Professionalism varies by industry and career. In education, teachers have broad professional standards based on their interactions with students, parents, community members, colleagues, staff and administrators. The first step in becoming a professional is to earn a degree in education and meet state licensing standards. Most states also require that educators engage in continuing education to maintain licensure.
Educators must show up on time, stay until their contracted work day ends, flex to complete non-teaching tasks, project a professional presence in and out of school, and demonstrate compassion for students. In addition, teachers have responsibilities in communicating well with multiple stakeholders. A teacher collaborates with parents in the academic process, as well as when dealing with conduct problems. Professional demeanor, appropriate language and a positive attitude are all necessary. Educators also need to respect the support roles of staff members and the direction of principals and other administrators.
- ACSD: Guiding School Improvement with Action Research: Chapter 3. Professionalism, Teacher Efficacy, and Standards-Based Education
- Science Director: Defining “Teacher Professionalism” from Different Perspectives: Abstract
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher
- Photo Credit Cathy Yeulet/Hemera/Getty Images
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