Category Archives: Professional Studies

Qualities of a Professional Teacher.

I feel that to be a professional teacher it is necessary that you have patience. Some children may take longer to understand certain subjects or pieces of information and it is vital that you are patient and take the time to fully explain so that they understand and learn from your teaching. During school, I found that in particular subjects I would require the teacher to explain things in a little more depth before I fully understood, and this would only help my learning if the teacher had the patience to spend extra time on the same thing. Many teachers wouldn’t do this and I would therefore struggle in their subjects. I feel that it is unacceptable for a teacher to act this way. As a teacher it is your job to make sure that all pupils can work and learn to the best of their ability, and without the patience to do so you are not fulfilling your role as a professional teacher. In my opinion, a professional teacher would consider their teaching style to make sure that it is meeting the needs of all learners, remembering that everyone learns in different ways – visually, orally and kinaesthetically.

Another quality which I feel is vital for a teacher to possess is fairness. Teachers must have the ability to treat all children equally. Teachers must take a fair approach, for example when it comes to behaviour, and ensure that all children are disciplined equally. From my own experience of primary school, I found that many of the male pupils in my class would receive harsher discipline than the females, even though they were being punished for the exact same thing. I find this to be extremely unprofessional as a teacher should make a conscious effort to ensure that all of her pupils are treated equally. It is also a requirement that as a teacher you must adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and so this helps to guarantee that all teachers will be fair.

An extremely important virtue for a professional teacher to hold is respect. Teachers must be able to show their pupils that they respect everyone around them, no matter what religion or culture they belong to. Respect is a quality which everybody should have, and so if teachers reinforce this idea with their own actions, children are more likely to follow and respect others. Teachers should always consider themselves to be role models for their pupils and so they should model this virtue alongside all of the others so that children can learn from it.

Personally, I feel that empathy is a very important quality in being a professional teacher. Being empathetic allows teachers to understand their pupils’ emotions and gives them the ability to relate to them. Pupils will originate from various cultures and backgrounds and so teachers need to be able to understand each individual’s situation as this will help the children to feel more comfortable to discuss any problems which they might be having at home. It is necessary to keep professional boundaries between student and teacher, but learners should see their teacher as someone that they can approach if they need or want to. Having empathy can help the children to understand that they are not alone and that the things that they are feeling are normal.

I feel that integrity is an important characteristic for a professional teacher to have. Integrity is the quality of honesty and having strong moral principles and so it is necessary for the teacher to have these so that the pupils can be educated to act in the same way. Pupils should see their teachers as a figure to look up to and so integrity allows teachers to be a role model for their pupils.

I have chosen these five qualities to be the most important from the list, however I believe that all of the qualities listed are important and that they should come naturally to a professional teacher.

Professionalism and the Online World.

One challenge that I may be faced with when marrying the personal vs the professional presence on social media is that parents or pupils may find personal accounts. Nowadays a lot of people have accounts on various social media sites. As a student teacher I believe that it is imperative that any social media accounts are kept completely private. It is also crucial that the individual is aware of what is acceptable when posting things on social media sites. This will help to maintain a professional image as a teacher. Teachers should be cautious of what they post and who may see it at all times remembering that not only the children, but their parents too may be active on social media sites.

I think that as a teacher it would be a good idea to have a personal account which is kept private and can only be viewed by friends and family. If however there is a need to have an account which can be viewed by parents and pupils, this should be kept professional and should not have any posts which give out any personal details. I think that the use of social media accounts to keep in contact with pupils and parents can be very useful, for example, when my year group went on a school trip to Italy my teacher set up a facebook group which included all of the pupils, and parents if they wished to be involved. This group was then used to post important information about the trip whilst it was being planned and also whilst we were there so that the teachers could ensure that the parents had regular updates of how our trip was going. This worked really well and everyone found it to be an extremely easy way to organise our trip.

Another reason why I think teachers social media accounts should be kept private is that some children may attempt to contact them over the internet. This can be a very challenging issue for teachers to deal with. Pupils should be able to speak to teachers in school if they are having any issues or have any questions to ask, they should not attempt to speak to teachers over social media. This helps to maintain a professional boundary between the pupil and the teacher, there should be a professional relationship present and not a friendship.

However, I feel that if teachers use social media correctly it can be an effective tool when highlighting the importance of internet safety to pupils. Due to the advancement of technology, most children are very up to date with the latest internet trends and so I believe that it is important that all children know the dangers of social media as this is a current issue where children are at risk. In my opinion the use of social media to highlight these dangers would be effective as it is something that pupils are ­­­familiar with and so they may find it easier to understand just how serious the issue is and how much they are at risk.

Having grown up in a world where social media is constantly becoming more popular I understand the dangers of it and how to use it appropriately. I am aware that becoming a teacher carries with it a certain responsibility with regards to social media and ensuring that all children know how to use it safely. I hope to continue to use my knowledge of social media throughout my teaching career.