ERIC Number: EJ934723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 0
The Professionalization of Independence: New Tensions and Opportunities for Independent School Teachers
Valentine, Stephen J.
Independent School, v70 n4 Sum 2011
In this article, the author suggests that a successful independent school career, especially in an increasingly professionalized environment, follows the model of the best teachers he knew at the start of his career. They did not walk around looking for "either/or" solutions. Instead, they adopted a "both/and" stance. They taught students and worked closely with intense parents. They prepared students to think for themselves and helped them credential themselves in order to gain admittance into the college that was truly right for them. The lesson of successful veteran teachers is clear: Teachers need to edge forward in their professional conduct. Passion and knowledge are great, but they will not sustain teachers over time. Today, they also need to hone their communication skills so that their parent correspondences are clear and student centered. They need to manage email accounts, web portals, and RSS feeds. They need to teach their classes while also developing programs to expose students to community service and global educational activities. They need to conduct meetings and give speeches and identify key data points. And tomorrow, there will be new skills to learn. The professionalization of independent schools, of course, should never look the way it looks in a rigidly corporate setting. Teachers have an obligation to keep the "human" alive in their schools. By embracing the tensions inherent in their work--and using them to seek balance--schools will remain vital as an educational choice for families. The author discusses four tensions that he thinks are particularly important to understand.
Descriptors: Private Schools, Teachers, Communication Skills, Educational Opportunities, Conflict, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Effectiveness, Educational Planning, Media Adaptation, Institutional Mission, Technological Literacy, Performance Factors, Professional Development, Educational Practices
National Association of Independent Schools. 1620 L Street NW Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-793-6701; Tel: 202-973-9700; Fax: 202-973-9790; Web site: http://www.nais.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A