Teacher: show yourself!

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 Image credit: Jenny Downing

One of the topics at the Teachers’ Congress, organised by the Education Cooperative (in Dutch it is the Onderwijscoöperatie, the organisation of teachers, run by teachers, for teachers), October 2014, was the much discussed Teachers’ Register (in Dutch: Lerarenregister) . In 2017, all teachers will be obligated to register to prove their continuous professional development. Obligated. Again, this particular word that leads to the resistance of teachers. And that is a shame, because the Teachers’ Register can also be an opportunity to strengthen our professional branch. By presenting our professional development, we become stronger together.

The right to good education

The register is an opportunity to show that you are a professional. The professional who keeps developing himself, because our society keeps changing. The professional who knows that his teaching needs to keep developing too, because you prepare your students for the future. This means you cannot stand still. Indeed, you are indebted to your students to keep developing yourself professionally. They have the right to have a teacher who keeps himself informed and keeps looking for the knowledge and skills he needs, to be able to cope with new challenges such as Inclusive Education. They have the right to have a teacher who knows about the latest scientific insights and theories and tries to include new insights into teaching. Students can thus count on their teacher being able to connect to them and their educational needs. So that they can rely on being educated well.

In my statement A call for a happy teacher, I ask teachers about their passion, powers and talents. I encourage them to open their classroom doors and to show who they are, what they stand for and what they are proud of. Surely, are we not exactly the same as our children? They who love to show what they are proud of? They who grow when they get attention and then are encouraged to learn more and show even more of themselves?

Teacher: show yourself!

Be proud of your professional development. Show this to your nearest, direct colleagues, but also to other, indirect colleagues. We have such a beautiful profession. Together we can do so much more and strengthen our professional branch and make sure our voice will be heard. That is what we want, is it not? That people listen to us? That education is organised bottom-up and not top-down? But if we really want this, then we have to take responsibility. We need to be responsible for our own professional development. We need to ask for personalised training, training yóu need, to become a better teacher. Training that fits your personal and professional needs.

Because then you will be interested; intrinsically motivated. Then you want to learn. Then you have the knowledge to help yourself and your students develop themselves. And that leads to greater job satisfaction.

And then it takes no effort at all to scan your well-deserved certificate or diploma and upload it to the Teachers’ Register. In point of fact, if you are proud of what you have learned and achieved, you want to show this. And that is possible, among other things, in the Teachers’ Register. Oúr register, which will be a starting point for our professional branch to manifest itself. We will show ourselves!

This blog is a translation of the previously published blog Teacher: show yourself!

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