A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified activity. This could mean having a professional manner to their work or being part of what society deems a profession. Not to get into debate or start my assignment early, I am going to reflect upon 5 key aspects that help construct the teacher as a professional.
To be able to show concern for the misfortunes of others is such a meaningful attribute to have in the teaching profession. As a teacher you work and come into contact with people from all walks of life; relating to them in a compassionate manner puts yourself in a more favourable light. There is a wariness to not become condescending but this is learnt with time and I believe it is better for a teacher to show compassion than indifference. Hopefully if a child is shown compassion they are more likely to mimic and display this in their own lives and the wider community.
This is a harder characteristic to reflect upon but an incredibly important one. A teacher must first and foremost be honest with themselves, true reflection is needed to be a better teacher. To be honest with pupils and families is to give meaningful input and constructive criticism but never to pass judgement. The community needs to see a professional manner and to be brutally honest may become detrimental.
This leads on well from honesty as morals can be so varied between the teacher, her class and indeed colleagues. When it comes to a child’s safety, moral courage is paramount. Being able to justifiably protect the children in our care is so important. Even if the outcome isn’t of great benefit personally, there should be no doubt when it comes to doing the right thing. Corresponding closely with the GTCS Standards for Registration and beyond.
Teachers should give respect but also hope to be treated with respect. When the teacher is treated disrespectfully it is within their power to act in a manner becoming of the profession and our regulatory body. No respect can be given if it is not deserved: it is the regards for the rights, abilities and qualities of others. Gaining respect as a teacher must be so valuable in their job and the wider community. Respected professionals are listened to, confided in, needed and trusted by those around them. It must be a very rewarding feeling.
Justice (fairness in the way people are treated), namely Social Justice (distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within society) should mean so much to today’s teacher because the world is increasingly interdependent. The GTCS standard put Social Justice at the core of Professional Values and Personal Commitment (GTCS 1.1.1). It is my hope that I can help create a Just Society; help to create an informed and Socially Just generation, so atrocities are not repeated. Teachers have to predominantly teach in a Socially Just fashion; fact independent from opinion and that is what they are entrusted to provide. As a teacher it is vital to help children act in a Just manner, therefore they must educate children with various theories and a holistic approach. The Curriculum for Excellence relates to this with the idea of a global citizen but the concept of justice resonates in the four capacities; Successful Learners (openness to new ideas), Confident Individuals (secure values and beliefs), Responsible Citizens (respect for others) and Effective Contributors (enterprising attitude). Providing a Socially Just education in a Just manner.