Max Weber's Ideas On Characteristics Of Professions: Profession Of Teaching

2230 words - 9 pages

Today we are told we can be anything we can dream up. Although this is true, Max Weber would argue that there are certain characteristics that define a profession. In his eyes the only ideal professions are medicine, law and priesthood. There are eight main points Weber makes each of which I feel can be applied to teaching (Bennet & Le Compte pg. 150).

The first thing on Weber's list is that a profession is self-employed and provides a service to the community (Bennet & Le Compte pg. 150). One way to disagree with this statement is that teachers run off salaries, so they are not self-employed. Joel Spring offers statistics on average white-collar occupations. Per year teachers average $43,250, compare this with an attorney and it may make some cringe as they are making an average of $82,712 a year (Spring pg. 175). Salaries in education follow the natural law of supply and demand. Increasing incoming teaching pay will attract more to the field, but should administration be worried about attracting the new? I think they should focus more on losing the more experienced. They all are deserving of more. Although, I have to say, if it was about the money, most would not choose the teaching profession. It is about the children, which is why I prefer to look at the criteria through the classroom. Teacher's have a lot of freedom to teach as they please and conduct their classes as they see fit within the content standards that is. I have been in many classrooms where teachers use different methods to convey the material; some use PowerPoint, worksheets, quizzes, overheads, while others prefer discussions and essay writing. It is said that teachers make an average of 200 decisions per hour (class notes. October 11, 2004). They do operate under a principal, but within the school building the classrooms are the teachers' very own space to be self-employed. He or she teaching is very unlikely to be under supervision. The service teachers provide is easy to identify because it's their job to educate the students. The parents and community members are paying for this service by means of their taxes. Therefore, I feel that this criterion has been met.

To fulfill the second criteria of Weber's characteristics one must have a sense of "calling" to the profession (Bennet & Le Compte pg. 150). I definitely feel I have a special calling to teaching. As a child I played school for weeks on end. My aunt would give me old materials from her classroom and I would be content to pretend grade papers for countless hours. During a teacher survey my high school computer-science teacher said, "I truly believe teachers are BORN not MADE." (Brown C.). This just reinforces the innate calling to the job.

Distractions and stress play a big factor when one must think about becoming a teacher. I think if a person has a calling to teaching the distractions and stress are only a very minute problem. It is something that can be dealt with on a daily basis, and it has...

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