A key benchmark we set for ourselves at TMS is the on-going monitoring of our professional attributes as teachers. To this end, we have developed a list of five ‘Teacher Attributes’ which describe the effective characteristics and behaviours expected of a professional educator working in TMS. These five attributes are reflected upon in annual appraisals.
Our expectation is that all TMS teachers should exhibit these professional attributes in all their teaching and interactions throughout the life of the school in which they work. In this way we aim to set the highest standards of teaching in our schools, so that we can be viewed as a role model of excellent provision. These attributes reflect our understanding that we see the work of school Heads and teachers as central to achieving these high standards and excellent provision.
We see these professional attributes not as something to be simply achieved, but as forming a framework for reflection and action towards providing the best education experience for our students.
Aims of this Policy
The attributes of the TMS teacher define the type of teacher that works at TMS, and from this, the TMS teacher attributes provide us with a foundation upon which we base the quality of our provision.
The aims of this policy are to:
- Recognise the status of TMS teachers as professional educators, as professionals who are confident in their subject knowledge as well as the pedagogy of their subject, and people who are able to sustain their professionalism in all they do.
- Underline the role of teachers as reflective practitioners, always striving for improvement and change
- Support teachers as agents of change
- Set expectations for life in school which support teachers’ interest and motivation, and maintain high levels of morale so as to ensure consistently high levels of provision
The Teacher Attributes
Confident in teaching their subject and engaging each student in learning, Millennial teachers know their subject well and know how to teach it. They seek to understand their students and their educational needs. They strive to communicate a love of learning and to encourage students to engage actively in their own learning.
Responsible for themselves, responsive to and respectful of, others. Millennial teachers are highly professional in their approach to teaching and they are collaborative and supportive. They understand their actions will help shape future generations and they are concerned about the holistic development of every individual they teach.
Reflective as students themselves, developing their practice. Millennial teachers are themselves students, seeking to build on and develop their knowledge and skills through a cycle of reflection on practice – involving research, evaluation and adaptation. They support students to become independent and reflective students.
Innovative and equipped for new and future challenges. Millennial teachers are creative, experimenting with new ideas and pursuing an enquiring approach in their teaching. They are open to new challenges, being resourceful, imaginative and flexible. They are always ready to learn and apply new skills and techniques.
Engaged intellectually, professionally and socially, ready to make a difference. Millennial teachers are passionate about learning within and beyond the classroom, sharing their knowledge and skills with teachers in the wider educational community.
Teacher Attributes in Practice
All TMS teachers should strive for developing the following qualities:
- Attribute 1: Confident
TMS teachers have the intellectual background and emotional characteristics needed to effectively and independently implement their instructional and managerial duties associated with teaching the different levels of students we have at TMS.
This should be evident in the way teachers interact with colleagues and students in school, move about the school campus, use/ manipulate various teaching resources, and perform the actions associated with the duties of their teaching position. A confident teacher is evident in the way he/she interacts with others, meets professional obligations, takes efforts to manage the whole school learning environment and handles problems with a professional attitude. A confident teacher should take pride in his or her professional appearance at all times and present himself/herself in a manner of dress and hygiene which is professionally appropriate to working in a school.
The confident TMS teacher should have excellent oral communication skills. A teacher’s oral communication reflects appropriate clarity, fluency and grammatical correctness, proficient use of Standard English and understandable accent, appropriate formality to any situation and verbal flexibility allowing rephrasing or translating of ideas or questions, especially in teaching where understanding of a topic is key for students. This quality should be evident in all oral interactions of the teacher, including formal interactions with colleagues and parents, as well as in a teacher’s oral interaction with their students in school. A teacher must be able to initiate enough communication to successfully carry out their work responsibilities, such that hiding limitations through non-participation is a negative attribute. Teachers whose spoken language is grammatically incorrect should seek support and professional development. It is the teacher’s responsibility to make the improvement.
Furthermore, a teacher’s written work should reflect appropriate and accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, format, and English usage, and demonstrate organisation and composition that effectively communicate ideas, directions, explanations, lesson plans, messages, and other teaching-related written products.
Information communications, such as email and messages, should also be considered as a form of professional written communication. Correctness in written English is a basic essential, but clarity, organisation and significance of message are also necessary. Moreover, correctness must be evident in spontaneously produced writing generated by the teacher.
TMS teacher must demonstrate positive attitudes in interactions with other professionals, collaborate with colleagues, relating easily and appropriately to those in authority, and complying with rules and reporting problems with school operations with reference to specific evidence and reasonable courtesy. For this attribute, good working relationships with colleagues at all levels should be evident.
The confident TMS teacher should demonstrate a high degree of rapport, relating easily and appropriately to students and others responsible to him or her, providing leadership or direction while involving others and listening to, and incorporating, their needs and concerns. This should be evident in professional activities in which the teacher is in a leadership or management role, such that over-looking the reactions, needs, and involvement of those who are his/her responsibility, finding it difficult to organise, to communicate with, or to direct the activities of a group for which he or she is responsible, and failing to establish a mutually satisfying rapport with those he or she is to teach would be evidence that a teacher cannot undertake their responsibilities in teaching.
Confidence also is dependent on a teacher’s awareness of individual differences, such that a TMS teacher should be able to recognise and empathise with people from a range of backgrounds, and demonstrate sensitivity to social expectations in varied environments. This means that the confident TMS teacher will be aware that the general expectation, at times, can be to require alteration of his or her usual behaviour by changing that behaviour to meet the expectations of others, whether it is in appearance, dress, language, or some other dimension of his or her social presence in school.
