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Professional Development

The Teaching Profession
Teaching is one of the oldest professions in the history of man kind. The teaching may be carried out formally (in a school setting) or informally (in a home schooling).Teaching entails educating learners; an activity carried out by a professional called a teacher or educator. The teacher has to fulfill particular conditions to be allowed to teach especially in a for mal setting. In almost all states around the world, the teachers undergo through a lengthy training in colleges or universities before they start teaching. Teachers offer instructions in various areas of specialization such as arithmetic, sciences, arts, religion, and technical courses (Hutchison, 2005).
Role and Responsibilities of Teachers
            A teacher’s role is the most mis-interpreted concept. Most people think that it simply entails delivering knowledge to the learners, however; this is far from the truth. A teacher is central in a school setting and is a close link among many parties (Carter, 2002). These are the school administration, the learner and the parents. To succeed in the profession, one must be ready and willing to always acquire new knowledge and learn different techniques of knowledge delivery to the learners. It is the responsibility of everyone in the teaching profession to be disciplined and observe all ethics governing the profession (Kimball, 1995).
Towards the learners, the teacher has the responsibility of inculcating upright discipline standards by acting as a role model. The teacher plans lessons, and other learning models to ensure the learners achieve their academic goals as outlined by the governing education structures of a state. The teacher also has a role to play in organizing and creating the best activities that will ensure the learners are able to grasp all concepts including use of debates, excursions, experiments and any other practical activities that enhance the learning process (Ebrary, INC., 2001). The student overall performance in terms of discipline in and out of the classroom is also under the teacher’s jurisdiction. This means that the teacher ought to carry out a supervisory role on the learners’ conduct as long as they are in the school compound. The teacher has a responsibility to clearly know each learner’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their major areas of interest (Bruce, Bruce & Cocroft, 1891). This greatly helps in learner’s overall analysis and subsequent appraisal. The teacher should engage in identifying the necessary solutions to challenges facing a learner be it academic and or disciplinary based and offer the necessary support (Cattell, Ryan & Walters, 1915).
As a central link in the education system, the teacher has the responsibility of keeping the parent updated on their child’s progress. This entails informing the parents on issues such as discipline standards of the child, academic performance, encouraging the parent to be more vigilant on the child’s conduct and getting more involved in the general development of the child especially in encouraging the child in areas they are strong or have an interest in (Herbst, 1989). In connection with the school administration, a teacher has a role to play in the formulation of school policies and should be free to air any grievances arising from work related affairs. A teacher should strive to collaborate with other colleagues both in the teaching and the non-teaching departments. The teacher should also participate actively in school activities such as conferences, extra curricular activities and also offer any suggestions that may make the running of the school easier irrespective of the administrative position he/she holds (Mitch, Brown & Leeuwen, 2004).
To qualify as a teacher in the United States, one needs to possess a bachelor’s degree from a government accredited university or college. Some states require that one possesses a masters degree before becoming a teacher or that they acquire it immediately after being employed. One may also pursue a one or two year post graduate program. To be eligible to teach in a public school, one has to pass a state test or the universal Praxis test conducted by the American Education Testing Service. Teachers are also required to do an internship to gain a hand- on experience in teaching and school management (Hutchison, 2005).
The teaching profession is under the influence of many factors. On a day to day basis, the teachers are in contact with learners from a wide variety of backgrounds such as socioeconomic, religious and ethnic. The teachers therefore have to be in control of the learners to ensure they integrate well amid all the diversities so as to reduce conflict. Learners especially the very young take time to understand and follow set rules and regulations in the school setting. The teacher is the only adult who can provide the necessary guidance to the learners to shape them into law abiding persons. Class management in today’s schools is turning to be difficult for many teachers in American schools. The emergence of technology has had a direct impact on learning systems (Ferreras, Olson & Sztein, 2010).
Learners today have access to gadgets such as mobile phones and laptop computers which may cause distractions in their concentration in the classroom. The teacher therefore has the sole role of ensuring balanced and effective use of technology by the learners. Another major challenge that teachers face in the day to day running of schools is a major decline in learners discipline standards. Many studies have shown that most learners lack the hard work ethic and others do not quite understand the value of education in their lives. The teacher’s role has therefore become more difficult as they try to inculcate the essence of education in the learners instead of teaching (Ebrary, Inc., 2001).
