A piece in yesterday’s New York Times describes the thin white line among doctors in reporting “incompetent or significantly impaired” colleagues. Two thirds of doctors surveyed said they “completely agree” that they should report all instances of incompetence to a professional society, hospital or clinic.
A profession defines itself and drives its own professional culture by insistence on widely-normed levels of practioner competence, ethical standards, and care for its clients. In the early 20th century the American Medical Association strategically developed understandings of professional practice, in part to keep regulators out of their business, to drive up fees for service, and to establish greater technical competence around the work.
Do we have such standards in education? Are we self-policing? Would you report a colleague whom you considered incompetent as a teacher, abusive or a bully with children, or impaired in their ability to perform their duties in your building?
What would happen if you did?
What do we need to do to make teaching a profession, rather than an avocation or a job?