#SOL21: Professionalism

It’s time for some self-reflection. How am I doing with my #OLW “willing” and other work tasks. As I thought this, I chuckled to myself. “Work, yeah, right. That’s a short list as work has been slow. Almost non-existent slow. ‘Slower than molasses’ would be appropos!”

So many pressures right now. If your anxiety or stress level is already through the roof, please stop reading. Today’s post is not for you!

I’ve seen several tweets lately about “professionals” and “teachers as professionals” and wondered exactly what that meant. Here’s what the dictionary said!


1 : a person who does a job that requires special education or skill. 2 : a person who is paid to participate in a sport or activity. professional. adjective.

But what does that mean? I have a job that requires a special skill. Who says the skill is special? Who says I have the skill? When will I know? And then, what will I really know?

As I quizzed a couple of colleagues our conversation about “professional” really devolved into a discussion of “professionalism. This seemed to make more sense . . . “reliability, discretion, evenhandedness and fair price.” So what did our conversation produce?

More words, sentences and questions.

A jumble of ideas.

Here was the definition of professionalism that we were talking about.


The statusmethodscharacter or standards expected of a professional or of a professional organization, such as reliabilitydiscretionevenhandedness, and fair play. noun

I started a T chart. Professionalism is … Professionalism is not …

But it remained empty.

According to whom?


Social expectations?

Peer groups>

Twitter Know it ALLs?

Twitter Know Nothings?

We were talking in circles.

I called a “Time Out”. We each began to work on our own individual lists. We would reconvene our “group think” after we did the work individually.

My first draft:

Our next step before group discussion: Talk about this with peers and report back . . .

How do you define professionalism? What makes your “is” list? What makes your “is not list”?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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2 responses

  1. For me professionalism is being open-minded to other/new ideas and approaches of doing things, It is not believing my way is the only right way. I like the distinction you make between professional and professionalism. One might be a professional but not exhibit the qualities of professionalism.

    1. You nailed my conundrum. I thought the two always went together.

      So not so!

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