review if I am setting myself the realistic
targets taking into account my day to day role as a lead teacher and also
my personal/family life.
Goggle .com re: reflective practice and Teacher Hawaa
4.1 Compare models of reflective practice.
Reflective practice is “the capacity to reflect on action so
as to engage in a process of continuous learning”, which some believe is
wrong. According to one definition it involves “paying critical attention to
the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining
practice reflectively and reflexively.
This leads to developmental insight”
Edgar Schon an influential writer on reflection,
described reflection in two main ways:
reflection in action and reflection on action. Reflection
on action is looking back after the event whilst reflection in action is happening
during the event. I have explored these terms and have found the following:
Reflection in action means
” To think about what one is doing whilst one is doing it,
it is typically stimulated by surprise by something which puzzled the
practitioner concerned” Greenwood 1983.
Reflection in action allows the person to redesign what they
are doing whilst they are doing it. This approach can be used to improve
practice by supporting individuals to question their routine
work as they carry it out. They may measure their behaviour
against their values and values of the organisation to ensure that these are
consistent or to try a new approach to an activity and evaluate its
Reflection on action means
“The retrospective contemplation of practice undertaken in
order to uncover the knowledge used in practical situations, by analysing and
interpreting the information recalled” Fitzgerald 1994
I can see with reflection on action that it involves turning
information into knowledge, by conducting a cognitive post mortem. This
approach allows the worker to look at a specific incident, write a report
about it and analyse what happened so they can see what additional
knowledge or practical support would have been needed to prevent or give the
incident a different outcome. It allows the person to establish what they
can do to be better prepared when faced with a similar experience in the
future, as well as providing an opportunity to identify shortcomings in
knowledge or skills which can be rectified by themselves or passed onto
management to provide specific training to that individual or as a team.
Graham Gibbs discussed the use of structured
debriefing. He presented the stages of structured debriefing as follows
after the initial experience :
Description -What happened?
Feelings- What were your reactions and feelings.
Evaluation – What was good or bad about your experience.
Analysis- What sense can you make of the situation?
Conclusion – What can be concluded in a general sense, from
these experiences and the analyses you have undertaken?
What can be concluded about your own specific unique
personal situation or way of working.
Personal action plans – What are you going to do differently
in this type of situation next time? What steps are you going to take on the
basis of what you have learnt.
4.2 Explain the importance of reflective practice to improve
Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice- based
professional learning settings where individuals learning from their own professional
experiences, rather than from formal teaching or knowledge transfer, may be
the most important source of personal professional development and
improvement. Further, it is also an important way to be able to bring
together theory and practice through reflection you are able to
see and label schools of thought and theory within the context of your
Reflective practice is important for my growth, to self-evaluate
my working practice and so that I can recognise my weaknesses
and strengths. Reflective practice enables me to learn from real events
and to learn from any mistakes I may have made to help me improve in the
future. This can only help in my professional development throughout
4.3 Use reflective practice and feedback from others to
I use reflective
practice on a regular basis in my job role. This comes in many different ways. For example:
From my staff – they have
a very good working knowledge of the education sector and
often make suggestions on how things can work better with ways in which we look
after our children and parents. Suggestions
on what did not work for them and how we can help make their lives more
KHDA- They visit our nursery for their checks
and they can advise how we can improve our service. Not because
we are necessarily doing something wrong but because they can advise on better
From service users(family and friends – These are
the people that know the service users the best and although we
as an organisation may do things one way they can advise that this may
work a different way for their loved ones. I need to learn to use my reflective
practice to adapt and learn new ways.
Some of the outcomes in using reflective practice may
include making changes to my personal opinions or attitudes, undertaking
further training to learn new ways of working or to understand a topic better,
listening and seeking advice and help form external sources, colleagues etc,
also learning from my own mistakes.
4.4 Evaluate how practice has been improved through:
Reflection on best practice
Reflection on failures and mistakes
Reflection on best practice
Reflection on best practice helps me think about my own
efforts and successes or achievements. Reflection is a critical thinking
strategy in which I review and analyse my work, making connections between what
I have learnt and my efforts.
Before I came here in Dubai we had a safeguarding issue involving
the previous teacher and the principal about miss use of money .I had at the
time just became a classroom teacher for a few months and was still learning so
when she left I had for an interim period as temporary principal during this
time I had to step up and quickly learn and attend meetings. The proprietors
asked if I would be interested in the job. I had to reflect
back on my efforts and achievements over not only the last few months
but over my career in education and review and analyse if I could fill this
role to the best of my ability. Which I did and my effort to my career
paid off and I am now the lead teacher of a classroom in Dubai.
Reflection on failures and mistakes
Stating what the failure/mistake was, writing an account of
why things went wrong ,how it could be avoided, who was at fault can
only mean that this will not happen again in the future. It will
high light how the incident has changed working practices so that this
knowledge can be passed on to other staff members and can be improved
I have had to reflect on the failures and mistakes the old teacher
and principal had made in their position with the financial situation and I
have had to change our policies and procedures to safeguard not only
our services users but ourselves as well. I have had to acknowledge
the mistakes made and show ministry of education, and parents how our financial
procedures have changed and show that this can never happen again in the
future. This also has impacted on the staff as they have had to change
their working practices. It was explained to them that it is not by mistakes
they have made but the way in which they were trained and taught and to show
them the benefits in working in this new way.