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ID of Student: G00332142

Article: Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers

1.SUMMARY OF ARTICLE

The code of professional conduct for teachers is a mandatory legislation that all teachers
must adhere too. This article outlines the code of professional conduct for teachers as set
out by the teaching council. It is the role of the teaching council to promote best practise
and professionalism and support teachers learning. The teaching council are aware of the
significance teachers have on the youth today and therefore strive for responsible and
professional conduct from teachers.

Core values are outlined within the article which include many aspects of teaching from
the quality of education, to teachers’ commitment, to holistic development, and to caring
for students. Standards are established, and all registered teachers are expected to
maintain these standards while carrying out their role as a professional educator. The
standards are categorized into six main areas:
1. Values and relationships- It is the responsibility of each teacher to create a positive
relationship with each student, whilst also accepting that every student differs may it be
their gender, race or religion. All students have a right to equality and inclusion.
2. Integrity- Teachers must act in a professional and trustworthy manner with students.
Information that may be gained from students by the teacher should be kept confidential
unless a problem occurs that needs further ratification.
3. Conduct- It is the role of a teacher to demonstrate professional conduct within their
profession whilst integrating with students, staff and wider school community for
example parents. Teachers should also promote an awareness and care for their students
and their property whilst under supervision.
4. Practice- Teachers should acknowledge that there is no limit to educational knowledge
and training and they should not fall into a trap of ‘teaching from the book’ because not
only can students grow holistically so can teachers.
5. Professional development- Teachers should always be willing and open to trying out
new methods of teaching because not every class group will learn best from one
particular method of teaching. This is why teachers are encouraged to promote new
learning techniques while also maintaining prior knowledge. Teachers are encouraged to
reflect on their experiences.
6. Collegiality and collaboration- Teachers should work collaborately with all members of
the school environment students teachers etc.. to create a positive and upbeat work
environment. Teacher’s are encouraged to share ideas, practises and other knowledge to
help develop the school.
The standards reflect the responsibilities of a professional educator and the expectations
of their role on society.

Similarly, the code suggests the importance of a reflective, learning teacher within a lively,
animated teaching profession. Another aspect outlined is the importance of teachers
pausing to ask about the value of education and the role of professional educators in
preparing young people for life. The Codes demonstrate the difficulty of teaching with
colleagues, students, parents, families, education partners, related bodies and agencies
and the wider community. They outline the key responsibilities of teaching and they do this
in a context which respects and values teachers’ professional rights.

The code also includes a section relating to complaints. Complaints may be made by any
member of the public with reference to a fully registered teacher. Complaints must fall into
the categories of professional misconduct, poor professional performance, conduct
contrary to the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers and in certain circumstances,
convictions. All complaints by members of the public will be considered in accordance with
the Teaching Council Acts, 2001 – 2015 and procedures and rules approved by Council itself.

The teaching council’s publication of the code of conduct for teachers sets a standard that
is expected to be demonstrated in a professional manner by all educators. The code has a
important legal position and it can be used by the teaching council when investigating
disciplinary issues. Not only does it strive for professional conduct and best practise it also
acts as a reminder for those professional educators that do not adhere to the legislation
that consequences apply if legislation is breached.

2. CRITICAL REFLECTION

Upon my analysis of the professional code of conduct for teachers I can clearly identify
areas that I support as strengths and also areas that I have identified as been vague or
that I am unsupportive of within the article.

I admire the professionalism of the authors layout within the article. There is a sense of
progression from page to page as it outlines the reasons for the legislation, structure of
the code and how code is expected to be promoted by professional educators. The above
I would consider as being a clear strength of the article whilst I would consider some
vague illustrations as I will expand on below being the weak points but over all the article
is informative and gives teachers a understanding of key areas expected from them.

The author illustrates that the “teaching profession has a distinguished service in Ireland”
and I would have to agree with this (Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers, 2016). I
admire the strength of this statement by the author. I believe the general consensus is a
positive understanding of the role a professional educator has on society. As illustrated by
the Irish Times, “research by the Teaching Council confirms high levels of satisfaction and
trust among the Irish public; 80 per cent of the public agree that teachers play an
important role in Irish society while 70 per cent view it as a difficult job” (Divine, 2015). If
we were to eliminate the service teachers provide the education system would become
non-existant and the effects on society would be devastating. Whilst agreeing with this
statement I must mention the drastic changes occurring in the education system today.
Second level education was once governed by religious orders and their influence today is
slowly dying. Parents and members of the public are now questioning how schools are
run and what should be taught within schools. The proof is in the establishment of ETB
secondary schools across the country which are ran on a community spirit. “ETBs manage
one third of all second level schools in the country providing education for over 100,000
students” (Etbi.ie, 2018). These schools would not have been heard of years ago due to
the power religious organisations had on education. Throughout these drastic changes I
feel the role of a teacher is still regarded as a necessity in society.