Teachers in urban schools have reported facing a myriad of challenges ranging from violence, multi-lingual differences, poverty and mixed cultures. Most of these learners lack stability in their mindsets and the teacher has to be more dedicated to helping them achieve composure in order for them to achieve optimum concentration and performance. The teacher is also faced with a task to achieve set academic standards by the school administration irrespective of the type of learners he/she is handling. This may put unnecessary pressure on the teacher in an effort to reach the set target (Alexander & Alexander, 2005).
The United States government has for a long time developed and reviewed policies governing the education sector. Some of the policies touch on the education management procedures, the teaching profession and students’ welfare among many others. Among the policies that have affected the teachers include the inclusive education policy which was aimed at integrating learners with special needs into the general curriculum instead of segregating them in special schools. The policy has received support and opposition in almost equal measure. Protagonists argue that it will serve to eliminate discrimination in the society based on disabilities, as well as enhanced integration into the society of people with disabilities as they transit from school to the outside working environment and general society affairs. However, antagonists say that the policy has brought unnecessary burden on teachers and general schools administration. The policy has forced teachers without specialized training to handle students with special needs. This has resulted in poor performance by the teachers. Many schools also lack facilities to support such learners further complicating the education delivery process (Gideonse, 1992).
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was designed to advocate for accountability in the education system as well as enhanced flexibility. The law also sought to increase federal support to the education sector. It also aimed at creating an all inclusive, responsive and fair education system. Despite the law’s aim to provide equal opportunity to all students irrespective of their ethnic or cultural background, statistics on the ground indicate a different picture. Schools in remote areas continue to face challenges especially in attracting qualified teachers. This has left the schools’ managers facing an uphill task to ensure the schools perform as good as those in more privileged environments (Hutchison, 2005).
There are many regulatory bodies established by the central government as well as the various states to monitor and regulate the performance of the teaching profession. These bodies set rules and give licenses to the teachers in accordance with the law. For instance, The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission issues licenses to the teachers to allow them to practice in public schools. This body regulates the entry of people into the teaching profession by ensuring that only competent professionals are hired. The commission is also in charge of ethical and discipline standards to be observed by those in the profession (Carter, 2002).
The teaching profession is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying career options to pursue today. As a teacher, one enjoys the transformation they bring into a learner’s life to make them realize their dreams in life in addition to contributing in discipline upgrading that churns out law abiding citizens. Of late, the working conditions have been largely improved with good remunerations and other numerous benefits, not to mention the long holiday that one enjoys annually!
A Reflective Statement on Development of My Professional Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes concerning Professional Development
Professions and Professionalism
A profession may be described in many ways through different schools of thought. Some may argue that playing soccer or athletics is not a profession and others may oppose this notion. One may argue that to be in a profession, one has to acquire formal academic training over a long period of time followed by formally recognized qualification. From my knowledge, a profession is any activity that one does with mastery, provided that he/she does it in adherence to the code and ethics governing the work. Therefore, professions range from business, science, games, sports, teaching, preaching to the ordinary cleaner or tea girl in the office. As long as one possesses the necessary skills to undertake particular activity, he/she is a professional irrespective of whether the individual obtained the skills formally or informally. No one profession can be said to be of more importance or of lower value than the rest. I believe all professions are equal, since as a matter of fact there is a wide interrelationship among all professions in one way or another (Nimer, 1968).
To succeed in any profession, I suppose, all one needs is to observe professionalism. This may be described as the ability to command or build trust by providing whatever service excellently. If a client is satisfied by the services you offer to the; then, you are a professional. Many professions today are governed by codes of conduct and ethical rules set by regulatory bodies to minimize the chances of quacks infiltrating the particular profession (Pattison & Pill, 2004). Professionalism may also be described in many other ways. One may argue it is the possession of expertise in a particular field or the ability to perform with a certain level of autonomy. Profession development is a vital part of any profession. One should always strive to better the skills or knowledge they possess since with the transformation of world cultures and technology, one may find themselves irrelevant in the same field they were considered pros(Kultgen, 1988).
