Constructing Teacher Professionalism

Three things I learned are:

1) Discourse is defined as “a socially accepted association among ways of using language, of thinking, and of acting that can be used to identify oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or ‘social network’” (Shannon, 1992, 21). Teachers have their own discourse. In the article it gave the analogy of thinking as your own “identity kit. It comes complete with the appropriate costume and instructions on how to act and talk so as to take on a particular role that others will recognize” (Shannon, 1992, 21). However, the lingo of a discourse is only something you learn by being fully immersed in the environment such as: lesson plans, goals, standards, etc.

2) The first month or so of internship you will feel like a leach; stuck to the side of your mentor. However, as time goes on you become more comfortable and the attachment becomes less and less. This is scary as this is where all your hard work of unit/lesson planning is proven whether it be good or bad, whether you have enough things to say/do, how the students react to the lesson, or if they will listen and behave for the “new” teacher, etc. It is not easy for the mentor either as they are giving up their class.  However, when success happens it is a proud moment shared by both (Yerkes, 2004, p. 8).

3) Loss affects you as a teacher in ways that you may not have expected. Losing valuable resources such as lifelong teachers that you had as a student may pass away or retire and you no longer see them every day when you are at work and have no one to ask those simple, but yet challenging questions. Teachers also may feel loss when one of their students becomes suddenly ill or succumb to a mental health such as suicide, etc. (Yerkes, 2004, p. 9-10).

Two Connections I made are:

  1. Learning the lingo or discourse in various areas such as unit/lesson planning will be a huge learning curve. In one of my other classes this semester the major assignment is to create a unit. This has proven to me how much I don’t know and how much is still left to learn. Teachers really do need to be continuous and life long learners in our profession.
  2. I have a few friends who are doing their internships right now and the analogy of feeling like a leach is certainly how they have described their first month of internship. However, after being there for almost two months, they have built relationships with their mentor, other teachers and staff and are feeling more independent now they are teaching classes of their own.

One question I still have is:

What resources have you found the most useful when creating units/lesson plans, activities, etc. for students?


One thought on “Constructing Teacher Professionalism

  1. Hi! Thanks for your thoughts this week. I definitely connected with the personal article as well and learning about what a first year in the school might or could look like. I connected with her same feeling that we probably will be surprised by how often things don’t go as planned compared to how often they do! I know my first year of teaching I will be holding on to the ones who don’t mind me attaching myself to them and hoping to learn wisdom by their experience and examples.
    I really enjoyed your blog.


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