Professionalism in Education-Teacher Etiquette Tips for the Modern Pro

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Professionalism in Education - Teachers Eti

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PROFESSIONALISM IN EDUCATION: TEACHER ETIQUETTE TIPS FOR THE MODERN PROFESSIONAL Folakemi O. Sarumi |B.Ed M.Ed|

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Opening

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Etiquette defined…1:  Etiquette is a code of behavior that influences expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society social class or group.

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Etiquette defined…2  Webster’s dictionary defines it as “the forms manners and ceremonies established by convention as acceptable or required in social relations in a profession or in official life.”

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Synonyms of Etiquette. • Manners • Coded Behavior • Character • Habits • Thought

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• Personal • Family • Home Schools College • Social Cultural • Office  Part of your life  You and the environment Where Etiquette is required When Etiquette is required

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 Why Etiquette is required  Professional etiquette - must for Career  builds leadership quality business careers  It refines skills needed for exceptional service  Without Etiquette  You limit your potential  Risk your image  Jeopardize relationships

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How Etiquette Pays Off  Differentiates them in competitive market  Honors Commitments to quality and excellence  Enables them to be confident in a variety of settings with a variety of people from all walks of life  Modifies distracting behaviors and develops admired conduct

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Factors Influencing Etiquette  Physical • Grace • Beauty • Handsome • External Appearance  Your Behavior  Making Right Friends  Cultivating the charm  Class Quality  Enemy - The Anger  Patience Tolerance - Carrier  Psychological  Childhood Origin: Parental Heredity  Others: • Schooling • Family • Friends • Education • Marital life

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Scenario 1  Aunty Sarah is in the habit of taken personal phone calls in front of pupils and answering cell phones in meetings. The School Head has warned her several times to no avail. Then one day she was sacked.  Let’s have your reactions please.

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Scenario 2  Mr. Samuel is class teacher and love ICT so he uses the social media extensively. In this regard he is among the teachers "friending" parents on Facebook and discussing school and pupils issues with braggadocio. Then one of the teachers noticed that some information that shouldn’t be available to parents was been brandied by Mr. Samuel Facebook parent and it was causing mistrust in the School.  How would you handle this scene

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Welcome to Classroom Etiquette

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 Here weve included a combination of modern age etiquette tips for teachers and other general advice for teacher etiquette with other teachers non- teaching staff School administrators parents community members and students/pupils.

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General Professional Etiquette Tips

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1. Attire.  How inappropriately so many young people dress nowadays but teachers can’t just wear anything it must be smart and neat and does not expose your body.  What you like to wear out on the weekends to a club is not okay to wear when teaching.

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2. Punctuality.  Abide by the schools contracted hours for teachers and show up on time even early for all work functions such as Individualised Educational Programme IEP meetings and professional development events.  If you do need to leave early let your administrator know ahead of time. Most of the time they will be understanding particularly if these absences are infrequent or if they are aware of an extenuating circumstance i.e. sick parent spouse children etc.

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3. Effectiveness.  Use work time effectively and appropriately. This includes use of technology. Bidding on Jumia or Konga obsessively checking your personal e-mail account and having extended texting sessions with friends during work hours are not appropriate work behaviours.  I know that most teachers are way too busy during the day to even think about this but Ive seen it all and feel that it should be mentioned.

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4. Behavior in meetings.  It is still important to engage in respectful behaviour during all school meetings. This includes general staff meetings smaller team meetings IEP meetings PF meetings etc.  Whatever your role is in a meeting you shouldnt be checking your cell phone or computer unless there is some type of emergency.  If you need to contact someone during a longer training session step out of the room discretely or wait for a break.

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5. Communication.  Please take the time to proofread all e-mails and class mailings i.e. newsletters. Lesson plans etc.  Have someone else proofread all professional documents i.e. outgoing letters reports grant proposals etc. before you submit them.

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Etiquette with Other Teachers

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1. E-mail communication.  All communication through school technology phones e-mail etc. with fellow teachers should be something that you should be comfortable with any administrator or technology staff member reading.  If it isnt appropriate for the school environment save it for personal communication i.e. home e-mail personal cell phone. Aside from school sensitive topics this includes communication such as inappropriate e-mail forwards.

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2. Discretion.  Use discretion when talking about students and anything confidential with other teachers.  There are situations where its appropriate to discuss such topics but it can be very easy to gossip. Dont fall into this trap.

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3. Avoid cliques.  In some schools particularly in elementary schools where the staff is primarily female there are a number of staff cliques. Rise above this middle school behavior. It may mean that you have less friends at work but it is worth the sacrifice. It also sets a good example for your students.  How can we expect students to learn how to respect others and treat them as wed want to be treated if we dont practice this behavior ourselves

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4. Language/topics.  Use appropriate language and stick to appropriate topics in the school environment particularly in front of students.  This includes referring to other teachers as Mr./Mrs. ____ and not discussing students unless it is necessary for a given situation.

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5. Social Media Communication.  There is nothing wrong with communicating with your fellow teachers on Facebook Twitter etc. However its important to keep school talk away from these public forums. Not only is it not professional but you never know who might be reading.  Keep comments on your Facebook Wall and Twitter feed about school positive and fairly general i.e. "Im excited about the football game tonight. Go Hawks" or "Yay for a snow day"

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Etiquette with Non-Teaching Staff

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1. Respect.  Teachers or not everyone who works in a school plays an important role. You never know when youll need to ask for a favour from the secretary lunch ladies or janitorial staff.  Make sure that you know how much you appreciate their work with your students and around the school in general.

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2. Discretion.  Just as its important to use discretion when talking with the teaching staff its important to use discretion with other staff members. The same rules apply.

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3. Social media communication.  The same rules apply that did with fellow teachers.

