An educator's primary interest is to guide and help a student to realise their self-worth at a personal level and as a member of the society or community. The Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct in the field of education profession aids in promoting students' education for a smooth and proper learning process. The Code of Ethics primarily entails educators, values, principles, obligations and concerns to promote proper professional conduct while providing the required services to the students. The Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct are representing guidelines necessary for an educator's profession and what the community and professional educators should expect from them, (Office of Professional Practice, 2013, para.1).
These Code of Ethics provide a detailed outline of actions that are useful in handling most types of situations that can be encountered when an educator interacts with his or her students. As an educator nurtures democratic principles, it is best to recognise the weight of excellence and should also pursue the truth. These actions are in the best interest of withholding every person's dignity and equality to others. Legal issues that a teacher requires to discipline and protect the students are also lined up in the Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct.
Dealing with the Florida Code of Ethics, it is well detailed on an educator's role in nurturing a student to great heights, that is, on legal issues, expected professional behaviour while in professional practice, concerns, values, principles and obligations to observe (Florida Department of Education, 2013).
Educator's Primary Concern
The primary concern of an educator according to the Florida Department of Education (2013) is the student. An educator should be able to develop a student's potential over time to be a reasonable individual in the society. It is always in the best interest of an educator to consider producing great minds in the community. It is with a domineering fact that when one, especially an educator or teacher sees the products of his or her upbringing bare relevant fruits in the community, there is usually a feeling of great excitement.
Since the principal concern for a teacher is the student and the student's potential growth in the society, an educator must create a positive learning environment favourable to the student as well as independent learning course of actions for a more natural understanding. This can be achieved easily by ensuring the whole academic program coverage and using unique, diverse viewpoints during class discussions. There should also be a chronological order for the educational program coverage to eliminate the problematic understanding process for the students. This ensures their morale and personal confidence of the student which are part of their potential development. To encourage the learning process, teachers have to come up with skills of classroom management. This makes an educator's work more accessible. The teachers must protect the student physically, mentally, and emotionally from unsafe conditions and unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement, maintaining the confidentiality of the personal and educational students' information. The teacher must be sensitive, empathic, and respectful with the students, parents, colleague, and other members of the community (Florida Department of Education, 2013).
Educator's Ethic Conduct
At any point should an educator's ethical behaviour not go wrong in front of his or her subjects or students. The students mostly learn from examples, even the accidental cases one tries to take advantage and attempt in life. That is how much students are hungry for knowledge and a role model in their lives. The point is that any unethical behaviour or misconduct is not proper in any way in the teaching profession. Therefore, teachers have to acquire and develop technical knowledge, a certain degree of appropriate judgment and a sure level of integrity to maintain high standards of ethical behaviour of their students, colleagues, parents, and other members of the community. This ensures an all-around conducive environment for learning since the main learning aspects come from how people relate to the society. The teachers have to be conscious about their role in the nurturing of the students like a social and loyal model that participate in building a smart, productive, and ethical citizen for a better life in the undetermined nature of the world. It is essential that the teachers have been discreet with their own life, separating work life from home life in all aspects. This includes how they can tackle their domestic predicaments and professional predicaments without interference from one another. Even though, they have to be present that their private life could affect their professional development. Therefore, for that, the educators have to maintain high levels of ethical performance in all areas of their life since everything in one's life depends on one another. That is why every field must be treated with proper ethical conduct. According to the Code of Ethics of Florida (Florida Department of Education, 2013), the values in relation with high levels of ethical behaviour are the following: honesty, integrity, be fair, do not lie, and not discriminate. An educator should be able to uphold them for the proper upbringing of potential individuals in the society.
