The most important part about being professional is having your colleagues and managers take you seriously in a working environment. If your goal is to be taken seriously and be seen by your boss as an asset to the school and open opportunities to climb the career ladder, you’ll need to be professional.
What do we mean though when we say the word 'professional'? It's more than just being on time and doing the daily tasks that you feel are the bare minimum, and by doing a good enough job. It's about taking extra steps to show you care. With the help of our simple tips, you'll be able to learn how to behave more professionally as a Teaching Assistant.
Follow Your Companies Policies And Rules
The first step to being professional is making sure you follow all the rules and policies. Ensure you are fully aware of your company's compliance rules, which could cover a range of documents, including a company handbook, an ethics code, an induction pack, and disciplinary and grievance procedures. This is an excellent first step to understanding your company's expectations and what is and isn't acceptable at your workplace.
How You Portray Yourself
Being professional isn't just how you act but also how you present yourself. You need to make sure you pay attention to how you look every day, what you say and what you do. All the information you received in your company handbook, make sure you put this into practice by complying with the company’s dress policy, code of conduct, and code of ethics. It's always best to be overdressed than underdressed, so if on your first day you're not sure what the school's dress policy is, either find out in advance or be prepared to put in a bit more effort into your appearance until you know.
Be On Time For Classes & Meetings
The majority of schools will expect you to be on time for all classes, meetings, planned discussions, and for you to be at work at certain times of the day. Every workday is different, so make sure that you know what the expectations are around your start time, if you aren't sure, ask your superior.
Whenever possible, it's always best to come to any scheduled meeting or classroom prepared and also 5 minutes early. This will help you become settled and organised before things start. Ensure you also have all your materials and papers before any classes begin and that you are prepared to participate in the classroom and help give your input to support the teacher.
Behave Professionally In Public And Online
Students, parents and the general community outside of your working foundation will still see you as a teacher. Fundamentally, you represent your school and career even off the clock, as you will be seen as a leading role model in those students' eyes. In order to achieve this, you must ensure to respect others and be responsible in every aspect of life.
Social media can be an excellent way for you to connect with your students, but you must maintain that there is a level of respect that must be upheld; it can lead to a gateway of unprofessionalism which can lead to some pretty severe consequences. It is advised to keep your personal and professional social media profile separate and keep fairly stringent privacy settings for each.
Having up to date skills and knowledge is way more beneficial than letting them get outdated. Look into courses that can expand your knowledge and skill set. It also shows the company that you are willing to learn and grow and have the drive to become more. Courses that focus on topics such as Special Educational Needs are always favourable in schools.
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