As educators, professionalism should be ingrained in us. We, as a profession, are often frustrated by the way the public perceives us and treats us. We feel maligned and under-appreciated by parents and disrespected by students. Yet, do we present ourselves and conduct ourselves as professionals? Fortunately, the majority of educators with whom I’ve worked in my career have easily fit the definition of professionalism as stated above. From them I have learned empathy, dedication, and a commitment to improving my practice.
Unfortunately, those aren’t the ones who make headlines in the paper. Recently, I read about a teacher who made a horrible remark about a student ON FACEBOOK. Which of course, has landed him or her (I don’t know – don’t care) in the spotlight, and in the middle of a state investigation. The parent of the child is aware of the remark and angry – quite understandably. Maybe a course in professional behavior should be a requirement of certification or recertification. I don’t know what the answer is, but educators will never be looked up to as a whole as long as the unprofessional minority keep making headlines.
Curiously, I googled professionalism and looked at the images available. There were medical teams, businessmen and women, many images of people at computers, and soldiers. There were not any photos of teachers.
“Professionalism is not about adherence to the policies of a bureaucracy. Professionalism is about having the integrity, honesty, and sincere regard for the personhood of the customer, in the context of always doing what is best for the business. Those two things do not need to be in conflict.”
– Eric Lippert, software expert, author. 25 Jun 2008 at:
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