A Wandering Minstrel (fearciuil) wrote,
A Wandering Minstrel

Short essay: The case for the language of service

245 words. It annoys me that I can't seem to find another five words to get it up to an even 250, but it seems to work as it is.


I am a professional. I have between six and eight 30-, 45- or 60-minute appointments with clients on any given working day. I hold two university degrees. I am a member of professional organizations committed to the betterment of my profession. I am required to maintain up-to-date knowledge about my practice. Like other professionals, the ethics of my profession require me to zealously serve my clients to the best of my ability and expertise.

As a professional, I am bemused, puzzled and slightly saddened at the insistence on referring to my clients as though they are objects being manufactured. I don’t manufacture anything. I serve clients. True, I serve them in groups of between nine and 27 (22 is typical in my practice), and yes, they are all between the ages of five and 12, but that does not make them widgets.

We in my nation are engaged in a great debate about the requirements, effectiveness and fundamental nature of my profession. I would like to challenge my fellow professionals to reject the language of manufacture and adopt the language of service: how can we convince our policymakers of the nature of our profession if we accept the wrong vocabulary with which to discuss it? How can we defend ourselves when we base our defense on the false premises that our clients are manufactured goods, and that our practices are factories?

I am a professional. My profession is teaching, and my students are my clients.
Tags: rant: education, rant: politics

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