If you’re a teacher, you might have this experience. Your school has asked you to take charge of a project or an event. You know that the school is simply interested in the publicity that it will generate, not student learning. Your colleagues in the project are not keen about the additional responsibility. You end up doing the lion’s share of the work, while simultaneously having to deal with the not-quite-helpful colleagues.
A former student was caught in this scenario recently. But when the project was over and she looked back on what the students had achieved, she acknowledged: ‘I actually did enjoy the process as I knew a number of students did learn and gain something from the project. I saw them growing as they had to take the initiative to learn and research and to solve problems themselves. I am in the project team this year again … and I will try to do my best for the benefits of the students, not just for the school’s reputation!’
This is what teacher professionalism is about.