The Thursday Scholar: Professional Essentials

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January 19, 2012 by k. liz

I don’t have long to post today, so this will be a semi-short post. But, the question has risen in my mind as to how to approach education when my ideas may not line up completely with the institution I work with. This is not to say that the institution is wrong or bad, I am sure that many teachers run into some philosophical aspect of education that they think of differently than their school does. So, what does one do in such situations? How do you respond?

As I think through this, I am forever grateful for a conversation with my husband when I was asking these same questions. I am one who tends to really connect myself with what I am doing, and I generally don’t like to represent things I don’t agree with. I was talking to my husband about this problem once, and he reminded me kindly that if I can just get my students to love learning, and love using English, then I can count my year successful.

So, I ask today – what is the core of what you are working for? Whether you are a teacher or principal, or any profession really, what is it that is essential to your job? For me, it is that love of learning, a passion for life, and a respect for others. When those are the objectives that I am working towards, then it leaves the side-issues irrelevant. I might not agree with some of the methods, and yeah – of course it is difficult to put aside your own thoughts and abide by someone else’s – but I have to find a way to work towards my objectives regardless of what environment I find myself in. Furthermore, I can work so that those objectives are never hindered by my environment. If those are things I believe are essential to education and life, then I will find a way to incorporate them into my classroom. The rest of my philosophy, though helpful and necessary for shaping who I am as a teacher, can rest until it finds a place where it is accepted.

My question to you today is what are the essentials for your profession? What can you not complete your responsibilities without? If you find yourself in a difficult or different atmosphere than what you had originally envisioned, don’t despair! Use this as an opportunity to really hone and solidify what you think is crucial to your profession. When you move on, those things will be a part of who you are.

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