How to become recognised as an English teacher professional
What do you need to know if you want to be recognised as a professional English teacher by your students and customers? But then again... is it really worth all your time and effort in establishing your professional profile? To be called a "professional"? Can you really afford not to become one?
So let's first establish what exactly a "professional" is and then find out if this is how you would want your students and customers to see you. Lastly, whether you can afford to ignore it.
What is a professional?
In the words of Guy Le Boterf, a French expert on competency development, "A Professional is a person who possesses a personal body of knowledge and of know-how which is recognised and valued by the market."
When do you become recognised as a professional?
This is what the world expects of a professional. But people are also quick to judge who you are and what you can accomplish. There are plenty of books telling you how to "dress for success" and control your body language. But keeping on top of your personal traits is only part of the story of managing your professional image. And then again, if you aren't managing your own professional image, others are. People are constantly watching your behaviour and forming theories about your competence, character, and commitment. So it's only wise to add your voice in framing other people's theories about who you are and what you can accomplish.
In the end, it's you who will decide when you are a professional. When you do, they will follow and accept your statement: you are a professional. And yet, how do you know when you've reached that coveted rang of professionalism?
How can you measure your professional-image progress?
One method you can use to measure your progress in professionalism is the price you ask and receive as a representative value for your work. Reality shows the opposite. The work you do as an English language teacher is underpaid and undervalued. Rarely is an English teacher recognised as being professional. A person who gives quality service and work. And without being recognised as a professional, it is going to be more than difficult to set your fee for your services - and have them accepted and paid. So, how can you build up professionalism? What can you do to become recognised as a professional English teacher who demands a respectable fee for services rendered?
How to become recognised as a professional
One of the easiest ways to build up your reputation as a professional English teacher is your worksheet. Your lesson worksheet. It's called "personalising" and "recycling" your worksheets.
Personalising: Personalising small areas in your worksheets will help your private customers and students become satisfied customers and students. And this is a major step to creating the professional image you are striving for.
Recycling: It's preparation and planning that is at the heart of your teaching career. Each new language area you begin is the start of a new recycling project. Bit by bit, you start to build up your collection of topics and areas of language when your students' need them.
How can personalising and recycling your lesson worksheets be a step to creating a professional reputation?
Because your students - your customers - are satisfied customers. And spread the word. And with each referral your professional reputation grows.
What have you learnt so far? You've learnt people are constantly watching your behaviour and forming theories about your competence, character, and commitment. If you want to be recognised as a professional English teacher and trainer, it's only wise to add your voice in framing other people's theories about who you are and what you can do. It's your own professional image. If you aren't managing your own professional image, others will.
You've learnt the first step is to organise and plan a profitable career as an English teacher is to declare your professionalism.
And how do you go about this? If you want to be described as technically competent, socially skilled, of strong character and integrity, and committed to your work, you have to work on your professional image.
And why is this professional image important? If you aren't managing your own professional image, you won't be able to demand or receive the payment you feel you are providing as a service to your students and customers.
So what should you do now to take the reins into your own hands?
What is necessary now?
You have to start by setting up an organisational plan to prepare for each company or group of students or student. You will have to plan and prepare your lessons and lesson worksheets for each company, group of students or student, so they can be "personalised" and "recycled".