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Welcome to my neurosis.
Please check your sanity at the door.
Short essay: The case for the language of service 
14th-Oct-2010 08:22 pm
9CWL Edda introspective

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.
15th-Oct-2010 03:19 am (UTC)
Well said.
15th-Oct-2010 03:25 am (UTC)
Thanks. :-)
15th-Oct-2010 04:50 am (UTC)
Well said. Are you publishing this anywhere, or is it more for your own benefit?

If you really want 5 more words, I think I found them.
15th-Oct-2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I would like to get it published somewhere (probably somewhere affiliated with the union), but I can't find submission guidelines anywhere.

If I certify with the National Board, I've got another five words, but I'm curious about what you're thinking. What do you have in mind?
16th-Oct-2010 07:02 am (UTC)
In the first paragraph, fourth sentence, add the number of professional orgs you belong to (one word).

In the second paragraph, second sentence, say "do not" instead of "don't" (one word).

Second paragraph, after the last sentence, add another sentence: "They are individuals." (three words)

Re submission guidelines: there should be a contact email or phone number on whatever union publication (or website) you're interested in. Contact them and ask for their publication guidelines...if they have one written down, they'll happily send it to you. Good luck! :)
9th-Mar-2011 04:08 am (UTC)
I agree with anne_d - well said!

I've worked with a lot of teachers and I know some personally, and this sort of passion for your profession is sadly missing from a good number. It's awesome to see and reminds me of some of the best teachers I had when I was in school.
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