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Teacher Ethics


With the School Year underway, now is a perfect time to promote the role of teachers specifically in the area of “Teacher Ethics”.

“I believe we must maintain a culture of professionalism and respect with our students which provides a healthy atmosphere for student growth”.

From this prospective we must:

A) Maintain proper boundaries-we are role models, we can be friendly to our students and we need to always consider and remind students of the limits of our relationship as Teachers.
B) Our professional behavior, values and responsibilities are more important than being popular – in other words “keep the relationship between teacher/student embedded in and with our teacher competencies”.
C) Dress Professionally – again, we are role models, please take time to dress with care before we teach others – just my opinion “Jeans are not professional dress”.
D) Be consistent in your interactions with students – try not to favor or make exceptions for a favored one or a few – Advocate for all.

Do you agree/disagree? Please respond.

Mark Brophy
Staffing/Mentor Corrdinator
Worcester Public Schools
Worcester, Mass.


I agree. I would have to admit, though that I become too involved--too caring in my hope to make a difference. My personality is such that it lends itself to being popular. I want to help children in cases where they do not have a safe person (adult) in which to confide. Therefore, at those times, I do let them know that I will help to find a suitable resolution to their problems. By taking this approach, my hope is that I can somehow minimize the problems and help them with their learning. I often get jugemental looks as if I am completely wrong. And many times, I feel alienated as an assistant, because I am not credentialed. Our world is so different than when I was attending school (60's/70's) that makes it manadatory for schools and educators take on new roles. Most importantly, we should be responsible AND professional (and that is always at the forefront of my dealings with children). Nothing is more off-putting than some of the verbiage I hear, and ways of behaving from teachers and the manner in which they relate and interact with our future leaders; the innocent children!

Before a teacher steps into their first classroom, they've spent 4-6 years in college, they've gone through an extensive interview process, and they have made a serious commitment to becoming a teacher of young people. Therefore, dressing professionally should be understood, regardless of whether or not there is a dress code for teachers at their school. Want to be treated like a professional? Then dress and act like one!

As for professional behavior, common sense should rule the day. Courtesy, respect, and appropriate relationships are the hallmarks of today's teacher. If you wouldn't do it in front of your principal and the child's parent... don't do it. Meet the child's need, not your own.

Come on, people... we know what's right and wrong, or we shouldn't be teachers!

I believed I missed that research report linking "professional dress" with students' scores on standardized exams. Petty administrators with poor managerial skills always rely on superficial parameters for teacher evaluation. Common sense is in the eye of the beholder, usually a closed minded authoritarian more interested in feeling superior than helping someone improve. Hey, just my opinion.

Two quick comments/ observations for writer#1, and writer #3.
#1 Your need to be "the Fixer" in your student's lives, does them more harm than good in helping to develop an individual who is prepared to encounter the myriad personalities of society without loosing their balance.
#2. Get in touch with me after you have been in the trenches for about five years, and "your school" " your principal", and even "your district" put out the call out for younger, more ,professional type individuals who are qualified instructors.

Teachers used to be respected, partly because they dressed the part. They were a figure of authority. You complain about the way a student dresses yet you don't dress much better yourself. How to you expect them to listen to you if you are not willing to set some standard yourself.

I'm with Loren Steele, I also missed that research report. Poster #4 - 'a figure of authority'. Here is your problem. You should have moved on from this. You are here as a facilitator to assist in student learning. You should be engaging and maintaining students’ interest in the learning process, not forcing them through authority.

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The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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