As an extension to being asked to discuss and define 5 different professional virtues, I found myself considering what I thought were some of the most important qualities to display as a teacher and why. And after spending some time on the task, it has become clear that each trait I value highly is closely linked to the other. But even more obviously, they’re all about acting and behaving in a way that I would be proud to demonstrate to my pupils.
Your conscience allows you to evaluate your actions and your thoughts with a moral sense of what is right and what is wrong, either before you act on them or after. I believe that having a professional conscience in the teaching field is vitally important-understanding that as a teacher your actions, your words and your behaviour can have serious repercussions to a child’s understanding and experiences of education is, in my opinion, central to your journey to becoming a person of educational influence.
Both in my personal life and as an aspiring professional, I feel that to have and to display integrity is crucial. To exhibit the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles in your daily proceedings shows honour and reliability. I believe that this in turn demonstrates that you are a serious professional who is willing to stick to what they believe, even if this is difficult.
Honesty is, of course, an important virtue to honour both professionally and personally. Reputation is important, and if you have one of sincerity and truthfulness people will be willing to take your word seriously. And in my opinion, trust is an incredibly important part of being respected.
To show tolerance is to demonstrate the ability and the willingness to accept opinions or behaviour that you might not agree with. If we are to teach our children to grow and develop into effective contributors and responsible citizens, we must also teach them to understand that people will not always agree with their belief or outlook. And therefore it is our responsibility as educators to illustrate the kind of behaviour we expect from our children by having an open mind and displaying tolerance when necessary.
I think that in a professional sense, to show respect is to have due regard and to value people and their work. This in many ways goes hand in hand with tolerance- even if you don’t agree with someone’s views or work ethic, it is still important to treat everyone with respect and professionally.