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What is professional?
Old 04-26-2017, 04:55 PM
 
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I'm not asking for your whole philosophy on what constitutes professionalism. That's not what I'm after today. Let's just say I don't quite understand a colleague's point of view so my question is as follows:

Does being a professional mean you are paid for your time beyond the normal workday or does it mean being paid is a nice plus that should be sought after, but at the end of the day you do the things necessary (or at least highly suggested) after hours?


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Old 04-26-2017, 04:59 PM
 
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Wow, that's a good question and I can immediately think of several people who can argue on either side of that issue.

I would say being a professional means you get the job done is the best way possible. The hard part is knowing when someone is being taken advantage of because they are trying to be professional. It also means, to me, that your work responsibilities fit your pay and time spent. So professionalism is something you exhibit as well as something that is demonstrated towards you.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:01 PM
 
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Working beyond your normal workday means being a salaried employee. Usually, professionals work as salaried employees.
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I have mixed feelings
Old 04-26-2017, 05:10 PM
 
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I am the first teacher at my building and the last to leave (my choice). I am an empty nester so I don't mind putting in extra time so I don't have to go in on the weekend. That being said though, there are more and more incidences at my school where we are expected to come back after hours (parent nights, etc) and do not get monetarily compensated.

I have been really sick (missed three days of school). Yesterday was my first day back. I found out a parent wanted to discuss her son after school so even though I felt HORRIBLE after a long day back (I was not informed about the meeting until that morning AND parent showed up late!), I had to spend an extra hour after contract time with my principal and the parent. No mention of compensation whatsoever. I was not happy.

I don't have a problem with putting in extra time every once in awhile but it seems to be increasing every year. I'm pretty mellow about the whole thing. I have a few co-workers, however, that go BALLISTIC about not getting paid for every single extra second.
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In my world
Old 04-26-2017, 05:53 PM
 
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I believe being a professional means the second thing
Quote:
at the end of the day you do the things necessary (even if it's) after hours?
I took out the part
Quote:
(or at least highly suggested)
because I believe that is redundant. A professional will know for the most part what must be done and suggestions shouldn't be necessary.

I added
Quote:
even if it's
before "after hours".

For me, it goes along with doing what is right. A professional is going to know the right thing to do and does it.


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Old 04-26-2017, 06:37 PM
 
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I think it depends a bit on the profession. For example, in the nursing profession, they are paid hourly and have very little to no work to do outside of the hours.

However, I think most professions are paid by salary and it is expected that employees do what needs to be done for the job to be done well outside of hours.

I used to have a friend in the corporate world who would complain nonstop about how she had to put in hours on the weekend for her job and how that wasn't fair because she wasn't paid for that. She was paid salary, not hourly. I didn't have a lot of sympathy for her.

Work is work and it often means going beyond the 8-5.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:46 PM
 
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To me, being professional means not telling off color jokes at Parent Teacher Conferences.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:48 PM
 
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That leave me out of the running for professional.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:50 PM
 
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I didn't say I am always professional.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:41 AM
 
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Professional-Not saying things to colleagues and superiors you really want to!

In terms of pay, I think it means getting the work done that needs to be done even if it is after hours HOWEVER, I do think we should be compensated if we're sitting on committees or doing things that are above and beyond our contracted expectations. Here's why: the more we do for free, the more admin expects for free. There has to be a line between what's expected as part of our job and what's above and beyond. The latter should be compensated as more than just a salaried employee.


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Professional
Old 04-27-2017, 12:00 PM
 
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I consider myself a professional. I spend the time necessary to do my job in the best way possible.

That being said, however, because we have a union and contract time is set through negotiation, I am paid for 182 8.5 hour days. When my husband worked as a professional in another industry, he was paid a yearly salary. He had the freedom to do his job and for the most part set his hours. I, on the other hand, have to have my principal's permission to leave 15 minutes early to make it to a doctor appointment. He could ask for a raise or qualify for bonuses to increase his salary. I can increase mine only through collective bargaining or working more hours.

It is what it is, I choose to work in my profession. But there are many instances when I don't think I'm treated as a professional.
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
I can increase mine only through collective bargaining or working more hours.

