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Teachers must take into consideration the school policies and the code of conduct that is appropriate in the educational work place. These policies and codes affect the ethical thinking of teachers and how they must act towards their co-workers, parents, and students. It focuses on what is considered as good decisions and the correct actions as well as the moral responsibility teachers must uphold. However, the opinion of the public is also a contributing factor to what is considered as acceptable/unacceptable conduct for teachers both in and out of the work place.
So what is primary ethics? What are the primary ethical considerations for teachers in a K-8 educational setting? One definition for primary ethics is a branch of philosophy (a theory or system of moral values) that examines ethical concepts and issues within a profession (Primary Ethics Ltd, 2013). Every school sets a standard or code of ethics that every teacher must adhere to and use as a guide which can help teachers perform effectively while setting an example for their students.
Teachers must acquire the ability to support the goals and mission under the code of ethics.
This means acknowledging a commitment to the students, the profession, and to the community. The Oklahoma Department of Education (the state in which I live in) requires a standard for performance and conduct for teachers. The site lists three main principles for teachers to follow which include: a commitment to students, the profession, and to the provisions of the Teacher Due Process Act of 1990 (The State of Oklahoma, 2013).
The first two principles of the ODE correspond with the National Education Association principles from the code of ethics. Both share a commitment to the students and to the profession. The primary ethics that K-8 teachers should consider is to serve the needs of all students by providing an educational environment that will promote the interests, social growth, and learning of the students as well as promote academic integrity, respect for others and the accountability for their actions.
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