Making Effective Presentation
            As part of professional development, one must be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients, potential partners and many other stakeholders. I strongly believe that to be successful in any field, a key component is the ability to convince, convey, argue out or defend an idea. Presentations are therefore part and parcel of a professional. The presentations may vary in context from the interview, to business presentation, to teaching the public or learners. According to my understanding, the greatest consideration in any effective presentation is the audience. The main aim of any presentation is simply to communicate. This would mean the presenter and the audience must understand one another (Manchester Open Learning, 1993).
Carrying out a prior research on the audience would greatly benefit one in making the right information available to the right audience. Another consideration I deem important would be to clearly understand the subject matter. The confidence one portrays when making a presentation has a strong impact on the audience. Furthermore, one is able to effectively answer any questions on the subject. For one to develop professionally, they need to know their strengths and weaknesses. I feel that it would be embarrassing if one was to make a presentation in an area they are not conversant .It is important to know what, as a professional, one can or can not do (Jay & Jay, 2004).
To make a really effective presentation, it is advisable to develop a theme. This will greatly help one to remember the purpose of his/her presentation to the end, no matter the complexities one may encounter mid way. I also believe that a professional should make a professionally prepared presentation. This would mean simply arranging ideas in a systematic way for the audience to easily grasp. In a nutshell, the presentation should have an introduction, body and conclusion. Prior practice rehearsal would greatly help in identifying any shortcomings in the presentation (Kaul, 2005).
Written/on-line job applications including forms, CVs and covering letters
In one way or another, writing of curriculum vitae (CV), covering letters and the filling of job application forms is a part of professional development. A CV or resume can be equated to an advertisement; a chance for one to market themselves to a potential employer. As is common with any other product on sale, the CV must be captivating. Most people, I have come to learn, are never keen on the writing of a quality CV. Many will simply copy the general formats available anywhere and yet they expect their CVs to stand out. This cannot be possible, since for one to be different, they must do things differently. One only needs to write about them and not compare themselves with others. So the rule is; keep it simple and attractive (Sambell, Gibson & Miller, 2010).
From my research, I have found that many people do not value the covering letter. Their argument is that all details are in the CV after all. It is important to have a well drafted covering letter. The importance of this document is that it gives a summary of your qualifications at a glance. Since it clearly indicates to whom the letter resume is sent, it is difficult to be misplaced or land in the wrong hands. This letter also gives one room to seek further information from the prospective employer if need be as well as expressing your desire to work with the firm and or your availability for the interview when called upon. Employers have changed tact nowadays, with the filling of job application forms replacing drafting of letters. This helps the employer to only get the information of interest. This mode is most commonly used especially by the multinational firms. The filling of these forms is under instructions given but generally it should be neat and clear (Vandevelde, 1999).
Selection Interviews
            As part of professional development, one may require to attend an interview for job selection, appraisal or even be part of an interviewing panel. I have realized that many professionals are scared of facing interview panels yet it is almost the only way one’s qualification cum competence can be gauged. For one to acquire that dream job or position they should therefore be prepared to face the panel. I also believe many people have misunderstood the whole concept of interview. Majority feel that it’s a chance to be grilled and humiliated. How wrong! The idea behind an interview is simply to have a contact with the prospective employer for them to assess one’s suitability for the vacant position (Jay, 2001).
This is also a chance for the interviewee to demonstrate their skills and abilities. Therefore, I would actually be glad to attend as many interviews as possible to show others what I can really do as a professional if given a chance. It is important that we change our attitude towards selection interviews. This way, we shall be at a better position to bring out the best in us in that short encounter, and who knows, this could give us the opportunities we have always yearned for in life (Jay, 2001).
The selection panel will seek to know some ones background, their future plans or dreams in order to gauge your path of life. The selection interview aims to simply assess ones suitability, to avail any information he interviewee may want to know, as well as to present the firm in good light to the interviewee. It is important to know that selection interviews may be carried out in different ways. These include situation or performance interviews in which the applicants are asked to perform specific roles under supervision. An audition interview involves being taken trough simulation to evaluate ones skills. All that is necessary in facing an interview of whatever kind is confidence and an upright attitude! (Mathis & Jackson, 2010)
Completion of a Standard-Type Application Form

