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Christine Robbins

Professional Decision Making Model


EDTE 519 Ron Sandland

Inner Landscape
As I have ventured through this journey called life, my experiences have taught me a great deal of lessons and given me an appreciation and perspective about what is important in life. While some may view my hardships as a negative experience, I have learned to embrace them and choose to find the silver lining and lesson that each situation has to offer. I believe that regardless of personal background and experiences, all people should treat others with respect and dignity, and not use it as an excuse for their behaviour. However, I realize that some people may lack the skills and values to deal with people and situations, and feel that it is my communal and professional duty to instill them in my students so that they can have the best chance for success. My journey has taught me to believe in myself and others, that everyone has a special gift to offer the world, that hard work and perseverance pay off in the end, that actions speak louder than words, and the power of positivity. My experiences have enabled me to become a strong person, who values others and desires to help them find their strengths and achieve their goals. My goal as an educator is to help my students believe in themselves, find and embrace their passion and to teach them the skills and values to become productive, active citizens. My family and friends play an important role in my life and I value their opinion when making difficult decisions. In my personal life, my family and friends have not always understood or liked my decisions, but I have always made them based on what I think is the right decision for me and those affected by my decision. However, professionally, I find that I am a self-less person who gives too much at times and that I can be a people pleaser. I believe that my students have the best chance of success when they feel supported and believed in and are provided with a variety of opportunities for them to learn. I have been trying to find the balance between giving professionally and not compromising myself personally.

Relevance
I believe that one of the most important jobs in the world is the education of children. An educator has the privilege of educating the future minds and plays an important role in shaping individual students for the bestor worst. My passion to teach grows from both negative and positive experiences and combined, drives me to reflect on my practice and consider my decision making skills and their impact on my students. I believe that a good teacher is a lifelong learner who reflects on their practice through the good and the bad and seeks guidance when needed so that they may act in the best interests of their students. I want to be the teacher that students remember as having a positive influence on their life and making that difference for them. I hope that my passion continues throughout my career and that I do not lose myself and become jaded. Investigating my personal thoughts and opinions around decision making has made me realize that although I tend to be a people pleaser, I will be faced with difficult decisions during my career and that I need to be prepared to deal with situations and make important decisions. Throughout the day, teachers are faced with many small and large decisions. An awareness of how I make decisions, my personal values, and my outlook on the world is important so that I understand and can rationalize the decisions that I make. It is important to keep this with me as a teacher and to remember that each student has their own story and regardless, need people to believe in them.

Approaches & Principles of Ethical Decision Making


Virtue approach ~ What is ethical is what develops moral virtues in ourselves
and our communities~
I believe that practicing good virtues lies the foundation to develop productive citizens who invest in their community. I am familiar with Linda Kavelin Popovs Virtue Project and will use the principles to guide my teaching of virtues to my students.

Utilitarian Approach ~Of any 2 actions, the most ethical one will produce the
greatest balance of benefits over harms~
I believe that not all choices will bring about a happy ending and that I will be challenged by the decisions that I make. However, I feel that a decision made based on ethics will bring about a more positive outcome than one that is not. Using my decision making model will help me to make sound ethical decisions for the benefit of all those affected.

Common Good Approach ~What is ethical is what advances the common


good~
I believe that decisions should be made in the best interests of the whole and not just the individual. My involvement with my community demonstrates how I genuinely value the importance of working together and helping one another to become a more just society.

BCTF & TRB Influence


Decision making is not always an easy task. In addition to my personal values and beliefs, I also need to reflect on and act in accordance with the Teacher Regulation Branch Standards and British Columbia Teacher Federation Code of Ethics when making decisions . Not only will these serve as a guideline to assist in my decision making, they can offer me assistance when I am unsure of how to deal with a situation. By following their expectations, I know that I will be acting in good faith as a professional and have backup when dealing with troubling issues. In addition to influencing my decisions around workplace issues, they also guide me in my personal life, as I need to be aware of and live by the standards and ethics of the teaching professional and conduct myself in a professional manner in my community. Combined with my personal values and beliefs, the standards and ethics will help me to make the best decision possible.

Professional Decision Making Model

Reconciliation
Creating my professional decision making model in a rationale state has provided me with a framework to follow when faced with difficult decisions. As I moved through this process, I was able to explore my values and beliefs as well as those of the teaching profession, and created a decision making model that I believe will help me make sound ethical decisions. Through this process I have learned that I have a few reconciliations that I need to make with myself before I will be able to make sound decisions. The first reconciliation that I have made is that I like to please everyone. This becomes a problem when both sides want different things or I know that they may not agree with my decision. I recognize that this is not always possible or ethical and both my personal values, beliefs, and approaches and the Standards of the TRB and Code of Ethics of the BCTF need to be kept in mind when I am making my decisions. I have realized that it is impossible to please everyone and that even when I make a decision with the best of intentions, there are always people who may have a problem with my decision and I cannot always make them see or value why I made the decision in the first place. The second reconciliation that I have made is that no matter how good my intentions are, I need to be gentle on myself as a person and a professional. I pride myself in being an active member of my family, workplace, and community. This has led me to overindulging in my work, spending countless hours and money making things perfect and often taking on too many different volunteer roles. Lately I have realized that I am reaching my limit of time and the mental capacity to be all that I would like to be, sacrificing myself as I try to manage all of the tasks and roles that I am responsible for. I have learned that I am only 1 person and only capable of so much. I have often taken on the burden of many roles and responsibilities, both in my personal and professional life, and have realized that instead of being good at a few things, I have started to be less good at many things, counterproductive of the type of person and teacher that I want to be. I am coming to realize that not every lesson will be spectacular or perfect and that although I may try my hardest, I may not be able to make the difference I would like to in all of my students lives. I am learning to say no, and feel that my decision making model will allow me to make sound decisions in the best interest of others and myself.

Summary
Throughout this program I have reflected on what I believe and think about who I am as a person and professional. I started the Bachelor of Education program with a passion to fix everything that I saw wrong with this system, but have developed a new appreciation for the profession and the things that occur in it. My biggest learning curve has been to see and value others perspectives and reflect on them without drawing conclusions before making decisions. I have learned to be kind to myself and open to looking at different perspectives and the implications of my decisions on others. I believe that doing well in academics is desirable and good, but I feel that more importantly, we need to value our students as individuals and teach them the skills necessary to become productive, active citizens who value themselves and their community. I appreciate the privilege that I have as a teacher to educate, shape and nurture our future youth and help them realize their potential, value and passion within society. Keeping this in mind, my decision making model will help me to make the best possible decisions.

References
British Columbia Teacher Federation Code of Ethics
http://bctf.ca/ProfessionalResponsibility.aspx?id=4292

Popov, Linda Kavelin (1998). The Virtues Project Educators Guide. Pro-Ed Inc: Austin, Texas. Ron Sandland (2013) Ethical Decision Making Model Powerpoint Teacher Regulation Branch Standards
http://www.bcteacherregulation.ca/Standards/StandardsDevelopment.aspx