Professionalism in Educational Therapy

Professionalism Requires GrowthProfessionalism weighs heavy upon me in the midst of anything I do. This attitude was instilled in me by my father who has been a top-notch salesman for over 20 years; often standing within the top 5 sales persons in his company from year to year. Further, professionalism has been in my recent deliberations concerning my career due to a recent survey I embarked upon regarding the doctrine of vocation (perhaps summed up best by Martin Luther when he said: God does not need your works, your neighbor does). Since I have been placed in the field of educational therapy, I am to glorify God in every aspect; one of those aspects involves professionalism and integrity.

It is important for Christians to practice with integrity and professionalism in the midst of a world, especially in special education, that looks down on Christians. However, if Christians are to practice with integrity there must be goals and plans in place for it to occur; professionalism does not occur overnight. Further, I believe that in order to maintain a professional practice, you must always be learning from colleagues and adapting your practice to ensure best practice methods. Professional practice requires ardent work, self-sacrifice, and faithful application of conviction and practice. Accordingly, when reflecting upon my own practice, there are two areas I wish to work on in the coming year in an effort to improve my professional practice.

First, I must be empathetic. I am not naturally empathetic when it comes to educational expectations. I frequently battle the temptation to chalk up a student’s shortcomings to conscious and willful laziness or a failure to apply one’s self adequately (though this does happen from time to time). When reading the chapter entitled “Empathic Intelligence” from The Clinical Practice of Educational Therapy, I was convicted of the role empathy is to play in our educational practice. Though there was much I learned this year regarding empathy and the practice thereof, there is still much I could do: daily practice patience when frustration is evident, continue to provide a safe, encouraging, and personable environment for therapy, and go out of my way to provide positive feedback and encouragement in progress throughout the year.

Second, I resolve to zealously learn my students. My students are made in the image of God and inhabit more than figures on a page; it is imperative that this never leave the forefront of my mind in my practice. As I learned this past year, interaction with my students extends beyond the therapy walls. Moving forward, it is my earnest goal to learn the academic desires, wishes, passions, ambitions, temperaments, study practices, and family dynamics of my students in order to fully accommodates their needs in a manner that involves them and is not merely about them.

What about you? Do you have thoughts regarding professionalism in your vocation? Share them in the comments below and let us begin a dialogue!

From the Desk,

Mr. Bluebaugh


One thought on “Professionalism in Educational Therapy

  1. Candy

    My first thought is that sometime I have intentionally let my wall of professionalism fall as I recognize in the relationship I am working on, whether a business relationship or friendship, and am sensitive to the person that I am looking at and their specific need. Sometimes I need to be very real in a way that I would not define as professional but not necessarily unprofessional. I would hope that those moments would all be Holy Spirit led but I am sure in my humanness that they have not been all. There is a fine line between being real and maintaining a professional relationship. Are people so inappropriate these days that being appropriate is also defined as being professional? Interesting to consider.

    Expectations also circumvent how professional I maintain certain relationships. When I was in the field of Interior Design, I found it very important to be very aware of the environment I walked in to. Many times I could pick up the moment I walked in the door or the moment someone opened their mouth the kind of professionalism that I should maintain. In that field there are drastically different ways to approach professionalism. In this area you may be working in a farm setting one moment and immediately go to a condo on the Plaza. I found myself being professional in both areas but it certainly looked differently in both venues.

    Now that I work for our family business and am the face that greet our very valued customers I’m also very sensitive to the different kinds of customers that we have. After being in charge of 55 decorators in 5 states in my “before homeschool mom” career and now in a different kind of upscale business, I recognize that their is a real gift to being sensitive to how far to go with who under that umbrella of professionalism.

    Thank you for the opportunity to think about this on this beautiful day. I wish I had more time but I now don my Grandma hat and it’s off to play!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s