YOUR Professional Posture
definition, a profession is the work of persons who possess a
body of knowledge, skills, and practices that must be continually
tested and upgraded with colleagues. A professional field, as
opposed to a technical one, is one that prizes constant dissatisfaction
with one’s own practice with current clients as the core
to better service to clients in the future.
Carl D. Glickman
Leadership for Learning: How to Help Teachers Succeed
As we come to the close of what I hope has been a successful school
year for you and your students, I think it is apropos to end with
a reflection of those behaviors that often define us as professionals.
Some of the behaviors listed below have been adapted from The
First Days of School by Harry Wong.
1. Join or Organize a Study Group
Vygostsky maintained that learning is a social activity and it is
best done with others. Great ideas and insights are made in study
groups. Additionally, if the group is school-based, teachers can
conduct grade-wide planning, which gives them more time to refine
specific areas of instruction. Moreover, it gives teachers an opportunity
to make “critical friends.”
2. Read for Growth
Reading is one of the most essential practices that keep us informed
about our profession. Scholarly journals, teacher magazines, and
websites inform various aspects of our practice. Reading gives us
food for thought as we ponder and implement ideas, theories, and
strategies that relate to effective instruction.
3. Observe Other Effective Teachers
As a new teacher, I found observing effective teachers a worthwhile
practice that helped me hone my own skills and gave me numerous
ways to teach difficult concepts.
4. Participate in Conferences, Forums and Seminars
Invaluable, considering that conferences, forums, and seminars give
us the opportunity to:
network and meet others
brainstorm solutions and solve problems together
view an issue or problem from a different perspective
ask clarifying questions that may deepen our understanding of important
5. Use Relevant Research and Data to Drive Instruction
Effective instruction is based on relevant data and research that
describe best practice. As professionals we want to use quality
formative and summative data along with current research to inform
our practice. As professionals we must keep our eyes on the goal:
selecting research that informs our practice and impacts student
6. Join a Professional Organization
All professionals have organizations that will keep them informed
about important trends, effective practices, updated research, and
improved methods. As educators, it is a good idea to become a member
of an organization which reflects your area of specialization.
7. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Celebrating your accomplishments is a way to motivate yourself to
continue moving forward and refine your knowledge and skills. The
Teachers Network has been a tremendous example of professionalism
in its commitment to educators. It has provided support in numerous
ways nationally and internationally. I congratulate and thank The
Teachers Network as it celebrates twenty-five years of outstanding
dedication to the field of education and its profound impact on
the lives of educators and students.
Educators who are proactive problem-solvers are continually searching
for ways to refine their practice and maintain a professional posture.
Glickman sums it up best with the following quote:
Without the cultivation of dissatisfaction and
critique, without being clear about our purposes, and without
the need to use a knowledge base in practice, we have no education
and no profession.
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