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Teacher Professionalism Part I


I see this discussion is to be continued. Upfront I want to be clear that I believe that most teachers are effective and competent. I have no issue with them. I do have issues with their union.

To begin with, we need to agree with the nature of our teacher work force. Are they hourly workers subject to contract rules and represented by a union or are they professionals. If the former then everything Mrs. Edmondson wrote is valid. If they are truly professionals, normally not represented by a union, I would suggest that we, the ultimately employers, have a few issues with their union and the union talking points presented.

Most professionals work until the job is done. If our teachers are professionals than grading papers or attending PTA meetings, despite the union talking points, are just parts of the job. Few professionals work an eight hour day or a forty hour week.

Most professionals are full time employees (or self employed) with two to four week vacations. Our teachers have “contracts” that run ten months (sometimes longer). That does offer an additional month of “vacation” despite the union talking points avoiding that fact. Sixty days of “vacation” would be nice.

Most professionals have continuing education requirements that have to be met on their own time and mostly at their own expense. If teachers are professionals, as suggested, then despite the union talking point these requirements, frequently filled during the two month “vacation”, are just part of the job.

Most employers of professionals are cognizant of the level of educational attainment. Earning an advanced degree is in the interest of the employee and the employer. However, despite the union talking point, many professionals must earn that degree on their own time and with their own money – just like our teachers. Our teachers do receive extra income for the degree so using the time required to obtain it as an hour filler seems a double booking. (Continued in Part II)



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