My definition of professionalism prior to reading the material in the module was limited to the behavior expected of someone in a particular profession. I defined behavior in this instance as including 1) doing the tasks expected of you, and meeting a certain quality in the tasks, and 2) the image that you present in the workplace (that is, your demeanor towards students, colleagues, and superiors). When I read the paper by Quong, I felt a certain kinship with some of the teachers in the case studies presented because I was also asked to leave the first school that I taught at because of a lack professionalism on my part.
My father likes to tell the story of how he conditioned me to stop sucking my thumb at parties. I was about a year old at the time and although it was common enough among toddlers not to be a serious issue, my parents were warned by a dentist that the habit would eventually ruin my teeth if they allowed me to continue. They tried everything from putting gloves on my hands, buying me toys to keep my hands busy, to actually pulling my hand away every time I would unconsciously stray too close to my mouth but nothing worked — at least until my dad started putting Vicks Vaporub on my thumb. I’d try to put my thumb in my mouth several times but after realizing that it no longer tasted the way it should, I’d stop trying. It took about a week of constant application (unfortunately, he no longer remembers the reinforcement schedule because it was over 20 years ago, HA) to break me of the habit.
When I was reading about conditioning (particularly when I got to the part about operant conditioning), that was the first example that immediately came to mind. As my father was a disciplinarian with a temper (that I inherited), conditioning played a pretty big part in my childhood. Unfortunately, the results were often mixed.
I’ve always seen myself as a very introspective person. Growing up, I was extremely introverted, and as a young adult, I struggled with depression and anxiety issues that needed a lot of internal work to get over. I reflected regularly on my personal life and I recognize its importance in the teaching profession so for the most part, I looked at this module as something that I needed to get over so I could pass the course. However, when I finished, I realized that there was a lot that I didn’t know about critical reflection and I ended up finding value in this module.
I am currently a Learning Coach for a program that helps teachers become more digitally literate through project-based learning. According to Alex Patton, project-based learning refers to students “designing, planning, and carrying out an extended project that produces a publicly-exhibited output such as a product, publication, or presentation.” It’s similar to the idea of task-conscious or acquisition learning proposed by Rogers in that learning occurs through doing different tasks, however I would say that project-based learning is more focused and intentional, with some facilitation. It’s interesting to be coming from this background because I feel like going through the readings and the two classes that I’m taking is forcing me to be reflective of not only my previous experience as a high school teacher but my practices as a “teacher” of adults.
When I was still trying to decide where to pursue my Education courses, I didn’t hesitate to include UP Open University on my list. It seemed more sensible to try distance education, where I could accomplish the requirements at my own pace, instead of trying to fit classroom sessions and stricter deadlines into my erratic and unpredictable work schedule. I got the idea from my younger sister, who recently completed her Associate Degree in UPOU. I figured that since she and I have similar temperaments, it wouldn’t be too difficult for me.
After answering the three assessments for the course’s preliminary activities, I realized that I was wrong. Maybe it was the fact that I haven’t really needed to study for a class since 2013 but my study habits actually leave a lot to be desired.