Thursday 19 May 2016

2.4: Role Models

Character in the Professions: Teaching

Discussion Board Unit 2.4

Please use these discussion boards to interact with your fellow learners. The discussion boards provide a unique opportunity for learners to debate ideas and thoughts generated by the ‘Character in the Professions: Teaching’ course and reflect on the application of theory discussed in your professional lives.

Unit 2.4 looks at the importance of ‘Role Models’ as individuals who can set positive examples for others, and who can be admired for their positive qualities or contributions.

Activity 1 invites you to think about who you see as role models in your place of work or study. Can you list 5 qualities of character that each role model displays? Why do you notice those qualities of character in those people? When do they demonstrate these qualities of character?

Activity 2 looks at negative role models. Is there anyone who has influenced you through negative actions, and helped shape who you do not want to become?

Please post your comments below and join the discussion.


  1. A person who has shaped my character in a positive way is my university lecturer. He was one of my lecturers that encouraged debate and discussion in every lecture and even though he was very religious himself, he always embraced views against his own and made everyone feel comfortable to share their thoughts. He therefore showed character traits of: Social intelligence, kindness, judgement, fairness and honesty. He helped me to become a far more tolerant and open minded person. A person who has been a negative role model would be one of my teachers in secondary school. She was very intimidating and spent lesson after lesson screaming at us all whilst we tried to keep our heads down in silence. She was also very unprofessional calling several of the girls 'tarts' when she thought they were wearing too much make up. She showed negative vices of: spite, disregard and rashness. She helped shaped the type of teacher I definitely do not want to become and taught me the virtue of kindness.

  2. My class teacher also my mentor at placement has helped shape my character. The class teacher acted as a positive role model inspiring me to practice character traits such as kindness towards the children in the class and around the school. The teacher always portrayed an interest in what the children are doing and did good by trying to help the children achieve their goals. The teacher also portrayed good teamwork by working with the TA’s and other colleagues around the school to help the children achieve the best out of their education. The teacher often liaised with other colleagues to discuss children’s progress and how they can move to the next step. The teacher portrayed creativity in everything she did, always thinking of new and exciting ways to entice the children with their reading, writing and mathematical skills. Another great character the teacher portrayed was showing fairness to all the children, as they are all equal and individuals. Finally, the teacher portrayed appreciation of beauty and excellence, the teacher noticed the little details that the children did and praised them often so they are encouraged to continue doing the best that they can in every situation.
    All these character traits are presented in formal and informal situations and adapted accordingly depending on the situation.

    During secondary school, my French teacher displayed signs of a negative role model. For a French assessment the teacher selectively gave majority of her students the answers to the test so they would get good grades and the results would show that she is making progress in the overall tests. Some of the students told other students and when confronted about this, the teacher lashed out and started screaming at us. We were put in detention for a couple of days and were told not to spread harsh rumours about teachers. This was very unprofessional of the teacher and at the time our innocent minds did not think anything of the sort and believed the teacher was right. However reflecting back on the situation the teacher acted unethically and unprofessionally. This situation taught me to act in a fair, just and honest way. Cheating in a situation for personal gain is a selfish and unethical thing to do, it may result in temporary gains but in the long term will prove to not be so worthwhile.

  3. People who inspire you:
    My personal tutor at undergraduate level was a great role model for me throughout the three years. She displayed excellent character, including traits such as kindness, hard work, creativity and hope. She had high hopes for all her students and always believed that we could achieve academic excellence, which, in turn, made us enthusiastic about our work and hard workers. Her lectures were innovative and we were always very involved; it was not simply sitting and listening, but involved lots of discussion and a variety of activities. I want to have similar traits when I am a teacher, as she was an excellent teacher who was also very kind and believed in us.
    A negative role model was a manager from one of my jobs, who constantly shouted at staff for getting things wrong and never appreciating the hard work they did. It made the atmosphere very negative as staff were always on edge waiting for the next reprimand. The negative vices she showed were impatience, a lack of gratitude and unkindness. Staff were always leaving as they did not enjoy the job, largely due to the negative attitude of this manager. I want to ensure I am not like this, and that I am kind and patient, but most of all liked in the teaching profession, by staff and students alike.