How can you do this? Aren't you only paid for the 182 8.5 hour days?
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I think...
Old 04-28-2017, 12:41 AM
 
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that being a professional means doing what is necessary to get the job done.

That's a tricky one.

Partly because ~ how do you define "get the job done"? In my mind, right there is where some work needs to be done (at least at my school): creating standards of quality that are flexible, satisfying, and fruitful... and well-understood by all.

And seriously, that means if we have to stay late to meet the standards, then we stay late. AND (and this is really radical) it would also mean, if we choose to leave early and can still meet the standards, then we leave early. It's the responsibilities that define us, not the clock hours.

And the real trick is to meet these standards with full and unquestionable integrity, fidelity, and sincerity.
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professional
Old 04-28-2017, 01:36 AM
 
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I think pg said it best! It isn't the "clock hours", but IF you get the job done. I couldn't even guess the number of hours I actually spend doing something teaching related!

Teaching as a profession is different than any other. And participating on this PT forum is an example of that. Here I am at 5:30 a.m. checking for ideas and reflecting on our profession.
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Not sure about definition
Old 04-28-2017, 06:00 AM
 
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But I do like the way my district does it. They consider the state salary schedule to be compensation for the contracted day. They recognize that teachers will spend time outside of contracted hours working, so they pay extra money on the understanding that we will work outside of contracted hours as we need to. We do need to log a certain amount of PD and community engagement hours, but these opportunities are also provided by the district.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:55 AM
 
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My first thought is that in a professional/salaried job, you're not clocking in/out and being paid hourly, therefore, you spend as much time as needed to get the job done. One example that I just thought of is that I've heard that in some schools with really strong unions, there are rules about meetings being held within contract hours- I think that part is great. However, I've also heard from those schools talking about literally getting up and walking out at 3:30 even if the P is mid-sentence, becuase they're allowed to leave at contract hours. To me, that's unprofessional.

I also think there is a point where teachers give so much for free that it just becomes expected. Greyhound girl mentioned committees (I can't figure out how to quote on my ipad ). That's something that really bothers me. In my district every school has a "leadership team" that consists of one teacher from each grade level and/or department. This team requires a 2 hour meeting outside of contract hours 1-2 times per month as well as at least one meeting in the summer. At our HS, the teachers refused to be on the team unless a stipend was offered, so they get paid for it. At my elementary school, we get nothing and teachers literally fight each other to get on this team. There are several grade levels where the teachers literally had months long arguments and hurt feelings over who got to be on the team.
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More hours
Old 04-28-2017, 12:05 PM
 
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We are paid extra for non-mandatory PD days. Mandatory ones are in the contract. I also have an extended day contract. In our district there are lots of schools that have small group literacy time with half the class for 75 minutes before school and the other half after school. That allows them to give us more students - I have 31 in my 2nd grade class. But I have small groups for about half of my literacy time. My contract time is 7:30 - 4:00. If I didn't have the extended day contract, I would have to be at school by 8:45.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:41 AM
 
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I'm sorry, but I leave on time done or not and don't consider myself unprofessional. I have a family and commitments, and there is always work to be done. Something I could be prepping, something I could be grading, etc. If I didn't leave until the work was done, I might as well move into my classroom. During my contact hours, I am on task. I don't goof around, or check Facebook, or attend to personal matters unless an emergency comes up ( I think may be three times in my career.). So at the end of the day, it's the end of the day. You want more? Compensate me, and if I'm available, I'll do it. What's the point of a contract otherwise? I'm a professional, not a martyr.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:42 AM
 
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Yay, seenthelight! I totally agree! I used to be more of the work 'til it's all done type, but throughout the years I've seen more and more expected of the teachers at my school: after hours meetings, parents nights, additional after school tutorials, required summer trainings, etc. Salary doesn't equal slavery. There still has to be a limit to what can be expected for the salary I get. There has to be a line at which my salary isn't enough for the amount of work expected.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:09 AM
 
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Okay, totally OT, but nerdgirl, I must have your avatar. Nerds of the world unite!
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:27 AM
 
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*secret nerd handshake*
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