Clip 1 – I agree with the fact that teaching is a caring profession, and I certainly know that for me it was a calling, however, I know that this is not the case for everyone. I personally know people who have only recently decided that the teaching profession is for them, and I do not think it is fair that they be any less of a teacher because of this.
I also wholeheartedly agree with the idea that teachers are in some part similar to doctors, in that they are improving people’s lives – just as doctors can save lives, so too can teachers, albeit not medically. Teachers develop children, not just academically but socially and I believe complete the child, nourishing their talents and capabilities to a point where the child becomes a confident, independent adolescent.
When watching the interviews with the South African teachers, I found myself agreeing with everything that was said. A teacher, or indeed a professional one, must be dedicated, willing to cooperate with other staff and willing to go that extra mile in order to give these children the best education, and the best attitude towards school. The most important message from that clip in my opinion is the male teacher who simply said “Love your work.” For me, that is crucial in being a well-rounded, professional teacher. A teacher who does not enjoy going to work, and who is not totally committed to their class should not be a teacher. This affects the education of the pupils, and can lead them to see school negatively, potentially causing more serious problems later in time.
Clip 2 – The point to be stressed about this clip is that teachers are role models for the children in the school. They are someone to be admired, which refers back to my earlier point about how your motivation can affect the children. If they cannot idolize their teacher because they are negative in class, or do not appear to be fully engaged, they will seek other role models, potentially effecting their view of education totally.
Clip 3 – While I agree with both people in this clip, I think Chris is closer to my definition of professionalism. This clip raises the question to me about the difference between a worker and a professional. Can you be a professional without being a worker, just as you can be a worker without being a professional? Is a worker simply someone who arrives at work? I believe a successful professional to be someone who fully engages with their work, and has a passion for what they do, rather than someone who simply “clocks in and out” as there is no element of care for the job included in that statement.
The Construction of a Professional
In order to be a professional, I believe that you must be well rounded as an individual, which involves possessing all of the mentioned qualities. As well as a sense of motivation and determination, the idea of honesty to oneself is particularly important. Without being honest to yourself, you will not accept your flaws, and therefore cannot improve, meaning that you are not the best professional that you can be.
Patience – As a teacher, you must be patient with your class. If they are not physically or mentally coping with the lesson content, then there is no point in telling them off, the plan simply needs amended. A lack of patience makes a bad teacher in my opinion, as the work will consistently be at the wrong level or the pupils will not fully engage with the class because the teacher is always “grumpy” and shouting.
Fairness – A teacher must also be fair. There should be no favoritism within a class, although often there is. All pupils should be treated equally, and the work they are given should be fair in terms of the level they are able to work at.
Empathy – I believe the teacher should not be stranger, and times have changed from the days where the teacher was the person standing at the board with a ruler ready to smack anyone daring to go out of line. I believe a modern, professional teacher should empathize with their children and, while not getting too emotionally attached, should wholeheartedly care for the emotional well-being of the children, as well as their academic well-being.
Respect – “Respect is earned not given” is a statement I have been brought up to believe in, and still do to this day. If a teacher is actively respectful of those around them, be they staff, pupil or parent, I think children are more likely to be respectful themselves towards others (with an element of parental influence as well).
Self Control – How you present yourself as a professional is extremely important. For example, if a doctor speaking to you before an operation walked in wearing jeans and a T shirt, confidence levels of their capability will drop, regardless of what they say to you. This is also true for a teacher. If a teacher has no self control in their presentation or performance, parents and other staff will make assumptions about that teacher. That is why professional appearance is so important in my opinion.