Week 26 – Professional Contexts of Practice
How do the different facets of my community of practice influence my practice?
What is the organisational culture that underpins your practice? How would you contribute to fostering a positive professional environment in your community of practice?
“A school’s culture is shaped by its history, context and the people in it” (Strategic Leadership and Educational Improvement, 2003) Rotorua Boys’ High School had its beginnings as Rotorua High and Grammar School, founded in 1927 to replace the earlier Rotorua District High School (1914-1926). Encased in a tradition of celebrating the success of all young men. The influence of local Maori throughout its history is a significant continuing theme. Ngati Whakaue first bequeathed parcels of lands in Rotorua for health and education, and this is where Rotorua Boys’ High School stands. Most Māori student’s whakapapa can be related to Te Arawa, but a full range of iwi are represented in the school. To belong to and be part of such a community rich in tradition, one cannot help but be profoundly influenced by it in our everyday interactions with the students. Ultimately this improves student/ teacher relationships and promotes higher educational achievement for Maori. The implementation of the Te Kotahitanga programme at our school has had and continues to have, an enormous influence on our relationships and outcomes with Maori students, communities and iwi groups. All staff can take part in continuous professional development, promoting general reflection and learning within our teaching practice, ultimately this forms an integral part of our teaching. One of the many aims of this program is to provide the best possible learning environments for all of our students at Raukura; where students are highly engaged and experience academic success. Belonging to this community enhances the relationship between teacher and student.
Within my community of practice at school, the learning environment, and the school’s goals serve to increase the students and educators capabilities and generate new knowledge that extends the performance of individuals and therefore the organisation and wider communities.
As head of faculty, I am an active participant, who continually contributes to the shared identity of our school. To meet this goal, it is necessary to foster positive relationships not only with my staff but all the contributing areas that ultimately make up my areas of a professional community. “Strong working relationships need five essential ingredients for success: Communication, Collaboration, Culture, Creativity and Commitment”(Ackerman & Krupp, 2012) Incorporating and building on each of the five Cs above within my faculty, results in a complete structure that fosters teamwork and provides a foundation for success. I believe that by promoting a positive and supportive atmosphere in my department, I encourage staff to maintain a positive and supportive environment in their classrooms.
My extended professional community entails networking with other schools, holding advisory meetings with outside agencies and collaborating with industry. Building and maintaining healthy positive relationships with these communities is essential to our success. Ultimately there are many layers to consider which all weave together to form a cohesive network that contributes successfully to, building, learning and collaborating.
Ackerman, A. S., & Krupp, M. L. (2012). Five Components to Consider for BYOT/BYOD. International Association for Development of the Information Society. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED542652
Lyall, K. J. (2003). Rotorua’s plume: A history of Rotorua Boys’ High School, 1880-2001. Rotorua, N.Z.: Board of Trustees, Rotorua Boys High School.
Strategic Leadership and Educational Improvement. (2003). SAGE Publications. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=T8iDRMW4qFsC&pgis=1