In all professions, members are held up to professional standards while practicing in their domain, but the question always is, what professional responsibility do we have away from our domains that we should be expected to maintain? As a teacher, for years our profession has not been seen as an equal "profession" or as professional as say a doctor or lawyer, but that does not mean we should not have a professional responsibility outside of our classroom.
I believe that we have a professional responsibility outside the classroom in a few capacities. First, I think it is our responsibility to maintain current teaching practices and trends in student learning. This means using our own time to research, read, participate and follow in professional development in the multitude of forms that are presented to us. Too often I see fellow professionals out of current practices or reject an opportunity to further their learning because it is not presented to them during their paid work day. How can we expect students to review work, complete homework or projects etc. outside of school hours if we ourselves are not willing to put in hours outside our designated "professional time"?
Secondly, I think we have a professional responsibility outside the classroom when it comes to socialization & relaxation. Now I am not saying our employers or professional college designation should dictate what we can and cannot partake in outside of school hours, but I am saying that we have one of the most influential responsibilities in our communities. I have seen a few fellow colleagues forget or disregard that members of our school community (parents and students), and have been less than professional. I believe that this is a factor as to why we are not regarded sometimes as professionals in our domain. Anytime the public can knock us for something (and we all know they love to do that), they will. It takes just one colleague to paint us all with the same brush, but that colour is not representative of the teaching/teachers as a whole. Thus, I think that we should have to uphold the standards of practice that are regulated upon us in the classroom outside of the classroom. This might help our public image and the influence we have within our community.
Personally, I take my professional responsibility outside of the classroom as a privilege. I have been privileged enough to be granted an opportunity to engage as a professional within the classroom and I believe that without this same responsibility outside the classroom, it would seem redundant. I thrive on taking professional development sessions at any opportunity even if it means #TeamAmelie gets a few more minutes if iPad time so that I can participate in a webinar or take an online course. Staying current with trends and learning styles of our students (essentially our clients) is our responsibility no matter when or how it occurs. We are letting our profession, our "clients" and essentially our futures down if we garnish our professional responsibility outside of the classroom.
What do you believe our professional responsibility outside the classroom is or should be?
Time to reflect with sunshine & happiness today & forever.