Sunday Jan 17, 2021

Episode 18 - What does a professional educator look like? Part One.

In today’s episode, I ask some of my education students a big question: “what does a professional educator look like?” 

I thought it pertinent to share this now as, over the last year, especially during the pandemic, teachers have had to adapt to multiple models of teaching: in person, online self-paced, online in real-time, hyflex (where they do online and in-person at the same time), the art and act of teaching has been on public display more than ever before. Education is complex, and teachers have had to adjust how, when, and where they work at minimal notice. In the public eye, teachers have gone from heroes, when parents struggled to get their own kids to engage in learning when on lockdown, and the subsequent realization that wrangling over thirty of someone else’s children is more difficult than they initially assumed. To villains, when some teachers are inflexible or intolerant in acknowledging the problems of their learner’s new learning environments, or the narrative that students are not learning online, or not being given work that is engaging, or that teachers are struggling to adapt to these new modalities. The thing is, the dispositions needed to be a successful, professional educator in the height of a pandemic, are not that different to those of a successful professional educator in the before times.

This takes us to today’s content. A year ago, right before the pandemic hit, I asked my students, who were in their first ever education class, to think about what they know about teachers and teaching, and in groups, create a poster showing what a professional educator looks like and why. How might you tell if a teacher is a good one just by looking?

For many, this poster presentation was their first time talking about education in front of others. I’m so thankful they agreed to allow me to record this for the podcast at the time.

So, from those who had recently left school…what does a professional educator look like?


Listening to these presentations, I couldn’t help pick out some common dispositions. I’m sure there were some that resonated with you too. We will here some more from the students in the next episode.

For me, it’s the stories of teachers, students, and school communities that matter. As such, this podcast is only possible with the help and support of its listeners. Please leave positive reviews wherever you are able. If you are an ITunes or Spotify subscriber, leaving a good review can really help our visibility.  Also, please don’t keep this podcast to yourself. Tell your friends to subscribe and listen too.  

One thing we all have in common is that we’ve been to school. So, if you would like to contribute to the pod in any way, if you have a story to share, long, short, tragic, or comic, if you have comments to make about the podcast, or just want to say “hi”, you can send an email to I love to read what you have to say.

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You can find suggestions for topics, copies of the show notes, and you can download previous episodes of the podcast at

The podcast artwork was created by Phaedra.

Opening and closing music is by Bryan Boyko.

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