Being a Professional

On an e-mail forum recently there has been a ‘useful’ discussion on the notion of what it means to be a ‘professional’ in the context of being a youth worker/minister. One of the observations made, reflecting on the current economic climate, was that it was so called ‘professionals’ that caused the problems. Is to be a ‘professional’ a good thing or a bad thing, is it contary to a calling, to being spirit led ….. or in harmony with it? (I have a colleague who prefers to talk about doing things excellently, which I like). This whole debate being very important for the UK context where we professionally train Christian youth workers who often serve as youth ministers for the Church.
Towards the end of thread, a colleague who I respect a great deal added this ….. :


Looking at the ‘roots’ of such things … from the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, we find:
Main Entry: pro·fes·sion
Pronunciation: \prə-ˈfe-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English professioun, from Anglo-French profession, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin profession-, professio, from Latin, public declaration, from profitēri
Date: 13th century
1: the act of taking the vows of a religious community
2: an act of openly declaring or publicly claiming a belief, faith, or opinion : protestation
3: an avowed religious faith
4 a: a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation b: a principal calling, vocation, or employment c: the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

Have a look at look at Visual Thesaurs for a ‘thinkmap’ on the word ‘profession’
…. clearly calling and vocation are central to any understanding of ‘profession’ ….
….if the professions have power, then professionals are called to use that power wisely and with integrity … it is sad (understatement) that professionals in some disciplines have abused their position and in so doing have brought into question the very nature and status of others who resolutely honour and uphold the ethical code and tenets of their ‘chosen’ profession ….
.. a re-discovery of that sense of calling and vocation maybe what is needed across the professions ….

(re-produced with permission)

The Essay: A fight for existence

I only have one and half terms to go before I (hopefully) gain my professional qualification in youthwork, A black belt in informal education snappily entitled a ‘JNC!’ Although it has at times been a frustrating experience given that there is no recognition of 20 years experience and prior training, I am enjoying it. The area I am struggling with though is essays *shudder!* In the Darwinian battle for available time the dominant meat eaters, as it were, are clearly family, work, home and the like. Essays exist merely as an ill-equipped herbivore struggling not to become extinct. BUT sometimes a looming headline gives them that evolutionary edge and they fight back. This being one of those ocassions I am sitting in a coffee shop battling with,
‘Critically discuss the ways in which new Labour have sought to identify and tackle social exclusion in relation to the young people you work with’
However my PhD from the University of Life (a highly accomplished piece of research in the art of Procrastination) is kicking in big time. I have done 500 words BUT then decided to use an Essay Generator to see what it might come up with. Sadly the results (below/continue reading) are not going to cut-the-mustard but amused me nevertheless 🙂 Shalom

Continue reading “The Essay: A fight for existence”