Professionalism and Educational Ethics
Educators can use the following codes to guide their decision making and actions in an effort to work in the best interest of their students
Professional educators shall work in the best interest of their students and honor their responsibilities to their students, school, district, community, state, and profession as evidenced by:
Responsibilities to Student:
- Refrain from disclosing confidential or damaging information that affects the student
- Make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions detrimental to learning, health or safety.
- Maintain professional relationships with students both inside and outside the classroom
- Refrain from soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, physical, sexual, or romantic relationships with students
Responsibilities to District:
- Adhere to conditions of contractual obligations with professional practice
- Fulfill reporting requirements honestly and accurately
- Appropriately use funds, personnel, property, and equipment committed to his or her charge
- Refrain from falsifying any documents related to the employment process
- Conduct school district business through established procedures
Responsibilities to Profession:
- Demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards
- Fulfill all of the terms and obligations detailed in the contract
- Maintain appropriate licensure for professional practice and employment
- Provide accurate information to state department
- Abide by all federal, state, and local laws and employing school board policies
Adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education, September 2013
The educator, believing in the worth and dignity of each human being, recognizes the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, and the nurture of democratic principles. Essential to these goals is the protection of freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards.
The educator recognizes the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in the teaching process. The desire for the respect and confidence of one's colleagues, of students, of parents, and of the members of the community provides the incentive to attain and maintain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct. The Code of Ethics of the Education Profession indicates the aspiration of all educators and provides standards by which to judge conduct.
The remedies specified by the NEA and/or its affiliates for the violations of any provision of this Code shall be exclusive and no such provision shall be enforceable in any form other than one specifically designated by the NEA or its affiliates.
PRINCIPLE I: Commitment to the Student
The educator strives to help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy and effective member of society. The educator therefore works to stimulate the spirit of inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the thoughtful formulation of worthy goals. In fulfillment of the obligation to the student, the educator:
- Shall not unreasonably restrain the student from independent action in the pursuit of learning.
- Shall not unreasonably deny the student access to varying points of view.
- Shall not deliberately suppress or distort subject matter relevant to the student's progress.
- Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety.
- Shall not intentionally expose the student to embarrassment or disparagement.
- Shall not on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, marital status, political or religious beliefs, family, social or cultural background, or sexual orientation, unfairly:
- a. Exclude any student from participation in any program
- b. Deny benefits to any student
- c. Grant any advantage to any student.
- Shall not use professional relationships with students for private advantage.
- Shall not disclose information about students obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.
PRINCIPLE II: Commitment to the Profession
The education profession is vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring the highest ideals of professional service.
In the belief that the quality of the services of the education profession directly influences the nation and its citizens, the educator shall exert every effort to raise professional standards, to promote a climate that encourages the exercise of professional judgment, to achieve conditions that attract persons worthy of the trust to careers in education, and to assist in preventing the practice of the profession by unqualified persons.
In fulfillment of the obligation to the profession, the educator:
- Shall not in an application for a professional position deliberately make a false statement or fail to disclose a material fact related to competency and qualifications.
- Shall not misrepresent his/her professional qualifications.
- Shall not assist any entry into the profession of a person known to be unqualified with respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute.
- Shall not knowingly make a false statement concerning the qualifications of a candidate for a professional position.
- Shall not assist a noneducator in the unauthorized practice of teaching.
- Shall not disclose information about colleagues obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.
- Shall not knowingly make false or malicious statements about a colleague.
- Shall not accept any gratuity, gift, or favor that might impair or appear to influence professional decisions or action.
Adopted by the 1975 Representative Assembly NEA
I hereby pledge my dedication to the profession of teaching. I accept the obligations and the challenges of guiding students to knowledge, always showing them care and concern. I will encourage respect for all people, and will cultivate the disciplined, yet free minds necessary for a democratic way of life.
I promise to champion policies which promote quality in teaching and learning. I will provide everyone engaged in education the opportunity to achieve their own level of excellence. I will strive to become a knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision maker and emulate these qualities, which I pledge to foster. I recognize that at times my endeavors may prove discouraging. Nonetheless, I remain faithful to the belief that my actions in the pursuit of these goals make me worthy of my profession, and make my profession worthy of free people.
Adapted from “The Educators Oath,” PDK, June 1985
The majority of college students belong to some type of social network. Through the virtual environment of the World Wide Web students share their thoughts, chat with friends, and build communities. Although these communities are fun and have many benefits, there are risks inherent with their use. As a future teacher it is important for you to be aware that some of these risks could damage your future employment opportunities. It is important to remember that online postings are available to anyone, including prospective employers. It is also important to understand that postings can be copied, modified and posted to other sites. Once posted on the Internet, digital information is accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime, forever.
Because teachers are viewed as role models for young people, school communities and society in general hold teachers to a higher standard of conduct. Modern technology allows students to observe teacher behaviors in new ways. This makes professional digital citizenship a crucial issue for teachers and pre-service teachers.
It is the vision of the College of Education to prepare educators who are “knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision makers.” In order to ensure opportunities for a long-term successful teaching career, the following list of risky behaviors are provided for your consideration.
- Your reputation is at stake! Online profiles posted should be consistent with the image you wish to present to future employers.
- As a student teacher, harassing language, possible university alcohol, and/or drug policy violations are subject to investigation and sanction.
- Involvement with videos of inappropriate, illegal, questionable material or discussing obscene libelous or inappropriate topics or images may result in a negative reference or non-consideration for an employment decision.
- Participation in wiki blogs with inappropriate topics may result in a negative reference or non-consideration for an employment decision.
- Instant messaging (IM) or chatting with students or colleagues regarding inappropriate personal topics may result in charges such as sexual harassment.
- Text messaging K-12 students about inappropriate personal issues or topics may result in termination of student teaching or lab experiences and termination of employment.
This list contains examples and is not exhaustive. New technologies (not listed here) may have similar issues or repercussions. Please use professionalism when considering the use of social networking and the possible ethical issues involved.