An Atmosphere of Professionalism and Respect

Jordan T. Nicodemus 
Principal – I
Ricardo V. Adriano Elementary School

Public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties and responsibilities with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees). They shall enter public service with utmost devotion and dedication to duty. They shall endeavor to discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage. Professionalism is the extent to which employees approach their work as professionals. It enhances several aspects like (1) sense of efficacy, (2) level of experience, (3) subject matter knowledge; and (4) pedagogical knowledge(Manzano, 2003). Professional school heads and teachers perceive themselves as someone who can effect change or learning (sense of efficacy) because they are expert in what they teach/practice (subject matter knowledge). Their sense of efficacy is heightened by their level of administrative/teaching experience. Efficacy or effectiveness stems not only from their knowledge but also from their dedication to their learners and to their job. To continually improve on their effectiveness, they invest in their education (Stronge, 2002). They pursue continuing higher education.

The school where principals and teachers see everyone as a colleague and where everyone thinks and acts as a true professional, will attain a collaborative school or organizational climate that breeds high performing learners. Respect is anchored on the belief that every person, regardless of color, nationality, ethnic group, economic status, age, gender, and ability is a child of God, hence has dignity or worth. Once respect is established, demonstration of fairness, care and concern for every student, teacher, parent, school head readily follows (Corpuz & Salandanan, 2003). When people feel they are respected, their learning is facilitated. A school head, for example, can provide this by creating a warm emotional climate where he/she shows genuine expression of care and concern for his/her teachers. Respect their ideas, opinions and suggestions, however outlandish they may sound. This atmosphere generates the feeling of being safe and motivates them to explore their ideas and genuinely encounter and confront others without any threat. When they experience that they are respected as persons, confrontation and differences in opinion become constructive. If you are an administrator, a department chief, or a school head, accepting people for what they are is a condition you can provide to facilitate adults to learn. If some of your subordinate exhibit resistance and ignore your efforts to help them grow and learn, do not insist on their change. Understand them. Recognizing them for what and who they are means that you allow them to hold on to their values and to be themselves. The more you insist to change people, the more resistant they become to change (Mendoza, Hidalgo & Banquico, Jr, 1993).