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Licensing Group Unveils Model Ethics Code for Educators

A newly released code of ethics for teachers could help provide some clarity across the mishmash of state rules.

The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification last year convened a task force to draft the code, with support from the University of Phoenix, ETS, and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. Now, you can read the final version.

Why the need for such a document? Well, NASDTEC notes that, unlike with other professions, every single state has its own measures for teacher misconduct. Usually, they're set in state code (in due process statutes, for example) or in other teacher standards. The hope is that a common framework will serve as a basis for standards of conduct to be "consistently and similarly established, adopted, and enforced, and that professional educators can internalize regardless of where they practice." 

Without further ado, here's a brief rundown of the five sections of the code. 

  • Responsibility to the Profession, including upholding the rules, policies, and regulations of the profession, maintaining mental and physical health, and engaging with professional associations.
  • Responsibility for Professional Competence. This includes keeping up-to-date on content and pedagogy, disposing of student records, and working to provide all students with equal access to curriculum and resources.
  • Responsibility to Students, including respecting their backgrounds, avoiding inappropriate relationships with students, and protecting student privacy;
  • Responsibility to the School Community, including working collaboratively with peers, supporting and mentoring new teachers, and communicating with parents in a timely and respectful way. 
  • Responsible and Ethical Use of Technology. This includes using social media in accordance with school and district policy, monitoring the potential for cyberbullying, and using technology to supplement teaching and learning.
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