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Teacher Professionalism

Updated on August 24, 2015
Dr Vishal Varia profile image

Dr. Varia, is a Ph.D. in Education, working as Mg. Director for Rosary School Rajkot. He is an educationist with commitment to his field.

Professional Traits of a Teacher

Professional Traits of a Teacher

Society respectfully eyes a Doctor, Architect, Engineer, Chartered Accountant, University Professor, etc. but when it comes to a teacher, especially a School Teacher that respect is often taken lightly. In such cases, a teacher looses the charm of his or her role and merely restricts towards fulfillment of duty without much intervention into the fulfillment of the objective of a teacher. As a result the parents often develop hostility for such teacher. However, it is also quoted that “Teaching is the birth place of all other profession”. It is a teacher who is responsible for creating all other professions.

Teacher Professionalism has always been a topic of hot debate in the Education Field. Whether a teacher can be called a Professional or not is not in the scope of this article to justify, rather it is a subjective approach and we will not fall into the details of it. What we shall be looking forward in this article is what traits teacher should possess in order to be recognized as a professional and earn his or her respect as a teacher in society.

Undergoing a literature review of the researches done in this direction by different scholars in Education Discipline the following traits can be derived:

1. Punctuality:

Punctuality means time keeping. It essentially means time keeping in various other errands that a teacher does like reaching class on time, leaving class on time, completing syllabus timely, submitting paper for exam or test in due time, distributing scores to the students on timely basis, submitting mark sheets on time to prepare results, etc. If one is punctual all other things can be compromised or developed. For a teacher meeting the requirements of time, in time, is a must.

2. Content Mastery:

It is very obvious that a teacher must have the relevant knowledge about the subject he or she takes in the class. Content mastery for a teacher involves full knowledge about the text books and related reference books, having sufficient reference to the question paper and question bank for taking test for the subject, having reference to relevant audio and video content pertaining towards the subject, a charge or attitude for keeping oneself updated with respect to the his/ her subject, etc. Content Mastery for a teacher also refers to the ability of the teacher to solve the doubts of students and rather create curiosity in the minds of students and develop a liking towards his / her subject in students.

3. Contemporary Knowledge

Contemporary knowledge refers to know how with present day technology related to the subject. It refers to the teachers’ ability to use the present day tools for communication, teaching and learning. A teacher is said to have contemporary knowledge if he or she is conversant with the use of technology, i.e. computers, internets, android applications, etc. A teacher can upgrade his or her contemporary knowledge by joining in online communities over Linkedin, facebook, twitter, google+ etc. and having knowledge for the use of Google Docs, Google Scholar, Microsoft Networks, etc. In 21st century where, the world is moving ahead with concepts like flipped classrooms, a teacher must gear up for learning and making use of such technology in the class.

4. Physical Appearance

The first impression is half the battle won. A teacher should have a proper dressing sense that will make him or her look respectful in the eyes of students and parents. We do not have to make a fashion show rather we have to maintain a consistency in our physical appearance. A teacher should always prefer a formal wear with standard clothing and colours. A teacher should avoid dressing in fancy and colorful manner. The appearance of a teacher should be pleasing to the eyes and comforting to the heart. As they say, the looks should be suitable, the talks should comforting and the lesson should be worthy, then the students will maintain their attention with the teacher.

5. Communication with Students

A teacher often is having powerful communication skills and that is one of the key skills for being a teacher. However, over the time a person may develop slang communication skills and a fussy attitude calling other persons with names not suitable. A teacher should always call the student with their name respectfully, not only this but a teacher should also help the children establish their identity in the class. While communicating with students a teacher should remember to repeat the instruction necessary number of times. The communication model is of much use in this. It goes somewhat like this:

Intimate à Inform à Communicate à Affirm à Feedback àFollow up.

A teacher should try to follow this model. It will save a lot of energy of the teacher and will enable maximum follow up of the instructions give by the teacher.

6. Communication with Colleagues

Having a cordial relation with colleagues is very essential. A teacher should maintain healthy relations with the co staff and under staff. Talking respectfully and not involving in gossips is the key factor in this. In most of the cases an organization is suffering from informal communication flowing in the staff room. Such miscommunication will then reach the class and finally to the parents ending in an embarrassing position for all, the teacher and the school. One should avoid involvement over personal matters of the co staff. Respect towards others opinion, greeting the colleagues, not to criticize others work, etc include in this.

7. Delivery Mechanism

This refers to one’s ability to communicate effectively to the other person. It is not enough to have the knowledge rather it is more important to deliver the knowledge effectively. The communication should be clear, jargon free, having easy language, and without any bias and preoccupied notion. The teacher should make use of colorful chalks, ready made charts, draw diagrams, and make effective use of technology, education software and other such tools to make the delivery of knowledge easy and student friendly. It also means the ability of the teacher effectively deliver content through digital media.

8. Pro-Activeness and Follow-up

This is a vital trait for a successful teacher. They always plan in advance for all the activities and lessons and are very pro-active in their approach and attitude. They will have forecast the situation and will be prepared to handle the situation as and when it arrives. It includes, making lesson plans, assignments, papers, etc. Moreover, informing students in advance about tests, books checking, sore distribution, etc. Follow up means to cover up the lesson or homework given. It essentially means to counter check whether the students have understood the work to be done in the same manner as it was delivered. It also involves putting appropriate remarks in students books and papers.

9. Counseling with Students

Counseling is the art through which a teacher can bind the students to enable liking for the subject. It is an essential skill that is required in a teacher. Counseling does not mean giving suggestions to students for better career rather it means to know the barriers a student is facing and to enable him / her to go through the barrier and develop a career. It includes group or individual counseling, understanding the student for their strength and weakness, identifying depressed students and help them to come out of it, identifying specially able students and helping them learn the topic with ease. Thus counseling requires patience on the part of the teacher and good listening skills.

10. Counseling with Parents

Counseling, when it comes to parents, is very important aspect. A teacher should be able to make the parents understand the strength and weakness of their child so that the parents expect optimum from them. Generally all parents want their children to top in the class but that is not possible. To enable a parent to expect what a child can deliver is an art of counseling which a teacher should do in order to upbring the student without pressure. Counseling is a weapon through which a teacher the reform the environment for the child at home and in teachers absence. A teacher should discuss with the parents the issues the child faces and make parents comfortable so that they also open mindedly discuss issues they face with the child at home.

Teaching is said to be incomplete if it is limited to technical teaching. In order to have a better generation a teacher should work tirelessly to develop an encouraging environment for the children and develop them into fine human beings. The present article tries to bring forth the traits of a teacher that will enable them to be professional. Just as in other profession, in teaching profession also the learning outcomes are very important and teacher should maintain the focus on achieving them.

Tweet: @DrVishalVaria

Donald Quinn

Professional Traits of Teacher

1. Punctuality

2. Content Mastery

3. Contemporary Knowledge

4. Physical Appearance

5. Communication with Students

6.Communication with Colleagues

7. Delivery Mechanism

8. Pro Activeness and Follow up

9. Students Counselling

10. Parents Counselling


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