One area that is included within the legislation is ‘Trust’.” Teachers’ relationships with
students, colleagues, parents, school management and the public are based on trust.
Trust embodies fairness, openness and honesty” (Code of Professional Conduct for
Teachers, 2016). It is the responsibility of teachers to promote and practise the use of
trust within school environment. I have to agree with this particular part of the legislation
because of my experience in school environments a lot of students see teachers as figures
they can trust and share experiences with. “A student's trust of a teacher is seen as an
important factor in determining the degree to which that student will be open to being
taught by that teacher. Trust, then, is seen as a necessary component of a student‐teacher
relationship for maximal learning to occur” (Wooten and McCroskey, 1996).

Alternatively if the circumstances are altered, what should a teacher do. If you see
students from your school participating in anti-social behaviour outside of school hours
should you report it? In my personal opinion I would not like to get involved and report
this behaviour. My reasoning behind this decision is I believe this is a breach of trust
between the teacher and student. Whilst the student is wrong in participating in these
activities, it is nonsense why is it the responsibility of the teacher to report this outside of
school hours. Teachers need a point where they can shut the doors on work related
activities like any other professional working five days a week.

A key standard set out by the teaching council is ‘professional Integrity’ (Code of
Professional Conduct for Teachers, 2016). Integrity is important in respecting the privacy
of others and the confidentiality of information gained in the course of professional
practice. There is a sense of professionalism and strength from this outlook on integrity as
it outlines how important it is to keep what happens in the classroom within the school
and in doing so, the all important trust bond is maintained between teacher and student.

Although there is a sense of professionalism and strength in keeping all information


gained in the school within that same environment, how do teachers know when it is right
to share information about a student with staff or the principal of a school? A child is
noticeably under preforming and is getting tired everyday, what actions is a teacher
expected to take? I feel there is still a grey area for teachers in this field because some
may feel they need to tell the principal immediately whilst others may feel it is not their
place to pass information on about a student and may feel they are in breach of trust
standards. It is areas like this that I see as being vague and open to clarification because if
I found myself in this situation in a school I would not know what action to take.

“Teachers should acknowledge and respect the uniqueness, individuality and specific needs
of students and promote their holistic development” (Code of Professional Conduct for
Teachers, 2016). I cannot visualise this statement as being convincing, I see it as been vague
and lacking clarity on the authors behalf. I understand the concept that teachers must
respect the individuality of student’s but I feel there is an uncertain area within this
statement. The vast majority of schools require students to wear a uniform as a form of
identity of the school. What if students are wearing normal clothes and claiming it is due to
them being unique? I don’t see how a teacher can possibly support an issue like this. In this
instance I believe it is the role of the principal to deal with the situation and inform the
student that they are in breach of the school rules. Failure to do so may lead to more
students following the trend and some students feeling under pressure to match the
clothing specifications of others. Nowadays I think in particular the issue of student
individuality is on the rise as some see it necessary to wear piercings as a form of identity
both male and female. This area is a grey area in my opinion due to sexuality being such a
focus in the media. I believe in this case it is the role of the teacher to report the issue of
piercings if they feel it is breach of school rules.

This article has allowed me to think of situations like the above that I never paused to
think about before. I am grateful this opportunity arose before Teaching practise as I am
now competent with the code of conduct for teachers. I now realise the relevance this
article has on a teachers profession and the standards that are expected to be produced.

3. LIST OF REFERENCES

References
Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers. (2016). 2nd ed. [ebook] Maynooth: Teaching
Council, pp.1-9. Available at:
https://learnonline.gmit.ie/pluginfile.php/139436/mod_resource/content/1/Code-of-
Professional-Conduct-for-Teachers_2016%20edition.pdf [Accessed 28 Sep. 2018].

Divine, D. (2015). The traits that make a ‘good’ teacher. The Irish Times, [online] p.single
page. Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/the-traits-that-make-a-
good-teacher-1.2156118 [Accessed 28 Sep. 2018].

Etbi.ie. (2018). Second Level Education : ETBI. [online] Available at:


https://www.etbi.ie/etbs/second-level-education/ [Accessed 28 Sep. 2018].

Wooten, A. and McCroskey, J. (1996). Student trust of teacher as a function of socio‐


communicative style of teacher and socio‐communicative orientation of
student. Communication Research Reports, 13(1), pp.94-100.