1.1 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 adhere to all current educational policies, health and safety rules, legislations and guidelines for good practice in my work place.Professional development refers to the acquisitions of skills and knowledge both for personal development and career enhancement.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.2.2 Analyse potential barriers to professional development. Potential barriers to continuing professional development could be: 1. 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.2. 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.3. 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.4. Demotivated – no encouragement from management or senior staff. The directors should encourage and sustain a friendly and encouraging environment for work.5. Inadequate meetings6. Poor time management7. Lack of resources8. Inadequate regular supervisions9. Conflict of interest10. Low self- esteem – If an individual lacks self-confidence.11. Not an effective communicator12. Sickness13. Not having enough qualifications.1.2 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 objectives.This will create a plan for them to move forward and identify their training needs to allow them to grow and evolve. This in turn, in the long run helps not only the individual but the organization.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 more 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.1.4 Explain factors to consider when selecting opportunities and activities for keeping knowledge and practice up to date.Prioritizing important elements important can assist in highlighting what training should selected. What goals need to be achieved for the service users we have? What training does the staff team want? 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 position.The lead teachers must be up to date on new policies as this will help them prioritize what training is needed and when.Time 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 rather than all have to travel to a training facility as travelling can create extra cost. 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 and benchmarks. 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 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. 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 expected standards. 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.3.3 Establish a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. 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 improvementMeasureable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progressAssignable – specify who will do itRealistic- 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 of 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.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 success.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 1994I 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 performance.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 work.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 my career.4.3 Use reflective practice and feedback from others to improve performance. 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 fulfilled.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 way.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 practiceReflection on failures and mistakesReflection 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 upon.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.