To distinguish a teacher from a professional teacher entails a lot of factors.  Today, there are teachers who entered the profession just because of the great demand for teachers which means outright employment, be in the public or private sector.  A lot of our new teachers even acquired further studies and gained specialized education in their search for higher opportunities.  Still some attended trainings and seminars on Professional Ethics and Internal Monitoring Systems to reach the management ladder.  Likewise, there are teachers who are naturally friendly and develop popularity in being so.  But are these qualities of a good and professional teacher?  Are these enough to gain the respect of the people in the academe and the trust and respect of your peers?  Professionalism in the rank of educators should not be confined within the parameters of academic achievement.  It must extend to his personal and professional actions, in and out of the school.

To be a professional teacher, one need not be arrogant but rather confident in all the undertakings.  Confidence must come from within and manifested by the actions and decisions one makes in the performance of his duties as a teacher.  A professional teacher’s level of confidence must be evident on how he delivers his lessons, influences the pupils and affects the totality of the pupils.  A confident teacher knows where he stands and how he should react to any situation.  Without an iota of doubt, a confident teacher knows what he is doing, what he is going to do and how to do it.

A professional teacher admits defeat but always offers a hand to reconciliation.  He knows how to inject his points but always willing to listen to other views.  For a professional teacher, these are avenues to learn more and an opportunity to balance things up.  A professional teacher is always magnanimous in victory and gracious defeat.  He does not talk back when his personal views were not taken but rather works in silence after accepting the decision of the majority.

A professional teacher extends his services outside the confines of the classroom.  In performing his sworn duties, he looks up to the pupils as his own sons and daughters and not as mere wards entrusted to him by the authority.  He is always willing to extend his hands to the pupils in their activities, in and out of the school, and acts as the real parent of the pupil at all times, in strict compliance with the “loco parentis” principle of education and takes the role to the hilt.

Above all, a true professional teacher acts professionally.  In his dealings with other people, a professional teacher is always mindful of his actions and protects the image of a professional teacher.  He will not adopt ways which would question the integrity of a teacher and jeopardize the profession which he has chosen through life to follow.

    These are the challenges posed to all teachers.  These are what the teachers should take not.  It is not enough to be teacher because of the employment gained.  It is not enough that a teacher knows how to teach.  It is more important to be a professional teacher. A teacher who is confident, knows when to bow, dedicated to true service and acts professionally.  

    These are the qualities every teacher must imbue, whether a teacher is in the management level or a classroom teacher.  These are what set us apart from other individuals.  Because we are teachers, we are true professional teachers.

By: Randy M. Bongco, Teacher II Orion Elementary School

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