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/ .
Time Allocation: 25 minutes
Materials/Resources: computer with internet access/ projector (teacher), computers/ tablets/ smartphones (students - optional)
ANTICIPATORY SET IDEA:
• When all students have entered the classroom, stand at the front of the classroom with really bad posture.
o Hunched shoulders/ shoulders rolled forward
o Head drooping
o Arms crossed
• Ask students, “What does my posture tell you about me?”
• After you get a few responses, stand at the front of the classroom with great posture.
o Shoulders back/ chest high
o Head high
o Arms at sides
• Now ask students, “What does my posture tell you about me?”
WATCH THE VIDEO:
• Tell students: when it comes to being a professional, not only does your behavior, attitude, and clothing play a part – your body language and how your present yourself does too.
• Your body language could be the deciding factor on whether or not you get hired for the job or offered a promotion.
• Show students the following video of Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk about Body Language (The video is 21 minutes long, so you may need to preview it to decide if/ where you wish to stop.)
• When the video is over, have a short class discussion and ask students to share their thoughts on the video.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING:
Technology Use: Create a short survey with Survey Monkey to check for understanding with the students that they will complete before they leave for the day.
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:
• Have students respond to the following question on a piece of paper to end the lesson. They will turn in their response before they leave.
o Think about your current posture/ body language habits and set an improvement goal for yourself.
o What is your goal? How are you going to achieve it? Who’s going to hold you accountable?
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 realize their professionalism is not only judged by what they wear and how they act, but also how they present themselves with their body language.
DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IDEAS:
-Visual: Visual learners will benefit from watching the video.
-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 .