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Name of Student: Shane Dalton

Article/Reading: The Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers (The Teaching Council, 2016)

1. CONCISE SUMMARY OF READING

The code of professional conduct sets a guideline of the values and standards of education for
registered teachers. The code of professional conduct has three key principles.
1. Throughout a teachers career they must uphold an ethical and respectful ethos. This document
serves as a benchmark for standards in the education profession.
2. It is not only important for teachers to know the standards required for teaching, this document
also informs the wider community such as parents and students.
3. In relation to legal disputes regarding a teacher’s professional conduct, this document acts as
a legal reference during such enquiries.

The professional code of conduct establishes the ethical basis for all registered teachers to
follow. It presents four different values: respect, care, integrity and trust. According to The Teaching
Council (2016, p. 5) these values not only relate to the teacher in a school setting but as outstanding
members of society, a teacher should use these ideals to contribute to the social, cultural and
economic development of Ireland. “The teaching council believes that the adoption of this code of
professional conduct for teachers will enhance and deepen the confidence and the trust that society
places in teachers.” (The Teaching council, 2016. P 5).
The code states four ethical values under the headings of respect, care trust and integrity. In
relation to respect, a teacher is required to “uphold human dignity and promote equality and emotional
and cognitive development.” (The Teaching council, 2016. P 6). A regards care. A teacher must
respect students from all walks of life and to provide equal opportunity for all students in their care.
Teachers have a duty of care towards their students and must be “motivated by the best interests for
the students intrusted to their care” (The Teaching council, 2016. P 6). In the daily routine of teaching
trust is also an essential element, “teachers relationship with pupils/students, colleagues, parents,
school management and the public are based on trust” (The Teaching council, 2016. P 6). The
remaining value of integrity states that “teachers exercise integrity through their professional
commitments, responsibilities and actions” (The Teaching council, 2016. P 6). A teacher must show
strong moral principles in their daily lifestyles. The key values set out in the code of professional
conduct set an example for their students. The role of the teacher is to educate their students both
academically and holistically, to influence their students to become an outstanding member of the
wider community.
The Code of Conduct sets out six standards that apply to all registered teachers. The six
standards include: Professional values and relationships, professional integrity, professional conduct,
professional practice, professional development and professional collegiality and collaboration.
Professional values and relationships outlines that all teachers should be committed to the best
interests of the students intrusted in their care. As teachers we should show our students respect and
celebrate their differences. It is also our duty to promote this standard among the students in the
classroom. Relationships with students, colleagues and parents should reflect professional judgement
and should be seen as a positive aspect in the school environment. Professional integrity states that all
teachers should promote honesty throughout their daily lives. As teachers we should respect the
privacy of our students, colleagues and parents. In the event of legal proceedings or the wellbeing of
the person arises an exception can be made. The divide between a teacher’s work and private interests
should uphold the positive influence of the teaching profession. Professional conduct advises teachers
in how to uphold a positive image throughout their daily lives. Communication with students,
colleagues and parents by means of e-mail, phone or social media must be performed in a professional
manner. As teachers we should follow the policies and legislations set out by the government and
schools. Professional conduct also requires teachers to comply with the laws of the state, in particular,
under the influence of substances that may influence your fitness to teach and the possession of illicit
images is forbidden. Professional practice refers to the maintenance of high teaching standards and
professional development. It is a teacher’s duty to tailor their lessons according to the abilities of their
students, in order for the students to develop to their highest potential. It is a teacher’s responsibility
to maintain the quality of their practice, reflection and further development are a vital role in the
professional development of a teacher. Professional collegiality and collaboration promotes teamwork
in schools. Teachers should work together in order to provide their students with the best possible
learning environment.
The teaching council also deal with any complaints made against a registered teacher.
Complaints can be made by anyone, for reasons such as professional misconduct, poor performance
and medically unable to teach. The teaching council holds an enquiry to discuss the significance of the
complaint.
The code of conduct sets out strong ethical values for all teachers. Its main purpose is to guide
teachers in their personal and professional life to uphold the positive values and responsibilities the
teaching profession proudly holds.

