Standard Of Professional Practice

What standards do you hold yourself to when it comes to teaching, being a teacher?

“Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to.” Greg Anderson

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During my career, I taught a core teacher qualification course titled, School & Education. A core course for pre-service teachers. Part of what we covered were the professional standards that all teachers are expected to adhere to and are held accountable towards. The College of Teachers is charged in enforcing such.

But mostly, it is us teachers who are in charge of keeping ourselves in line with some standards. Especially in English language teaching with few overlooking, umbrella organizations. TESOL International has tried to come up with some professional standards but I’m not so enamoured with them.

No matter where you work or what kind of teacher you are, you will have to meet certain "standards" of practice in order to remain a trusted part of the teacher professional community. Many countries have organizations that monitor and help teachers adhere to these professional standards.

Here are the basic standards all teachers should uphold. Breaking any of them, means you are failing in some aspect of your profession and need to pull up your boot straps. Get the free poster in our Lesson Library.

1. Relationships. Teachers build relationships of trust with students. They pull groups together as a unit and team. Teachers also form respectful, ongoing work relationships with colleagues.

2. Knowledge. Good teachers have a strong command of their subject knowledge. Also, they command good knowledge of their individual students strengths and weaknesses. Teachers also have knowledge and competency about the practice of teaching and organizing, delivering and assessing learning.

3. Care. Compassion, understanding, empathy. There is a level of ethical care in the teachers actions. A longing for goodness, as Nel Noddings put it. All teachers have "expectancy", they believe every students can succeed and achieve all learning objectives.

4. Communication. Teachers must be strong communicators and be able to make the abstract "visible". Communication is a tool to overcome the fear of ignorance. Teachers are experts in the art of "in other words".

5. Engagement. Teachers apply professional knowledge and experience effectively to engage students. They plan, prepare and present lessons in the best way.

6. Commitment. Teachers are committed to their students and also their own ongoing professional development. They reflect on and change their practices.

So there you have it. 6 standards of practice for all teachers to aspire towards and hold to.

How are you doing in these 6 aspects of teaching? Which might be one that you could work more on in your own classroom this year? Let us know in the comments.

David Deubelbeiss