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Critical Reflection on Teacher Professionalism

            As a teacher candidate in the Faculty of Education program at Althouse I, in less than seven months, will consider myself a professional teacher. However, I have learned rather quickly that a professional qualification does not magically make you a professional, in the true sense of the word. Also belonging to a specific profession will not automatically guarantee that the service you provide is a professional one. Subsequently, teaching as a professional is a difficult thing to do for it encompasses many roles to be done well. There are many certified teachers in my family, and it is discomforts me that before my decision to become a teacher I never considered them as Professionals. For myself, I have viewed teachers simply as good role models and even friends, but never held them with such regard in a professional light.
             Since experiencing practicum along side these last few months at Althouse, my opinion on what is considered professional has changed drastically. According to the document Professionalism and Professionalisation given in class, professionalism is the manner of conduct within an occupation. It refers to how members integrate their obligations with their practical and theoretical knowledge and skill in context of collegiality and contractual relationship with their various clients (p. 216). I read this and understood that yes this is a good definition, but how does it differentiate a professional teacher and say a professional athlete? The article continued to add, the actions of a professional are based on what is best, and what is best is a matter of practical judgement: at the root of teaching in practice, therefore, are not items of knowledge as discrete measurable techniques, but judgment, which is itself a form of knowledge. Tempered by growing practical understanding, that judgment emerges as wisdom (p. 210). This part of the article explained what it means to be professional as a teacher in the sense that its not about the number of degrees or how many subjects you can teach, but our judgment.

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