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Emily Williams

Wesleyan College

Code of Ethics

November 30, 2018

Dispositional/Code of Ethics Essay

Wesleyan College Educational Department’s Conceptual Framework has been an upfront

guide for my teaching, specifically the sections dealing with dispositions, that is included in

every syllabus, since I began my journey here. Some of the ones that really stick out in my mind

are: appreciates and values intellectual independence (critical thinking, problem-solving,

innovation) across the curriculum, appreciates the impact of learner development (physical,

social, emotional, and cognitive) on instructional decisions, appreciates the impact of a

classroom management plan in fostering a positive climate that supports teaching and learning,

and believes that it is necessary to use a variety of assessments in order to make prudent

instructional decisions. As I have gone through classes and field experiences I have gained

knowledge on things I want to implement and do not want to implement in my future classroom.

Another that influences my choices and teaching is the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators.

There are eleven standards in the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators. The standards

are legal compliance, conduct with students, alcohol or drugs, honesty, public funds and

property, remunerative conduct, confidential information, required reports, professional conduct,

testing, and moral turpitude.

For Legal Compliance, the Georgia Code of Ethics states that an educator shall abide by

federal, state, and local laws and statues. There are so many laws and statues at the different

levels of the government that it can be difficult to follow them all. One could be wearing your
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seatbelt to another of do not steal. I have a friend who has stolen some things over her past and it

always stresses me out and worries me that she will get caught. I was raised to know that stealing

is wrong, even though when I was little, and in a stroller, I took a looking glass from Sea World

during a family visit. I did not know it was wrong and my parents realized their little 3-year-old

accidently took something without knowing. They have instilled in me morals to make me a

better person and following laws is one of them.

An educator shall always maintain a professional relationship with all students, both in

and outside the classroom. Conduct with students should always be professional and proper no

matter where you are. When I was in high school, I heard stories of a male teacher “hooking up”

with a female student. The news spread around and was so bad that the teacher resigned before

any other action was taken by the administration, whether it actually happened or not is

unknown. Another young female teacher was constantly hit on by male students and even asked

to prom and on dates multiple times. She maintained a professional relationship with the students

inside and out of the classroom. The news also shares information of inappropriate teacher and

student relationships involving sexual acts. However, sexual acts are not the only type of conduct

that is unethical. Others include child abuse, act of cruelty or child endangerment, harassment,

soliciting, providing alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs to students, as well as failing to prevent

the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs by students.

An educator shall refrain from the use of alcohol or illegal or unauthorized drugs during

the course of professional practice. Alcohol or drugs can stay in your system longer than you

think and can impair your work ethic. While I went through my substitute teaching course the

instructor made it clear about how both of these can affect the quality of your presence. I can

speak from experience about how too much of something can make it difficult to do your job
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effectively. When I used to work at Domino’s we would always gather at my boss’ house on

weekends for drinking and hanging out. Most Sundays we were less than functional, which

affected our work and interactions with employees and customers. If you go out the night before

a work day and have a few too many your teaching can be affected in a negative way with the

quality of your teaching, how the students are being taught, and your relationships with students

and staff.

An educator shall exemplify honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice.

Honesty is such a key for all relationships and even more so important in the field of education.

You should not falsify, misrepresent, or omit professional qualifications, criminal history,

college or staff development credit and/or degrees, academic award, and employment history;

information submitted to federal, state, local school districts and other governmental agencies;

information regarding the evaluation of students and/or personnel; reasons for absences or

leaves; information submitted in the course of an official inquiry/investigation; and information

submitted in the course of professional practice. This makes me think of the movie Bad Teacher

with Cameron Diaz. The whole premise of the movie was about how she lied about her

experience and schooling to get a job as an educator. She would show up to work and put on a

movie while she slept to nurse her hangover. Diaz falsified her information which showed her

lack of skills throughout the movie. In a real school system, you would not be able to make it far

before the administration caught on. Honesty is something that is so important to me, and I know

in my past I’ve told lies before to my parents and friends that ranged from white lies to more

serious things. But as I have grown older I have been more honest and transparent with everyone.
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An educator entrusted with public funds and property shall honor that trust with a high

level of honesty, accuracy, and responsibility. When I was placed at KB Sutton Elementary with

Mrs. Dews classroom we went on a field trip to the Museum of Arts and Science. Mrs. Dews

collected money from the student’s parents so that they would be able to set up the field trip and

allocate the money to where it needed to go. She was responsible with the money acquired from

students and the money went where she said it was. She would have been irresponsible if she

collected the money and instead of putting it towards the field trip she put it towards a new car

for herself. When you receive school related fund and funds collected from parents you have to

be honest about where the money is going and back up your word.