2. CRITICAL REFLECTION

The code of conduct for professional teachers establishes the ethical practices for registered teachers.
These core ethical values play an important role in the daily lives of a teacher in my opinion. They
assist in shaping the person you are and the type of teacher you aspire to become. The standards set by
the Teaching Council guide teachers to give their students an equal opportunity to reach their
potential. I believe that the four key ethical values and the six standards of the code are interlinked to
assist teachers to provide their students with an education to continue learning throughout their life
both academically and as a person.
It is important to show all students, staff and parents respect throughout your career.
Particularly in schools there is an increase of students from cultural backgrounds such as race, ethnic
background and religion, “Schools should ensure multicultural perspectives are incorporated into all
aspects of school life by promoting diversity as a positive learning experience, incorporating
multicultural perspectives across all learning domains, incorporating multicultural, anti-racism, and
human rights perspectives” (Gluchmanova, 2015). The value of respect is closely related to the six
standards, in particular Professional Values and Relationships. A teacher should “respect the
uniqueness, individuality and specific needs of pupils/students.” (The Teaching Council, 2016, p. 7)
The key value of care is prominent in the code as teachers have a duty of care towards the
students in their school and should have the “best interests of the pupils/students entrusted to their
care” (The Teaching Council, 2016). This also is tied into the standard of Professional Values and
Relationships. It is the teacher’s duty to ensure students wellbeing is a priority. This duty of care
particularly applies to the woodwork room, many of the tools and machines are dangerous if not used
in the correct manner. It is important for the teacher to show a high standard of workmanship and to
utilize the safety procedures put in place such as PPE, correct guarding on machine, proper
maintenance of the machines and to encourage good practice in the woodwork room. “Teachers are
required to follow good standards and approved practice. Risky classes and activities require a greater
degree of supervision. If goggles, protective clothing, etc., are supplied for certain activities, it is the
teacher's duty to ensure that they are worn” (Citizens Information, 2015).
Trust plays an important role in throughout the career of a professional teacher. The
relationships between students, parents and members of the school staff/ management are based on
trust and honesty. In my opinion it is important for teachers to be honest with their teaching. Parents
and students trust that teachers are providing an education to the best of their ability which means
continually developing their skills and knowledge. According to Hayes Mizell (2010, p. 3) It is
important for teachers to continually develop their knowledge and teaching quality in order for
students to achieve their highest potential. The standards of Professional development, Professional
Practise and Professional Collegiality and Collaboration are based on trust. It is a teacher’s
responsibility to teach to the best of their ability, parents and colleagues place their trust in you as a
teacher to provide their students with the best education possible. “Take personal responsibility for
sustaining and improving the quality of their professional practise” (The Teaching Council, 2016, p.
8) Colleagues place trust in others teachers to cooperate in a team in educating their students, “work
with teaching colleagues and student teachers in the interests of sharing, developing and supporting
good practice” (The Teaching Council, 2016, p. 8)
I believe that performing as a professional is not only restricted to within the school grounds.
It is also important to show integrity in the wider community. A teacher should present themselves as
a positive role model in society. According to Marilyn Mitchell (2015) Along with an academic
education it is also important to provide students with a positive role model and assist the holistic
development of the student. “When students learn integrity in classroom settings, it helps them apply
similar principles to other aspects of their lives.”
The Irish Times (2016) states “No professional should be without an underpinning code of
ethics, from which it then formulates its codes of professional conduct and practice.” I believe that
these standards set by The Teaching Council are put in place to uphold the professional values that the
teaching profession has set. It is not just a teacher’s role to transfer knowledge to the students but to
develop them as a person who will become an outstanding member of the community. This document
provides the community with the necessary information to help parents and teachers understand the
role they play in educating future generations of students. I believe that by following the code of
professional conduct, I can provide my student with an education to the best of my ability.
3. LIST OF REFERENCES

References
Citizens Information. (2015, February). Teachers duty of care. Retrieved from
CitizensInformation.ie:
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/education/primary_and_post_primary_educati
on/teachers_and_schools/teachers_duty_of_care.html
Gluchmanova, M. (2015). The importance of ethics in the teaching profession. Retrieved
from ScienceDirect: https://ac.els-cdn.com/S1877042815005418/1-s2.0-
S1877042815005418-main.pdf?_tid=31c495b6-a2eb-11e7-a9c6-
00000aab0f26&acdnat=1506451849_dacd477489e74dd420ee56b685e40fdb
Mitchel, M. P. (2015, june). Creating a Culture of Integrity in the Classroom. Retrieved
from www.edutopia.org: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/8-pathways-creating-
culture-integrity-marilyn-price-mitchell
Mizell, H. (2010). Why Professional Develpment Matters. Retrieved from
learningforward.org:
https://learningforward.org/docs/pdf/why_pd_matters_web.pdf
The Irish Times. (2016, July Wednesday). Teachers and fitness to practice. Retrieved from
www.irishtimes.com: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/teachers-and-
fitness-to-practice-1.2735158
The Teaching Council. (2016, July). The Teaching Counicl. Retrieved from
www.teachingcouncil.ie:
https://learnonline.gmit.ie/pluginfile.php/88818/mod_resource/content/1/Code-of-
Professional-Conduct-for-Teachers%202016.pdf