Short answer: no.
‘Puter asks this question seriously. “Profession” is defined as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.” Based on this definition alone, ‘Puter would concede teaching elementary and secondary education is a profession. However, ‘Puter thinks the definition leaves out one very important element: the ability of the client to fire at any time for any reason, or no reason at all, the professional.
When ‘Puter thinks of professionals, several jobs spring to mind immediately. Among them are: doctor, lawyer, accountant, engineer and architect. Each of these jobs is characterized by high barriers to entry, just as teaching is. That is, a state licensing body requires years of study at accredited institutions of learning, along with a rigorous examination and licensing process, before one can hold one’s self out as a member of that profession. However, where teaching and the aforementioned professions diverge is at the other end of the transaction: termination.
No other profession has the termination barrier that teaching has. In fact, teaching has entrenched its state-supported perpetual right to employment where, to be fired, you have to be “caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy,” assuming you are a heterosexual man or lesbian. Reverse the quote if you are a woman. Or homosexual male.
Teachers have a union to protect them from their poor performance. In New York, tenure guarantees teachers a job for life, as the procedure to fire a teacher can take years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and school districts would rather continue to pay a teacher than go through the termination expenses. Clients, be they parents or school districts, are unable to effectively incentivize individual teachers because of union contract seniority driven pay scales. And, in New York, pension benefits are literally constitutionally protected.
Other professions have none of this back-end protection. You as a patient can switch doctors whenever you want. Further, you can fire your lawyer if she botches your house closing. You can fire an architect if you don’t like her renderings. If your software engineer freezes your payroll system because of poor coding, you can show her the door. And you can do it at any time, for any reason whatsoever or for no reason at all. This ability of the consumer of a professional’s services to end an unsatisfactory relationship immediately keeps good professionals sharp and weeds out the incompetent.
Teachers meet the minimalist definition of professional as their job requires advanced knowledge and specialized training. But, as teachers are insulated from the natural and immediate consequences of their failures (if any), they are not truly professionals.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.