I meet thousands of student teachers at hundreds of colleges and universities and discuss such issues. I pose questions like, for example, what is a profession? How is a ‘profession’ different from any other kind of job? Do your professional judgements reveal particular values?
Discussing these questions invariably sets off a flurry of debate about the boundaries of personal and professional life. So for example, I ask: “If you are a good teacher, does it matter if you…
- get drunk in pubs or clubs at weekends?
- regularly exceed the speed limit in your own car?
- use recreational drugs with friends in the privacy of your own home?
- engage in flirtatious and sexualised banter with colleagues?
- network with your pupils and students on educational matters using Facebook outside of school hours?
- become active in an extreme political party?”
The diversity of opinion is fascinating. Some students will say ‘Yes, it does matter – I’m seen as a role model’. Others will argue that their private life should be kept separate so why should they be accountable for it professionally?
Read more and get involved in these discussions and tell me what you think…!