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Definition of Professionalism in Education

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Teachers have broad professional standards based on their interactions with students, parents, community members, colleagues, staff and administrators. The first step in becoming a professional is to earn a degree in education and meet state licensing standards. While specific actions demonstrating professionalism may vary, here are five standards most professional teachers have in common.

1. Knowledgeable

Teachers should have a good understanding of the curriculum they teach and know how to transfer that knowledge to their students in a meaningful way. An elementary math teacher, for example, should know how to work out the math problems herself and to show her students how it relates to their lives, such as counting change at the grocery store. Because the world is always changing, it's vital that teachers continue to learn themselves.

2. Aware of Diversity

Teachers should understand how cultural differences and different life experiences can affect a student's learning, like differences in ethnicity, language and age. Additionally, teachers should be able to modify their instruction as needed to help students with special learning needs.

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3. Ability to Plan

Teachers should be able to plan their teaching both for the short- and long-term based on their understanding of the curriculum goals, student's needs and learning styles. They should also have the required resources before they are needed in the classroom.

4. Strong Communication Skills

A professional teacher should know how to listen as well as he can speak. This includes being aware of, and able to use, both verbal and nonverbal cues, as well as written communication techniques to encourage interaction in a supportive teaching environment.

5. Ability to Collaborate

Professional teachers should understand that learning doesn't stop in the classroom. They should be able to build relationships with parents and guardians as needed to assist their students. They should also develop good working relationships with school administrators and other teachers so they can assist each other in meeting their needs, goals and objectives.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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