Ethics & Professional Practice in Education
by Contributing Writer
Teachers are role models for their students.
Education is the responsibility of the state though the federal government does exert influence, which is mostly financial. The codes of ethics and professional practices come from both the state and local boards of education. Educators are protected under the federal constitution.
Certification is the first professional standard in education. Every state has a list of requirements that must be met to earn a teaching certificate. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is working toward changing that to a nationwide standard.
Qualifying tests come before and after certification. Professionals need to be competent, and testing checks for that competency. Continuing education for credit is also part of the process. Many states require a certain amount of continuing education credits per year to maintain certification.
Contracts are another part of professional practices, giving protection to both the teacher and the school district. A teaching contract states very clearly that everyone's goal is the education and welfare of the students.
Performance is checked through evaluations. Teachers should lead by example; their abilities and ethics naturally come out in the classroom. Classroom observations and evaluations look for these traits.
Code of Ethics
Every state, school district, and campus has a code of ethics, and every one starts with, "We are here for the students." Behavior and general conduct toward students, community, and colleagues are also addressed.