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Etiquette with Administrators

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1. Respect.  Those who have great teaching positions will most likely encounter one or two administrators during their teaching careers who they really dont respect or just dont get along with very well.  Regardless of any differences it is still important to treat your administrators with respect both directly and with your other co-workers.

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2. Communication.  Learn how your School administrators like to communicate. Within a single system there may be differences such as how the HOS/SA communicates with staff against how the Proprietor communicates.  Some administrators appreciate a quick phone call or e-mail to give a heads up about an issue even if it may require a longer discussion later while others would rather talk it all out in person. If youre new to a school system and arent sure how to begin get tips from your co-workers.

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3. Maintain an appropriate relationship.  Even if an HOS/SA or superintendent does not have the power to fire a teacher they are still on a higher rung in the chain of command.  They are not your friends. Thus it is not appropriate to be friends with your administrators the way that you can be with your fellow teachers.

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4. Avoiding cliques.  In some schools certain groups of teachers would get an "in" with HOS/SA and purposely leave other teachers out of important school decisions.  HOS/SA are as much at fault as teachers are for allowing this behavior to take place. Its important to get a read on the kind of issues that these teachers are bringing to the HOS.  If they arent vital dont even let them bother you. If they are do what you can to involve the staff as a whole instead of allowing a single group to hold the power. Regardless do not get sucked into an "elite" group that purposely excludes other teachers.

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Etiquette with Parents

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1. Topics.  Dont discuss other students or confidential school issues i.e. layoffs proposed budget cuts unless it is applicable i.e. their child is having repeated problems with another student in your class.

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2. Respect.  Most teachers will deal with a wide range of parents throughout their teaching careers. If you are lucky you will have a lot of parents that you respect with the occasional few that make it hard to find positives.  Whatever the circumstances may be its important for you give parents the respect that they deserve. Always hear out their opinions and do your best to be understanding of their circumstances.

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3. Timing.  Most parents do not want to hear about an important issue with their child particularly if its negative over the phone or through an e-mail.  It is also not important to introduce a major issue or concern at a parent teacher conference or Forum. In most cases it is appropriate to schedule an in- person meeting to talk about such topics.  Parents will be more receptive and everyone will be able to communicate more clearly than they would over the phone or through e-mail.

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4. Open communication.  There is no single correct method of communication for all parents. Some parents prefer to get a phone call while others prefer an e-mail or text while still others will send notes with their kids.  If the majority of your parents use e-mail regularly it may be easiest to send newsletters and mass messages that way. Make sure that parents know how to get in touch with you and respond to their messages within 24 hours.

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5. Social media...where do you draw the line  Be wary about the idea of being friends with parents on Facebook and Twitter. If you do decide to do this I highly recommend keeping all school talk off social media.  Using a school e-mail account will provide accountability for you if available. Even though most issues can be resolved relatively easily you never know when youll need to save messages to show your principal superintendent or God forbid a court.  Having a record of e-mails from a school account will be very beneficial for you.

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Etiquette with Community Members

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1. Discretion.  Just as you shouldnt discuss budget cuts or layoffs with parents you shouldn’t discuss them with random community members either.  If you get questions at school functions such as science fairs or school dances refer people to your administrators or the appropriate parties.  Stay away from anything that you cant disclose and keep topics in a positive light whenever possible.

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2. Role model.  As a teacher in the community its important to maintain a public image as a good role model for your students. This means making smart choices when youre in community places where you may run into parents students and staff market store library etc. and in public forums online such as Facebook.  Keep your private life private.

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Etiquette with Students

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1. Appropriate relationships.  Your students are not your friends. They are also not your own kids. Kids are looking for a positive teacher role model.  You need to fill that role the best that you can and not try to be something that you shouldnt be for them.

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2. Setting an example with technology.  You expect your students not to fool around on the computer answer their cell phones or text during class.  Set an example by not engaging in these behaviours either unless there is some sort of an emergency or something that cannot wait i.e. a phone call from the principal.

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3. Topics and language.  Just as you keep your topics and language with other teachers and staff members appropriate in front of students you should keep them appropriate when youre on your own with your students too.

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4. Respect.  All students deserve to be treated with the same respect that you give adults. Take the time to hear their feelings and opinions. Sometimes a student may just need time to talk to a grown up even if its just to get a listening ear and not necessarily looking for an opinion or help with something.  If you cant take time out during class see if a student will talk to you during lunch recess or a special class i.e. art music. Even a few minutes may make a world of difference for that student.

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5. Sharing personal information.  Its inappropriate to share social media information or other personal contact information with students.  There is nothing wrong with giving out a personal e- mail address and/or phone number to a trustworthy student after he has graduated as some students want to keep in touch to network.  As former students move up in the world you never know when they may be able to return the networking favours or give you a valuable resource.

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Teacher Etiquette In Summary  Be polite and courteous  Treat colleagues students with respect  Appropriate relationships  Behave during meetings / seminars  Avoid argument – teach to disagree  Avoid personal information  Avoid the blame game

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Teacher Manners In Summary  Attire  Physical distance  Monitoring  White board  Avoid private conversations in class  Be punctual and regular  Use work time to work effectively  Turn off cell phones

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 Build Your Library  Begin early in your career  Collect books magazines Subscribe to journals  Collect videos and audios  List titles that you cannot buy  Professional Development is important  Take Advantage of opportunities  Acquire professional skills Attend workshops / conferences  Present research papers  Be ready to evolve

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Introductory Quotes  Anyone who stops learning is old whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. - Henry Ford  A Great Teacher is like a fountain she draws from the still deep waters of personal growth and professional knowledge to serve others from her abundant overflow. - Wynn Godbold

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Conclusion

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