Kirn Hans

Standard 6: Engage in professional learning

6.4.1: Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and implications for improved student learning

The nature of life is change and mankind’s strength lies in learning and adapting (Csibra & Gergely, 2011). Learning also keeps the mind alive and quick. As neuroscientists say, "use it or lose it".

PLF Guide Overview, 2021, 2021

(PLF Guide Overview, 2021)

As teachers, we can only convey beliefs that we hold ourselves. I intend to model the freedom to say "I don't know" and follow up with "but I'll find out". Modelling a willingness to confront ignorance instead of hiding it is probably the most valuable skill I can impart to students.

Copious research shows that teacher's learning improves student outcomes. Meiers (2007) emphasises the great impact teachers have on student outcomes generally, so teachers’ improvement in their practice advantages their students. Honestly for me, that's the whole point: to keep growing with the students.  Professional learning is a way to ensure that our improvement is a continued process, accruing benefit to our students.

This semester, I have learnt how many learning activities occur in the day-to-day of a teacher's work, an exciting contrast with my previous field. Learning can happen in many ways: individually, collaboratively, in a mentoring relationship, routinely, formally, etc.

A screenshot of the Diarium app

A screenshot of the Diarium app

Individually, reflection is an important ingredient of learning. I’ve previously attempted to journal but it didn’t usually go well. This semester I:

  • Bought an attractive journal app (see above)

  • Was more flexible in how I put my thoughts down

  • e.g. messaging myself ideas for improvement to be filed later, vs. using a particular section in OneNote

  • Discussed my experiences with friends

  • Advantages: I had to explain my thoughts more coherently and comprehensibly

  • Wrote a formal reflection after teaching a question for my teaching methods class
    In this class, I also watched other student teachers. I was struck by several innovative approaches and came to value the approach of peer observation.

Overall, I plan to continue these useful and agile reflective practices.

I also participated in working groups, where I learnt to deal with communication difficulties (see diagram below). I am interested in joining structured working groups in the future to benefit from the diversity of thought.


Each working group presented strategies at our in-class TeachMeet. I could see that TeachMeets are succinct, packed with ideas and excellent ways of invigorating one's thinking, really firing that drive to try something new. I look forward to attending TeachMeets in-service.

As a software engineer, I have both been mentored and mentored others. I found that, like feedback, advice was most helpful when it was targeted and actionable. As a teacher, I intend to solicit constructive feedback from my supervisor through specific questions, in order to maximise the improvements I can make. I have enjoyed taking notes when observing more experienced peers and so I intend to participate in other feedback-based forms of collective learning, such as lesson studies and instructional rounds. 

Learning expands a teacher's toolkit. Much of the research I've read in my first M. Teach semester was written in the last twenty years. The field of teaching is growing like grass under our feet and we have a duty to grow with it.