Teacher Professionalism : Do I Need To Be Scared?
What is in teacher professionalism that I personally feel like it’s unreachable for me at this point in time? Characteristics enumerated in the resources given and from what I have learned from other articles are kind of too high that I have this feeling of fear. Before taking this program, I believe I have already set a high standard to myself because I don’t want to be termed as someone who belongs to the “anyone can teach” description. But it seems like I need to re-adjust my standard or time frame.
If I have to put this in a drawing, I am in this:
At the back of my mind, there’s a doubt forming in after immersion to teacher professionalism topic. Am I on the right track? Did I underestimate teaching? Will I be able to align myself to the profession with my time frame before I can go back to teaching? I thought I will feel less inadequacy after learning the principles and theories related to teaching and yet all the more I feel obliged to do something after this. I attended a lot of teaching workshops and seminars as part of the requirements of the job I was in and I understand that I need to participate in the Continuing Professional Education even after this as it is stated on the Code of Professional Code of Ethics for Teachers (Article IV Section 3). If I am to teach English as a second language, do I need to get myself into an English teaching specialization class in order to be professional and qualified to teach? I mean assuming I already passed the LET. Although I am not required to be a teaching graduate and board passer to be able to work, I personally imposed the standard on myself to have education units.
Let me go back to the Philippine setting of teaching. A friend graduated from a nursing school, took an exam and passed it. She graduated cum laude and pursued Masters in Nursing. While still doing her Masters, she was hired to be a an instructor by her school. Another case, a cousin who’s a CPA and a lawyer was hired by his alma mater to teach accounting and law subjects. What’s bothering me is that why are they allowed to teach? Does their license signify knowledge of the teaching principles and learning theories? If teacher professionalism involves content/subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge which according to Matthew Koehler (2001) is a ” deep knowledge about the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning and how it encompasses (among other things) overall educational purposes, values and aims’, I think what they do is against teacher professionalism. I maybe wrong with my conclusion but it makes me confused actually. Even Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers (Article IV Section 2) states that “Every teacher shall uphold the highest possible standards of quality education, shall make the best preparations for the career of teaching, and shall be at his best at all times and in the practice of teaching.”
As for my case, I have to design another standard to be satisfied and not feel unworthy for the teaching profession. I am considering an English teaching specialization lesson after this to have peace of mind. I maybe overwhelmed by what this topic has presented to me but I have to face the challenge. I know that I have yet a lot to learn to be part of the “highly qualified and committed teaching force” (Linda Darling-Hammond, 1996, p.5) that the 21st century schools need. I just have to reconcile my shock with the reality because even both Clement (2002) and Seifert (1999) stressed that ‘becoming a professional teacher is a process that takes time to master.‘
Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers
Tichenor, M. S. & Tichenor, J. M. (2005). Understanding teachers’ perspectives on professionalism. The Professional Educator, 27(1&2), 89-95.
Koehler, M. (2011). Pedagogical Knowledge via http://mkoehler.educ.msu.edu/tpack/pedagogical-knowledge-pk/