By Amy Fontenot, Nickie Moe, Katrina Moore, Cassandra Rosa
The purpose of this workshop is to provide our teaching staff with both the legal and ethical expectations required of them as members of our teaching staff. The information provided today will cover existing policies regarding conduct, positive interactions with students, parents, staff, and community. Steps will be given on how to be an effective communicator with your students, parents, and fellow faculty members. Guidelines pertaining to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), and Technology use in the classroom will also be discussed.
Policies Regarding Conduct
- Teacher handles each issue separately, unless deriving from a prior issue or a continued matter.
- They resolve the matter as quickly as possible, and treat every student fairly with reasonable consequences that reflect school policies and state laws.
- Finds facts that are not misrepresented, or have personal prejudice or bias views.
- Students are provided with constructive criticism that establishes a safe environment for open communication and trust.
- All student information is kept confidential unless court ordered or brings harm to the student or someone else.
- Teachers are expected to role model good behavior through positive social interactions, provide continuous encouragement, reinsurance, and moral support in school and personal life.
- Educators do not purposely expose students to ridicule.
- Teachers need to treat each other with common courteous through open-minded communication, professional manners, and proper etiquette.
- This can be accomplished through self awareness of body language, gestures, tone of voice, respectfully listening, and speaking clearly.
- Colleagues also keep a peaceful work environment by not willfully spreading false accusations or rumors, revealing confidential information, or hinder others freedom of choice.
- Works to abolish actions or ideas that violate individual professional integrity.
- Teachers need to make tangible efforts to effectively communicate all relevant information about the students to the parents.
- Provide respect through understanding and valuing all diverse cultures.
- Encourage parent involvement with disciplinary issues, school activities, and class work.
- Play an enthusiastic role in the community through volunteer or mentor programs.
- Actively learns about the diverse cultures within your community.
Creates clear relationships that are established on positive grounds.
(Association of American Educations, AAE, (2011.)
Positive interactions with Staff, Parents, and Community:
- Listen to each others idea and value opinions
- Provide open lines of communication
- Be respectful with responses, listening, and questions
- Offer assistance on planning, tasks, or issues with students
- Seek advice from each other
- Offer ways in which the parents can find resources outside of school
- Provide good behavior reports
- Remember major or special events and ask about then
- Congratulate them on success heard from students or other sources
- Give thank you notes for providing supplies, their time, or gifts
- Asks businesses to help with lessons in class or provide supplies, such as a banker talking about budgeting on balancing accounts, or a power company supplying more energy efficient lights for a science project.
- Actively volunteer a few times a year
- Join a mentorship program at a local tutor club, church, or youth group
(Schimmel, D., Stellman, L., & Fischer, L. (2011).
Effective communication is at the core of being a great teacher. Every teacher should learn how to be an effective communicator. Effective communication involves ("Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? “, 2016). :
Effective Communication with students:
If a teacher wants to be effective, she must be skilled at listening to her students as well as explaining concepts.
Teachers must be able to break down complex thought to simpler parts ("Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? “, 2016).
Teacher should be able to adapt communication to all students regardless of ability or learning style ("Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? “, 2016).
Effective communication involves having good presentation skills. Teachers need to be able to take subject matter that is not interesting and make it interesting. This all about good communication on the teacher’s part ("Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? “, 2016).
Effective Communication with Parents:
A teacher must be able to express themselves both verbally and in writing in order to report student progress to parents.
A teacher need to be able to explain the strengths and weaknesses of their students so that parents will understand the message and be receptive rather than defensive ("Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? ", 2016).
The message must be delivered clearly and with tact to the parents ("Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? “, 2016).
Teachers should be comfortable communicating with parents regularly.
Some forms of communication that take place between teachers and parents are phone calls, informal notes and formal report cards.
Teacher also need to listen to a parents concerns.
Effective Communication with Colleagues and Supervisors
Good teaching involves consultation with colleagues.
Teachers are encouraged to plan lessons together and learn from one another.
Many times teachers take a team approach when problem-solving, especially for difficult students.
This all requires excellent communication skills.
Teachers stay informed about new developments in education by reading journals, listening to new ideas from their administrators and school board consultants, and sharing and discussing these ideas with colleagues ("Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? “, 2016).
FERPA or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is an Act that was passed in order to protect a student's right to privacy in regards to their student records. The Act has five main features:
- "It requires school districts to inform parents of their parents of their rights under the Act each year."
- It guarantees parents the right to inspect and review the educational records of their children.
- It establishes procedures through which parents can challenge the accuracy of student records.
- It protects the confidentiality of student records by preventing disclosure of personally identifiable information to outsiders without prior parental consent.
- It entitles parents to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with the Act." (Schimmel, Stellman, & Conlon, 2015, p. ).
Under this Act a teacher has the responsibility to verify that any person asking for information regarding a students records whether it be written, filmed, recorded or verbal has the right or permission to access it. A person can gain permission by receiving the written consent of the parent.
If a teacher does breach the confidentiality of the student's records he or she can be terminated.
Technology has provided both teachers and students with new methods to research and learn in the classroom.
Five general purposes of usage (“Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues,”(n.d.):
1. Teach and model both legal and ethical practices connected to technology use.
2. Apply technology resources that will enable and encourage students with different
characteristics, abilities, and backgrounds.
3. Identify and Use technology resources that assert diversity.
4. Foster safe and healthy use of technology resources.
5. Facilitate fair access to technology resources for all.
Use filtering software that prevents students’ access to potentially harmful websites and applications
(International Society for Technology in Education, 2016)
Practice and abide by copyright laws (using the works of other companies), and rules of plagiarism (stealing another person’s work without citing). Failure to comply is illegal
(“Discussion of Legal and Ethical Issues,” (n.d.)
Respect the intellectual, physical, and properties of others.
Association of American Educators (AAE).
(2011). Code of Ethics for Educators. Retrieved from
Discussion of Legal and Ethical Issues.(n.d.)
International Society for Technology in Education, 2016
Retrieved from http://www.iste.org
Schimmel, D., Stellman, L., & Fischer, L. (2011). Teachers and the law. 9the, Pearson Education
Social, Ethical, Legal and Human Issues.(n.d.)
Retrieved from http://www.columbia.k12.mo.us/hhs/dphillip/standard6.html
Why Is It Important for Teachers to Have Good Communication Skills? (2016). Retrieved from http://work.chron.com/important-teachers-good-communication-skills-10512.html