Remunerative conduct says an educator shall maintain integrity with students,

colleagues, parents, patrons, or businesses when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional

compensation. Say a parent asks you to tutor their child in a subject they are struggling in and

wants to pay you. Once you accept and begin tutoring the child you, the parent makes comments

that they will pay you more for your tutoring if you push the students grade up. As a teacher with

integrity and knowing the Georgia standards you know that you cannot rightly do that because it

is not a grade earned by the student and you cannot be bought. Sadly, some parents and teachers

create a deal for these kinds of things so that their child doesn’t fail, and the teacher gains

materialistic things.

Complying with state and federal laws and state school board policies relating to the

confidentiality of student and personnel records, standardized test material and other

information is something you must do as an educator. Just like how a doctors’ office cannot

divulge information about your medical history and records to others that you have not given
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permission, you cannot release information about students and their personnel records which

includes but is not limited concerning student academic and disciplinary records, health and

medical information, family status and/or income, and assessment/testing results unless

disclosure is required or permitted by law.

An educator shall file required reports of a breach of one or more of the standards in the

Code of Ethics for Educators, child abuse, or any other required report. One example of required

reporting is if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected at home. It is your job as a

mandated reporter to report and tell whoever you are supposed to go to within a certain amount

of time from suspecting it. It is better to be safe and it turn out to be nothing. It is part of your job

requirement to report.

Professional conduct is the ninth standard and another important one. “An educator

shall demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards and preserves

the dignity and integrity of the education profession. Unethical conduct includes but is not

limited to a resignation that would equate to a breach of contract; any conduct that impairs and/or

diminishes the certificate holder’s ability to function professionally in his or her employment

position; or behavior or conduct that is detrimental to the health, welfare, discipline, or morals of

students” (The Code of Ethics for Educators).

When it comes to testing, an educator shall administer state-mandated assessments fairly

and ethically. A few years ago, there was a huge issue with educators in Atlanta changing

students’ answers. There were more than 44 schools involved. In 2018 McCray said “they

changed answers to meet increased expectations and along the way received bonuses and raises

based on fake scores”. You’re not only cheating yourself but also the students. If the students’
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who really need help have their grades enhanced, which is unethical, they will not get the help

that they need.

According to Haas (2013), “The term “moral turpitude” encompasses a wide variety of

actual crimes, which fall under four headings: crimes against property, such as fraud and robbery

and even shoplifting, crimes against government, most notably bribery, counterfeiting, and

perjury, crimes against persons, including victimless offenses, and aiding, abetting, or engaging

in conspiracies to commit crimes of moral turpitude. In Georgia, the test for whether a felony is

one involving moral turpitude is does the crime, disregarding its felony punishment, meet the test

as being contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, good morals or man’s duty to man? Some

examples of crimes involving moral turpitude would be murder, sell of narcotics or other illegal

drugs, soliciting for prostitutes, and more. The way that I was raised, and my moral beliefs help

me with the choices that I make and I know better than to make decisions that involve moral

turpitude and even other offenses like driving under the influence. I know people that have made

poor choices such as driving under the influence or selling illegal drugs and I learn from their

mistakes. I know that I do not want to put myself nor my future in jeopardy all because of a poor

decision.

Throughout my time at Wesleyan and in the education program I have grown so much as

a future educator. When I think about how the education department has shaped me, I think back

to Wesleyan College Educational Department’s Conceptual Framework, specifically the sections

dealing with Dispositions, that is included in every syllabus. Some of the ones that really stick

out in my mind are: appreciates and values intellectual independence (critical thinking, problem-

solving, innovation) across the curriculum, appreciates the impact of learner development
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(physical, social, emotional, and cognitive) on instructional decisions, appreciates the impact of a

classroom management plan in fostering a positive climate that supports teaching and learning,

and believes that it is necessary to use a variety of assessments in order to make prudent

instructional decisions. As I continue to gain experience in and outside of the classroom, my way

of teaching betters, as does who I am as a person. To be the best teacher I can be, I have to be a

person that my students can look up to and not be hypocritical.
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Works Cited

Haas, M. (2013). Moral turpitude. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://proxygsu-

wes1.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e

rs&AN=89551444&site=eds-live&scope=site

McCray, Vanessa. “Altered Test Scores Years Ago Altered Lives, Stained Atlanta

Schools.” AJC, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 23 Feb. 2018,

www.ajc.com/news/local-education/altered-test-scores-altered-lives-stained-atlanta-

schools/nFHhI3jPSQ7MjIS9dRuCNM/.

The Code of Ethics for Educators. (2018, January 1). Retrieved from

https://www.gapsc.com/Rules/Current/Ethics/505-6-.01.pdf