What is a professional teacher for me?

by Guillermo Bautista Jr.

I took note of my view of teacher professionalism before reading Module 2. Below was what I wrote about my view of professional teachers.

Professional teachers are those who are expert in their field both in content and pedagogy and those who contribute to the existing body of knowledge through research and publications.

The definition above sets some criteria for professionalism, so that means that not all teachers can be considered professional.

My view about teacher professionalism is quite similar to the criteria for professionalism mentioned in the module particularly its measurement by the best and highest standards ((Phelps, 2003) as cited in the module). It was not clear in what I wrote above whether I prefer old professionalism or transformative professionalism, but after reading about them, I realized that my view is geared toward the transformative professionalism. I believe that teachers should be empowered in making decisions about their teaching, curriculum materials development, and they should be involved in policy-making and curricular decisions. One of the most important things that teachers should also do is to be involved in research and professional development projects to be able to contribute to knowledge. The knowledge can be new which could be published in journals or local theories that could be shared with fellow teachers. This criterion was mentioned as knowledge building by Sach (2003) as cited in the module.

After all the readings, I would like to revise my definition above. Here is my new definition of a professional teacher.

Professional teachers are those who are experts in their field both in content and pedagogy and they contribute to the existing body of knowledge through research, publications, and development of local theories. They serve as a role model in the community. They should be collaborative and collegial, responsive to change, policy-active.

This view encompasses the expertise of teachers in terms of content and pedagogy, their involvement in the community, as well as in policy making. I would like to be this kind of teacher. Every step I make is continually preparing me to be this kind of teacher.

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