Ethics for Educators in Today's Schools
Why is Professional Conduct Important ?
Importance of Teacher Conduct
From the moment one makes a decision to pursue a career as an educator he must also consider the high level of expectations regarding professional conduct and ethics. Teachers are subject to greater scrutiny because of their interactions with students, parents and the school community, (UOP, 2008). It is important for teachers to recognize the magnitude of responsibility that is inherent in the teaching process. (NEA, 1975). Educators are role models and for this reason their conduct is expected to be exceptional both inside the classroom and outside as well. A teacher's desire to be respected by colleagues, students, parents and the community offers an incentive to maintain a high degree of ethics at all times. (NEA, 1975). Teachers must also be careful with the use of social media, texting and sending of photos. Much thought must go into the decisions regarding what to share and with whom he/she interacts. Developing and following a professional code of ethics helps make sure teachers act in a professional and ethical manner at all times. (Zieger, 2015)
Expectations for Professional Conduct
- be thoughtful and responsive listeners. (UOP, 2008)
- be committed to reflection, assessment and ongoing learning. (UOP, 2008)
- believe that all students can learn (UOP, 2008)
- provide quality services in the classroom and in the community ( NSW, 2015)
- be courteous in dealing with others
- be honest and trustworthy
- make decisions that are procedurally fair and avoid discrimination (NSW. 2015)
- develop professional work practices including proper attire in the classroom
- not expose students to embarrassment (NEA ,2010)
Expectations for Professional Ethics
- Promote dignity and respect and not participate in behavior that can be perceived as harassing, bullying, or intimidating. (NSW, 2015)
- Be committed to social justice and oppose prejudice and dishonesty (NSW, 2015)
- Maintain high ethical standards with students, treat all equally and minimize contact outside the classroom to appropriate school or community events.
- Avoid offering advice to students that may be offensive to or in conflict with family or religious beliefs.
- Protect the student from harmful situations and be perceptive to any signs of child abuse or neglect.
- Act with dignity and respect anywhere in the community where students and their families may also frequent.
- Set privacy settings on social media to keep information private.
- Never friend or follow a student (or sibling of a student)
- Not use Geo-Locators on Social Media that allow others know one's location (Childnet International , 2011)
- Never post derogatory comments on social media about students, parents or colleagues. (Childnet International, 2011)