The institutional ethical standards focus on creating a learning environment that strengthens student-teacher relations as well as encouraging the realization of the learners' full potential. They have four broad categories; ethical conduct towards students, performanceand practices,parents and colleagues,and community (Association of the American Educators). They help the institution maintain and promote its reputation thus guaranteeing its future and that of the students. Every employee has to follow all the set code of ethics to avoid institutional punishment as well as that of the relevant authorities.
Code of Ethics of the Elementary School
The teacher should always maintain professionalism when dealing with the student whether in the classroom or outside. This way, the educator thus refrains from any abuse whether physical or verbal or any other activity that may endanger the learner. The teacher is responsible for the child's well-being and thereforeshould not engage in any activity that undermines this standard.Also, the teacher should not have an inappropriate relationship with a student whether through written, verbal or electronic means and should not encourage the learners to engage whether directly or indirectly in illegal activities such as taking of alcohol and other drugs (Association of the American Educators).All the actions of the teacher towards the students should focus on helping them become better people and prepare them for the job market and life out of school.
Every instructor should demonstrate competence through a continuousshow of accountability in performance and capability to maintain professional integrate. Therefore, every educator should obey federal, state, local and institutional laws that promote good performance and practices (Association of the American Educators). In this case, the educator should comply with all the written school laws and those of the relevant regulatory bodies as well as the terms of the contract. The elementary school bases its employment requirements on the qualifications of the applicants. Therefore, every instructor has the responsibility to live up to these qualifications by showing his or her abilities to attend to all the duties allocated. Also, instructors mandated with the responsibility of managing the school funds should always maintain accountability and avoid misuse. Personal and professional integrity are essential virtues in ensuring career growth.
All educators should maintain professional and ethical relations with the colleagues. Teachers' misconduct has a severe impact on the reputation of the school. For instance, the parents and learners lose trust in the institution's capability to offer them high-quality and beneficial services. Therefore, all educators should ensure that all their actions do not damage the image of the school as well as that of fellow practitioners (Campbell, 2014). Also, they should ensure that they treat each other equally. Biasesamong educators create divisions thus undermining the practice of teamwork which is an essential requirement in imparting knowledge to the learners. Teachers are also required to maintain confidentiality regarding colleagues information unless requested by the law, avoid making false statements about one another and should grant each other freedom of choice in cases where one has to make a decision that violates personal expectations (Association of the American Educators). All educators have the freedom to exercise their rights as long as they do not violate the laws or the school system.
An educator should maintain integrity and respect to the parents and the community he or she serves. Cultural competence is a necessity in ensuring successful professional and personal growth (Campbell, 2014). Thus, the teacher should be able to learn, adapt and accommodate the cultural diversity of the community while conducting his or her duties which consequently promotes good relations. Also, the teacher should share information with the parents that are of importance to the interests of the students. Parents and instructors share a cooperative responsibility in ensuring that the student excels and therefore should share any information that is of importance in achieving this goal and does not violate the policies guiding the confidentiality of the student.
Goals of the Action Plan
- To ensure that all the elementary school educators maintain beneficial relationships with the students.
- To encourage teamwork among the educators as a way of improving the learning environment and the school's reputation.
- To discourage inappropriate use of school resources for personal gains
- To remind the educators of the importance of their professional and personal integrity and the societal expectations regarding their actions and community engagements.
Methods of disseminating ethical standards in the Elementary School
Frequent staff meetings that would give them an opportunity to engage in beneficial talks and point out the problems they are encountering while carrying out their duties.
Posters areindicating the various ways through which the educators can appropriately conduct themselves when dealing with the students, parents,and colleagues.
Student-Instructors activities that would give them an opportunity to know each other and understand one another's values outside the classroom. This method would lower the tension between the teachers and learners and instead build a strong bond that would eventually bring about trust and unity.
Methods of Measuring Ethical Behaviors and Practices
The school maintains high levels of student retain-ship and increased applications. In this case, the school will have low rates of student transfers and complains. When every educator plays their roles well, the learning environment will be friendly thus improving the academic performance and building the school's reputation.In the institution, teachers are the leaders and the students look up to them for behavioral and competence inspiration. Yukl and Prussia (2013) suggest that all leaders must be accountable for their ethical practices at their respective workplaces. This measure can be used by a leader in the organization to determine the satisfaction of the community and students served by the institutions and make decisions accordingly.The process of decision making requires an in-depth understanding of the environment and the population and thus making this measure very vital (Crossan,Mazutis & Seijts, 2013).
The members of staff publicly display effective teamwork which consequently impacts on the outcomes of their work. For instance, in a situation where teachers cooperatively assist students through their academic and co-curricular activities, the students are likely to perform better. Also, professional relations allow consultations whenever one is facing hardships thus makingthus building personal friendships and improving the staff's social lives. Katzenbach and Smith (2015) explain that teams bridge the gaps created by performance challenges. For instance, the elementary school has a large population which results inthe diversity of individual student needs and expectations. In this case, the teachers need to incorporate the aspect of working together to ensure that they attend to all students equally.A leader in the elementary school can use this measure to evaluate the impact of teamwork on the school's general performance and devise ways of encouraging them to work together.
An indication of improved accountability on the use of the school's resources. All the staff involved in the management of school resources such as funds and equipment should be able to account for their spending. Vargas (2013) explains that measuring academic progress should not only focus on the students but the instructors as well. Effective use of school resources is an indication of good performance. As a leader at the elementary school, this measure can help in identifying any embezzlements and punishing the practitioners involved by the policies of the school and relevant authorities.
The educators have reduced misconduct by 20% within one academic year.The factors used in this measure will include alcoholism and drug abuse, inappropriate teacher-student relations andneglecting of duties. Reduction of these misconduct issues will contribute towards upholding of professional and personal integrity thus building an individual and organizational reputation(Campbell, 2014). These challenges often have a negative impact on the teachers' ability to deliver useful content to the students thus resulting in underachievement. This measure will enable the leaders in the elementary school to come up with strategies of helping the affected teachers achieve full detachment from the issues which will eventually help them build successful professional lives as well as save the school from the risks of reputation destruction.
Ethical standards are very crucial in determining the success of an organization. As an elementary school, every member of staff should demonstrate the individual capability to uphold the institution's code of ethics as well as those of the federal, state and local governments. Educators should work together to help each other overcome the workplace and personal challenges that undermine their capability to maintain ethical practices and performance.
Association of the American Educators. Code of Ethics for Educators. Retrieved on 29 August 2018 from https://www.aaeteachers.org/index.php/about-us/aae-code-of-ethics
Campbell, E. (2014). Teaching ethically as a moral condition of professionalism. In Handbook of moral and character education (pp. 117-134). Routledge.
Crossan, M., Mazutis, D., & Seijts, G. (2013). In search of virtue: The role of virtues, values and character strengths in ethical decision making. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(4), 567-581.
Katzenbach, J. R., & Smith, D. K. (2015). The wisdom of teams: Creating the high-performance organization. Harvard Business Review Press.
Vargas, J. S. (2013). Behavior Analysis for Effective Teaching. Routledge.
Yukl, S. H. R. M. G., & Prussia, G. E. (2013). Ethical and empowering leadership and leader effectiveness. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28(2), 133-146.
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