Overview For Teachers
PROFESSIONALISM: The ability to act appropriately and display the character, conduct, standards, and behavior expected from a professional person; display appropriate language, dress, grooming and hygiene; acknowledge that appearance reflects on the image of the employer; the ability to display proper etiquette in meetings or at work- related functions.
PURPOSE: Upon completion of this module, the student will understand the importance of developing professionalism. In addition, the objective listed below should be met.
• Ability to recognize the importance of being professional in all aspects at work or school
• Ability to recognize that appearance and conduct, even when not at work, also reflect on the image of the employer/ company
• Ability to demonstrate proper etiquette in meetings or at work or school-related functions
This module focuses on teaching students the importance of professionalism in the workplace. Students will work to improve these skills through activities and guided discussions with their class . They will discuss aspects of professionalism such as appropriate behavior in the workplace, what professional dress looks like for different careers, and how appearance affects their image and reputation.
TEACHERS: WHAT ARE YOU OBSERVING?
What does Professionalism look like in the classroom or in school in general? A great way to answer this and get things going is through engagement with the students. Ask your students these questions:
1. What does professionalism look like in school?
2. How does your professionalism affect people around you? Example: language, dress, hygiene, interaction with teachers and administrators.
3. What does professionalism look like within your learning?
RELEVANCY OF PROFESSIONALISM:
A recent study found that 96% of HR executives and managers believe that professionalism relates to the person, not the job title. The study also said that 92% of them believe that colleges and universities should develop professionalism in their students regardless of their field of study. Lastly, 96% of them reported that a job applicant’s professionalism affects the likelihood of being hired. Source: Huhman, Heather R. “Professionalism in the Workplace by the Numbers.” Undercover Recruiter , 21 Mar. 2017 , theundercoverrecruiter.com/ professionalism -in-the -workplace -infographic/ .
The Cultural Divide
Time Allocation: 20 minutes
Materials/Resources: computer with internet access/ projector (teacher), paper, pens/ pencils, whiteboard, markers, computers/ tablets/ smartphones (students - optional), The Cultural Divide Worksheet
ANTICIPATORY SET IDEA:
• Show students the following video clip, “Being a Professional: Dale Atkins at TEDxYouth@EHS” (Since the clip is about 11 minutes long, you may want to stop it after 4 minutes if you don’t think you’ll have enough time.)
• When the clip is over, ask students the following question:
o What does he mean when he says that becoming a professional is a process?
WATCH THE VIDEO:
• Ask students to call out any words that come to mind when they hear the word “Professional.”
o Write all these words on the whiteboard.
• Next, have students call out careers where they believe professionalism is important.
o Write these on the whiteboard as well.
• Now, have students call out any characteristics they believe a professional person possesses. Anything related to their appearance, their attitude, their behaviors, etc.
o Write these on the whiteboard as well.
• Then, discuss how professionalism isn’t only important in the working world, but also in everyday life.
o Professionalism as a student o Professionalism via social media
o Professionalism in public
• Tell students: Today’s workforce is very diverse. People of different ages and backgrounds are working together more so today than ever before. The purpose of this activity is to consider how we perceive others and how others may perceive us, as well as whether or not these perceptions paint an accurate picture of who we are .
• Divide the class into six different groups and give each group one of the scenarios from the The Cultural Divide Worksheet.
• Give students a few minutes to read their scenario and discuss it with their group.
• When finished, have each group read their scenario out loud and share what they discussed as a group.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING:
Technology Use: Create a Kahoot (Kahoot.com ) which is an interactive game that students can log into from their computers or smartphones. The game provides instant feedback.
Non-Technology: Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down: Students will demonstrate their level of understanding by giving a thumbs up or thumbs down. Students with thumbs down will need more clarification.
ETHICAL SCENARIO--Optional (if not using, skip to "review and closing")
The Ethical Choice Scenarios have been developed to provide teachers with the ability to make the material applicable to real-life and relevant to the students. Within this guide, directions and prompts for the teacher will be in BLUE for ease of facilitation.
READ THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO OUT LOUD TO THE STUDENTS:
LATE NIGHTS = TROUBLE FOR WORK
It’s Saturday morning and you spent all last night at your friend’s house watching movies, eating junk food, and staying up way too late. Before you went to bed, you forgot to set your alarm to get up in time to go home and get ready before you had to go to work. You just got a weekend job and barely get any hours but your co-worker had a funeral to attend so you said you’d gladly cover their shift. You wake up in a panic to realize that you have to be to work in 30 minutes! You run to the bathroom to see that not only is your hair in a huge knot but you are covered in junk food crumbs from all the snacks you devoured last night. You start grabbing all your belongings and bust out the front door to run home . You start going through all your options – if you go to straight to work now, you will have 10 minutes to freshen up in the bathroom but you will have to borrow one of the loaner uniforms from the storage closet. If you go home and get ready, you will most likely be 20 minutes late but at least that will give you a chance to shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair and put on your uniform. You absolutely hate being late but you also know how important it is to show up to work ready to go – and this includes having good personal hygiene. What do you do?
ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: (display them to the class if necessary)
1. How many of you have already been faced with this scenario in real life?
2. What are the possible outcomes of this situation?
3. What are possible positive or negative consequences for you, depending on your decision?
GUIDED DISCUSSION: ASK STUDENTS TO SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE SITUATION AND HOW THEY ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS.
NOTE 1 : To help facilitate discussion, share any personal experiences you may have encountered with this same sort of issue.
NOTE 2 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students, “ How could you avoid putting yourself in this type of situation ?”
NOTE 3 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students , “ What values do you think are in tension here, why is it an ethical dilemma?”
CLOSING DISCUSSION: ASK THE STUDENTS, “ WHY IS PORTRAYING PROFESSIONALISM IMPORTANT AT YOUR AGE ?”
REVIEW AND CLOSING:
• Ask the students the following question and have them respond on a piece of paper. They will give their responses to you before they leave the classroom.
o Do you think you possess any qualities (physically -appearance or mentally -attitudes/ behaviors) that may have people
questioning your professionalism? If so, how can you change it?
CORRELATION TO OBSERVATION TOOL: The Frequency Observation Tool (FOT) has a category where students will be observed and rated on their professionalism. This lesson will give students the opportunity to discuss how being professional is an important part of their everyday life, eve n as a student. They will also look at how their appearance, attitude or behaviors can impact how others see them as a professional.
DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IDEAS:
-Visual: Visual learners will benefit from having the master list written on the whiteboard.
-Auditory: Auditory learners will benefit from the partner and the class discussions.
-Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learners could benefit by writing down any important information.
-ESL: ESL students would benefit from having a partner to assist them in the writing activity in case they have questions or need clarification.
-At-risk: At -risk students will benefit from the interaction they have with their group to help keep them focused and on task.
-Advanced: Advanced learners could benefit from helping other students write down their schedules, or by assisting ESL or At -risk students who may need additional help .