Blog #3 for week 7: What are the ethical responsibilities of teachers?
I think that first and foremost it is important for teachers, parents, and students to know what the teachers’ ethical responsibilities are in order to protect the students. Anybody can look up what the responsibilities are for teachers online. This is important because everybody needs to know the rules so they know their duties are. I feel that this is essential to keep teachers accountable and having easy access to their responsibilities will make sure that students are mentally, emotionally, and physical safe.
One of the important ethical responsibilities of the teacher is to make sure students are not being bullied and to stop harassment. According to the teachers’ administrative code, “Standards 3.2: the Educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly treat a student or minor in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning, physical health, mental health, or safety of the students or minor.” (http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=7&ch=247&rl=2) This means teachers have to take action if they know, or have been told that they are being bullied and in danger. This has become a very taboo subject for teachers and I think that teachers do not think that they have the right to make those disciplinary actions and think that it is the parents’ decision to decide on the punishment for the children involved.
We are a community and have to work together. If there is a problem with a student at school or at home; parents, students, and teachers need to work together to come up with a proper solution to make sure that everybody is emotionally and physically safe so they have a proper learning environment and to make sure that the misbehavior stops.
Even if we misunderstand what the student says, I believe that it is better to be safe than sorry. As in the poem, “To this day,” (http://www.tothisdayproject.com/the_poem.html) where Shane was misunderstood and his teachers thought that he was physically abused by his grandmother, the teachers took the proper precautions and questioned him about the bruises they saw on his body. However, the teachers should have been more proactive when students started rumors and name calling Shane. This is part of the teachers’ responsibility to protect the student and stop any source of bullying and harassment toward other students whether it happens at school or home. This is important because teachers may be the only adults that they trust and students deserve our trust.
It is also our duty to teach students ethics and morals teaching them what is right and wrong. When there is an ethical or moral matter at school or in the community, I believe that it is imperative to discuss the issues in class and when there is a problem and what could have been done differently. It is also the teachers’ responsibility to make sure that parent and students know what bulling is so they know what not to do. Also, so students can keep an eye out if somebody else is being bullied and know what to do if somebody is being bullied so we can stop this horrible act of harassment.
Teachers are technically government employees and we need to be good role models for our students and community and exhibit good moral character. (http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=7&ch=247&rl=1) Students will not display good moral character if they are not shown what it looks like. This will also assist with their learning as well because you cannot properly teach if they have poor behavior and bully problems in the classroom. Students will not do their best in their academic work if they do not feel safe.
It is also the teachers’ duty to make sure that the learning environment is not only set up for conducive learning, but that the students are mentally, emotionally, and physically safe to learn. Teachers need to make sure that everybody is getting along and respecting each other and their differences. We need to teach them how to embrace everybody’s differences and celebrate them, not to ignore them.
If teachers properly display good moral character, makes sure that the students are mentally and physically safe at home and at school, and to take care of any bullying and harassment in the classroom; students will have an extremely productive academic career.