As an English teacher, there are two professional organizations that have made an enormous difference in my career. The first is NWP (the National Writing Project) and the other is the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English). Both annual conventions happen simultaneously in the same location, so next year is in Orlando.
If we want the public to treat teachers as professionals, I think we must treat ourselves as professionals and get involved in the professional organizations in our area, not just as a member, but as a presenter, and as a committee member.
Here's a video made by NCTE to celebrate their centennial.