In a word, professional educators are people filled with respect: respect for the potential of others, respect for the standards of the profession, respect for the learning environment, respect for the sheer magnitude of the work of teaching.
Student teachers are entering a profession where the growth and well-being of young people will be the central force occupying their thoughts for most of the day. The best interests of their students should shape and guide the moral and practical choices they make—from the lofty activity of designing powerful learning experiences to the mundane responsibility of being on-time and well-prepared.
Professionals remain engaged in learning over a lifetime. They are imaginative, seeking to design and redesign tools, discourse, structures and environments so that students can engage in learning and achieve their individual promise.
As Grant and Murray said in their book, Teaching in America: The Slow Revolution:
“Each teacher must answer three fundamental questions. Each question concerns a fundamental relationship a teacher constructs and reconfigures throughout his or her own life. The first of these concerns the form of the relationship with the student: What balance do I strike between expertise and nurturance? The second concerns the teacher’s relationship with colleagues and the community: What is my responsibility for shaping the ethos of the school? The answer to the third question concerns the teacher’s relationship with the society: Am I primarily a transmitter or a transformer of my society’s values?"