It has been three weeks now since EdcampMN and there is one question that was brought up in one of the sessions I attended that keeps running circles in my head. The question was brought up in the context of a discussion around agency and change and what is needed for teachers or even students to take charge or be empowered to act. The question was, “Is teaching an occupation or a profession?” I found this question so profound because the atmosphere in our schools is greatly impacted by how those involved (administrators, teachers, students, parents, board members, legislators, etc.) view teachers. Are those in a system governed by a top-down hierarchy more likely to view teaching as an occupation? Does this attitude toward teachers and teaching affect the decisions a teacher makes about pedagogy? Does it affect an administrator’s choice in who they hire or how they evaluate their staff? Does it affect how a legislator or board member votes on issues regarding funding and policy?
What do you think? Is teaching an occupation or a profession and what impact does the answer to that question have on education?