- Attribute 2: Responsible
TMS teachers should work cooperatively with colleagues, school Heads, staff and others they come into contact with in school to realise our ambition to ensure the most effective holistic development of TMS students. To do this, teachers should contribute constructively to team objectives, make constructive suggestions and accept suggestions and handle constructive criticism professionally, and take steps to modify behaviour appropriately.
Evidence of this attribute should be observable in a wide variety of group/team situations in school, from participation in whole group discussions and small group tasks; to questioning and contributing in formal meetings, deparTMSntal and social task-related meetings, and in conversations with colleagues and parents.
TMS teachers are also tactful, recognising the implications of words and actions upon others and avoid situations which offend company/ school rules and norms. Because the TMS teacher serves as an important model to other professionals as well as students and is a key representative of the school, the teacher’s ability to handle a variety of situations with a variety of adult and child individuals in appropriate ways is extremely important. Therefore, every TMS teacher must be aware of, and compensate for, the feelings and self-esteem of others.
The TMS teacher should be well-organised, monitoring and controlling time, materials, and the achievement of expectations about his/her work. This might mean keeping a calendar so as to not be caught out by missed due dates and coming prepared to meetings or teaching with all appropriate and necessary resources, materials and plans. For the TMS teacher, organisation is therefore a function of personality, so it is expected to take various forms, but will always mean that the TMS teacher is never unprepared. The responsible teacher undertakes and completes assigned tasks, meets school and programme requirements and deadlines, anticipates problems and plans ahead, and adapts to professional standards and policies. This requires the teacher’s awareness of institutional requirements, rules, regulations and schedules, and of the maturity and responsibility to meet such expectations. The seasoned teacher will manage this attribute with ease and promptness. Being familiar with handbooks and curriculum content, attending informational meetings, seeking advice and guidance from management and colleagues, and complying with stated procedures and schedules are key to this attribute.
Attendance and punctuality are key indicators of the responsible TMS teacher. The teacher should be present and punctual for class and appoinTMSnts, arranging ahead of time with all necessary individuals for unavoidable delays or absences, and should never solicit exceptions for anything except very special and legitimate circumstances.
Responsibility is also connected to professional maturity: The responsible TMS teacher displays poise in task completion and personal interactions, acknowledges his or her own responsibility and accountability, and never attempts to transfer fault or blame to others or to rationalise his or her own inadequate or missing performance. These should be evident in the teacher’s behaviours in his or her academic activities on school campus and in his or her related responsibilities. Any teacher who fails to prepare to plan for his/her work, to meet a deadline or to fulfil some other responsibility, but who also consistently tries to place the fault on someone else clearly does not demonstrate this attribute. A high level of professional maturity is expected from all teachers.
- Attribute 3: Reflective
For all TMS teachers, reflectivity is the backbone of their professionalism. All teachers should recognise, seek and apply the best theories, research and practice in all professional activities in school, and should feel pride to assert his or her intention of becoming the best teacher that s/he can be, demonstrating a commiTMSnt to education as a career. Throughout a teacher’s affiliation with TMS, the school Head and other members of management will observe whether a teacher demonstrates behaviour that reflects such commiTMSnt.
The reflective teacher should exhibit simultaneous awareness of all aspects of the learning environment. This attribute encompasses many intangibles required of the teaching profession, for example, teachers learning to ‘think on their feet’ and have ‘eyes in the backs of their heads’. This means that the TMS teacher is able to effectively balance all requirements of the job.
To be successful in the teaching profession, a teacher must reflect on, and evaluate professional experiences with constructive criticism. This means that the good teacher constantly asks questions about their teaching and of their students’ learning, they review classroom data (e.g. grades and assignment marks) and consider what can be done differently. This attribute is demonstrated through inquiry-based approaches, conversations with colleagues about students, as well as written reflections.
- Attribute 4: Innovative
TMS teachers should demonstrate flexibility and patience, displaying a willingness and ability to adapt to changes in events, conditions, activities and tasks, and an overall patience for circumstances and human interactions that occur on a daily basis in schools. The nature of teaching in a classroom and working in a school means that the unexpected should be anticipated as the norm in teaching, so evidence of this attribute should be a teacher’s response to the unexpected, for example, changes in schedules, unexpected requirements, or unplanned challenges such as a team member not completing his or her portion of a work activity.
An innovative teacher is observable through their reactions and facial expressions, conversational tone with colleagues and school administration/management as well as in written responses like emails, messages and professional reflections.
The TMS teacher displays a high degree of creativity, able to synthesise theories and practice into new, personalised adaptations and applications in their teaching. The creative TMS teacher, therefore pursues unusual, unique solutions and insights related to lesson planning, design and presentation of lessons, organisation of the classroom environment, and management of the whole-school learning environment. This quality might be demonstrated by the integration of diverse content within teaching and strategies such as the use of unusual resources, or the use of usual resources in unusual ways and by fresh, spontaneous responses to teaching scenarios.
The TMS teacher also should display a high degree of personal initiative and risk-taking, displaying independence and motivation in undertaking activities and assignments given by management. Teachers should demonstrate this quality by their readiness get involved and attempt the unfamiliar, and, sometimes, fail. All teachers should also show a willingness to assume leadership of his or her own learning rather than waiting for learning to happen.
The TMS teacher is enthusiastic, displaying energy and enthusiasm, and responding equally appropriately to humour as to difficulties. Therefore, it is expected that teachers will be excited to be in school and continually learning about the teaching profession. An enthusiastic, humorous approach to teaching leads to increased student engagement, interest and learning, so it is anticipated that a teacher’s level of enthusiasm will be a function of his or her personality. An engaged teacher has a ‘style’, a very clear identity of themselves as a professional.
Teachers exhibiting difficulty with the TMS Teacher Attributes should meet with the team from MIPD and be placed on a professional growth plan to guide their ongoing development.