Educator's Reports Responsibility
An educator should be responsible for every child in the society and act like parents and guidance for them. Any children suffering in the community should be able to have a resounding level of confidence that their school mentor or teacher should be able to come to their aid when needed. These types of reports include child abuse, rape child abandonment, among other scenarios. According to the Florida Legislature (2013), Chapter 39 and the Florida Department of Education (2013), Section 1006.061(1) of Florida Statutes, it is mandatory for the teacher to report any known or reasonably suspect of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect by the parents, legal custodian, or school. As well as, if the child is in need of supervision and lack care or the child has not had a parent or legal custodian. Furthermore, the teacher has to report if the child is a victim of sexual abuse if the child is the juvenile sexual offender or showed inappropriate sexual behaviours. For this reason, the teachers have to observe the students behaviour, listen to the students' verbalisations, watching students' drawings, and checking students' written stories. It is essential that the teacher compile and verify the information that supports his or her suspect the most quickly as possible because there is a child in risk and he or she could be damage physically, mentally, and emotionally. The teacher has to report the case to the central abuse hotline department, and they determine if the case meets the requirements to proceed an investigation. An educator should be a person accountable for such matters. A child or student should be fully able to rely on their teachers for any help and teachers should be able to guide them in the right direction by the legal issues of the ethical behaviour.
It is wrong for a guide or educator to uphold unethical behaviour during professional practice. Some unethical behaviours can be intentional and require immediate action to be taken against those in participation. Therefore, a teacher can be suspended if his or her behaviour affects the health, safety or welfare of the students negatively. As stated earlier, the primary concern of an educator should be the wellbeing of the students. If unethical conducts jeopardize this, then there is a good reason to avoid and get rid of such bad company. For example, "obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, testing violation, physical aggression, and accept or offer favours" (Florida Department of Education, 2013, para. 2). Furthermore, the inadequate use of technology provided for the district could have sanctions for the teachers. For example, using equipment offered to the community for personal or business purpose. According to the seriousness of these acts, there are different types of penalties from temporary suspension until termination of employment and revocation of an educator's certificate. This necessarily means the end of one's professional career and should be taken with a lot of keenness.
Here is a case study of a child undergoing child abuse at their home. The student arrives at school late every day with torn clothes. The student seems to be suffering from malnutrition and always have fresh suspicions bruises majorly on the face and arms. I presume other parts of the body are bruised too. The child also looks like he has not taken a bath for a long time, hence the bad odor from him when he sits in class. This makes other students uncomfortable. All these characteristics show that something is not right. The student is being abused at home.
Since a teacher should be responsible for ensuring that each of his or her students are safe, according to the Florida Code of Ethics, the teacher should take legal actions to help the student. As an arbitrator, the teacher should first compile information about the child issue and consult both parties involved, that is, the student and his parents. Then the educator should be able to formulate a detailed report of the claim of child abuse from the observations made supporting it with sufficient evidence. The evidence should be obtained in the right manner, and it should be very accurate. The report is then to be forwarded to the central abuse hotline department for necessary legal actions to be taken against the wrong party.
When handling this kind of sensitive issue, a teacher should be the details of the case confidential. This helps in the assurance of the child's confidentiality and in avoiding stigmatization. Primarily, all these is to ensure that a teacher can keep his or her students safe and aid them in developing social life skills for their potential growth.
Reflection of Case Study
About the above case study, the teacher plays a very genuine and vital role in helping a child that seemed to be abused. The child always came to school late with dirty clothes and bruises all over him, with a bad odor emanating from his clothes. The student was persistent on how he came to school, and this raised a significant concern to the teacher. The teacher collects evidence, then forwards the case to the child abuse department for further investigation. The teacher is a concern with the welfare of this particular student. This is the primary concern of an educator in accordance to the Florida Code of Ethics. This shows an ethical behaviour in the education profession.
Additional Resources to Avoid Professional and Ethical Conflicts
Education in Florida is under the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). The department outlines the rules and codes of ethics that dictate the education in the Florida region. These rules are as a reminder to the teachers to uphold ethical values and focus on the primary concern which is student's potential development. The Florida Department of Education has some other offices like the office of Professional Practice Services (PPS) to investigate unethical behaviours and uphold discipline in the education sector.
There is the Education Practices Commission (EPC) that laid out a guideline which defined some specific teachers' acts of violence and their respective disciplinary actions considering the facts of the case. Another is the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (EAP) which is a core standard f...
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