Learning Objectives

  • Identify the importance of ethics and the ethical practices of teachers.
  • Recognize the responsibilities of teachers as role models.
  • Determine individual values and code of ethics in becoming a teacher.
  • Compare the New York State Code of Ethics for Educators with the National Education Association (NEA) Code of Ethics.
  • Explain why integrity is an essential disposition for teachers.
  • Identify liability of teachers concerning copyright laws, mandated reporting and academic freedom.
  • Explain the FERPA law
  • Identify landmark legal cases in education and their importance in students’ rights in schools.

What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches -Karl Meninge

Teachers as Professional Role Models

Teachers are important role models for their students both in and out of the classroom.  Whether teachers are in school or involved in community functions, there are high standards of behavior expected of them. What is meant by the term professionalism?  The term professionalism relates to a certain level of degree, skill or expertise in one’s specialized area. Indeed, teachers must obtain schooling, required clinical experience and certain tests in order to enter the field of teaching. In addition to this level of knowledge, teachers must demonstrate integrity, impartiality and ethical behavior in the classroom and in their conduct with parents and coworkers. Teachers must model strong character traits, such as reliability, honesty, respect, lawfulness, patience, fairness, responsibility and collaboration.

In Loco Parentis translates to “in place of parent”. Historically schools are basically responsible for students while in the hands of teachers. Therefore, teachers have a great deal of responsibility for the welfare of their students.