Planning, Implementation and achieving results

Describe a challenging project, activity or event which you have learned and taken through to a conclusion. Include your objective, what you did, any changes you made to your plan and state how you measured your success.
Two months ago, while working at Blon Ltd. as a supervisor in the production department, we received an urgent order from a prospective client we had approached last year. It was the first time the company was to process such an order within such a short time. The biggest challenge was to achieve the target without compromising on quality or unnecessarily overworking the staff. Our objective was to serve this client, and still serve our usual clients without affecting anyone negatively. Something had to be done and really fast! I immediately talked to the production manager and the purchases and supplies manager. We sat down to work out a strategy. The staff we had could not cope well with such a burden. We decided to hire on casual terms five more employees, made a prompt order for materials and slightly added the working hours while paying for the overtime in office in order to meet the deadline. The entire exercise was quite challenging but eventually we managed not only to satisfy our new client’s demands but also supply our perennial clients and on time. So, by the end, we had satisfactorily acquired a new client and maintained the old ones with only slight adjustments. This to me was a success.

Influencing, communication and teamwork

Describe how you have achieved a goal through influencing the actions or opinions of others (perhaps in a team context).What was the circumstances? What did you do to make a difference? How do you know the result was satisfactorily?
While working at EM Technologies Ltd, a crisis arose resulting in an industrial action by all the employees that paralyzed the functioning of the company completely. The employees were demanding a salary increment. As a senior employee at the firm, I was approached by the board of directors to look for a way forward. One thing was however clear to everyone; the company was making loses over a period of two years now and it would be impossible to make any upward adjustments on the salaries. After lengthy negotiations with the staff leaders it was agreed that they would resume to work and immediately the company performance improved, their remunerations would be reviewed. The employees returned, but their performance was below average. I convened a meeting with all employees, and we agreed to put in more effort and working hours in all the departments. Within a span of six months, the company started recording good returns. By the end of the year, the board ordered the increment request be implemented. The employees were all happy and the company continued to perform better to an extent of providing an insurance cover for the employees and their families.

Analysis, problem solving and creative thinking

Describe a difficult problem that you have solved. State how you decided which the critical issues were. Say what you did and what your solution was. What other approaches could you have taken?
While at YTR Ltd. The accounting office was broken into and money and many other office records were stolen. The company’s operations almost stopped since all the orders, invoices and check books were stolen and all data saved in computers vandalized. As the chief accountant, every one looked up to me to give direction. At first, I too was confused, but I realized we had to start afresh. First, we had to notify the bank about the lost checkbooks to get replacements immediately. Next, we called our clients to inform them of what had happened. We agreed that they would resend their orders and allow us an extension in time for us to reorganize. Those, I figured were the most pressing issues. With that settled, I created a crush budget to purchase new computers and carry out repairs in the office; and since there was no liquid cash available, I decided to use my savings to bail out the situation. Alternatively, I could have waited until the police completed the investigation so as to recover the lost items. I figured that could jeopardize the operations of the company further. Within two weeks the company was operating normally despite the hiccup.
NAME:                                   Terry Calvin
DATE OF BIRTH:                 March 1985
POSTAL ADDRESS:            39062457, CA.
EMAIL ADRESS:               calvin@yahoo.com
PHONE NUMBER:               2345098
NATIONALITY:                   American
LANGUAGE:                                    English, French.
RELIGION:                           Christian
I am a self-driven and highly motivated team player with excellent interpersonal, communication and analytical skills. I am a greatly skilled at solving problems and result oriented person who pays great attention to detail and believes in meeting set operational standards and deadlines.
To be a dynamic professional able to work with any institution as a platform to exploit my knowledge and skills to produce tangible results and for enhanced career growth.
2006 TO 2011: LK UNIVERSITY-BSc. Biotechnology
2000 TO 2005: California Senior Academy
1988 TO 2000: California Junior Academy

Production of yoghurt and milk shake
Analysis of fermentation processing
Packaging final products
Record keeping
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

Tissue Culture Lab
Producing tissue culture banana plantlets using aseptic techniques
Analytical Lab
Qualitative analysis of raw feed material for private manufacturers
Weed Science Lab
Botanical Identification and classification of weeds
CHAIRMAN-Biotechnology club, LK University
MEMBER- Science and Technology Club
Voluntary Community Service
Reading Science Journals
Peer Counseling
1). Mr. John Evans                                                      2). Dr. Alex Daniel
ABC TECHNOLOGIES LTD.                                  LK University
ADDRESS: johny@abctechltd.org                            ADDRESS: adadn@lku.ac.am
3). Mrs. Walter Gregory
ADDRESS: gregorywlt@xzc.org


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