, education has always been viewed as a moral venture and teaching has been valued for its transformative impact on learner as it transforms the learner as well as the teacher in a deep and abiding manner. National Policy on Education 1986 emphasize: “The status of the teacher reflects the socio-cultural ethos of the society; it is said that no people can rise above the level of its teachers”. It is teacher’s responsibility to educate the youth and prepare them for successful and productive future. With this important job on their shoulders, comes an obligation to maintain the professional integrity. Gone are the days when teaching learning process was teacher centered. In this digital age, besides teaching, they are often required to take up expanded roles and responsibilities related to school management, curriculum planning and development, staff development, school-based action projects and working on matters related with parents and other professionals. India
Due to these changes in our knowledge based society it has become the need of an hour to reform teacher education and infuse professional ethics in our pupil teachers so that they can take up their new role and meet the challenges and expectations raised from our education reforms. In present times, teacher professionalism has come up with relevant significance in education as it affects the role of the teacher and his or her pedagogy, which in return affects the student’s ability to learn effectively.
“Professionalism: It's not the job you do; it's how you do the job." Teachers are charged with an important job. It is their responsibility to educate the youth and prepare them for successful and productive future. With this important job comes an obligation to maintain professional integrity. Teachers need to ensure that all interactions with students, parents and colleagues are above broad and professional. This ensures that the educator stands as a good role model for the young and impressionable pupils that they are responsible for shaping.
It is the ability to reach to the students in a meaningful way, developing innovative approaches to mandated content while motivating, engaging, and inspiring young adult minds to prepare for ever-advancing technology
What is professionalism to teachers?
First and foremost, a teacher is a role model. A teacher must model proper manners, dress, behavior and ethics at all times
2. Commitment to Quality
A teacher is never satisfied with an "average" performance. She must research and plan each lesson fully to give the students the best lesson possible.
3. Commitment to Learning
A teacher's education does not stop with his degree. He must continually be aware of best practices in his field, including new teaching methods and materials. This usually involves post-graduate work and frequent teacher workshops.
4. Commitment to Students
A professional teacher will always get to know about her students. She will listen to students' problems, questions, and concerns and treat every student with respect.
5. A Positive Attitude
Even though teachers are often frustrated, overworked and under-paid, they must remember that they chose their profession because they love their students and their content area. A school is no place for complaints and negativity.
6. Communication skill
Maintaining quality communication with all the parties involved in education: students, fellow teachers, school board, administration, and parents is an important task of teacher. It is through energetic communication by a teacher that initiates understanding. A professional teacher desires to locate effective communicative skills to achieve preferred educational goals
7. Proper preparation
When the teacher enters the classroom s/he should have all the required materials and the lesson plan ready. A teacher who is well prepared will be able to overcome the difficulties/ challenges of classroom for difficulties will be able to overcome them.
8. Good content knowledge
A teacher with a strong knowledge of his/her subject area has the opportunity to concern themselves with preparing innovative techniques to teach material rather than spending significant amounts of time studying the material. With the advantage of knowing one’s curriculum material well, the educator has more confidence in their teachings, having already placed significant thought on the material being taught. Thus, a professional is able to dwell on how to relate subject matter to the students.
Performance is the ability to effectively teach the concepts of a curriculum. Having knowledge is one thing and able to deliver that knowledge effectively to student is another.
10. Reflective thinking
A teacher must keep learning and apdating new skills. This only can come from being reflective in the practice. "Reflection on action leads to identification of processes, experiences, and understandings that can then be used in future lessons" (Featherston, 2007). "Effective teachers know how to coordinate diverse array of instructional elements (such as planning, lesson design, time management, classroom management, instructional methods, student motivation, and assessment techniques) and adapt them to differences in student needs, materials and purposes (Snowman et. al, 2009).
11. Role of change agent
The expectations of the school system from a teacher change from time to time, responding to the broader social, economic and political changes taking place in the society. Therefore teacher has to play the role of change agents responding to the social and educational changes around them.
Need of the hour
Teachers need to be creators of knowledge and thinking professionals. They need to be empowered to recognize and value what children learn from their home, social and cultural environment and to create opportunities for children to discover, learn and develop. Due emphasis should be given to develop more reflective teachers with positive attitudes, values and perspective, along with skills for the craft of teaching. Hence in the current scenario there is a need for creating teachers who can ensure quality education with professional perfection.