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Morality and ethics on teachers

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Teachers are endowed with great power over students, and that power comes with great responsibility. Teachers are responsible in constructing courses and classroom environments that encourage learning, evaluating fairly and treating students respectfully. We, as teachers, are expected to avoid actions or inactions that may cause students educational or emotional harm.


1. Difference between Moral and Ethics

What is it?:
The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc. It defines how thing are according to the rules. Principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct.It defines how things should work according to an individuals’ ideals and principles. Source:

Social system/External
Why we do it?:
Because society says it is the right thing to do.
Because we believe in something being right or wrong.
What if we don’t do it?:
We will face peer/societal disapproval, or even be fired from our job. Doing something against one’s morals and principles can have different effects on different people, they may feel uncomfortable, remorse, depressed etc. Flexibility:

Ethics are dependent on others for definition. They tend to be consistent within a certain context, but can vary between contexts. Usually consistent, although can change if an individual’s beliefs change.

2. Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers (cited few sections related to morality and ethics)

Article II: The Teacher and the State (Section 5)
Article III: The Teacher and the Community (Sections 3 & 7) Article IV: A Teacher and the Profession (Section 5)
Article VIII: The Teacher and the Learners (Sections 4 & 7) Article X: The Teacher and Business (Section 2)
Article IX: The Teacher as a Person (Section 3)

3. Morality Dilemmas

A moral or ethical dilemma refers to a situation in which there is no best possible outcome as all courses of actions result in a breach of ethical or moral interests You make your choice to commit the lesser evil, which is based on considerations of the following: Utilitarian – best possible outcome for the greatest number of people Egalitarian – everyone has equal rights, privileges

Moral absolutism – black and white, what’s right is right, no exceptions

4. Morality Scenarios

Your principal tells you that he will reimburse a certain amount for entertaining a guest last night. Then you heard his wife saying that she had a great time dining out with her husband? What is the moral thing to do? A student is from a single parent family. The student must work to attend college. However, the job is interfering with the student’s performance and several assignments have not been turned in. You have determined that a “D” is all the student can make when a counselor informs you that a student needs a “C” to qualify for an academic scholarship/ What is the moral thing to do? A parent of your student is a good friend of yours. At that time, you are in dire need of cash since your child is in the hospital and your husband just lost his job.

Her son on the other hand, is in the verge of repeating his class due to absences, personality and grade problems. What will you do if your friend offers you the money in exchange of her child’s grades? You got close to your students’ father who recently broke up with his wife. Since you are tutoring his kid, you go their house often. He eventually decided to open up and tells you how he feels about you. What will you do? Your bestfriend is about to get married. You just learned that she will be marrying your principal who is very known as a “playboy” in your community. You are being recommended by your boss for promotion. What would you do? 5. Teachers should always remember this when facing a morality dilemma:

Distinguish the difference between the ethical and legal considerations in education Differentiate right vs wrong
Describe the privileges and responsibilities associated with the role of a classroom teacher PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Distinguish between inappropriate and appropriate interaction with students Recognize appropriate forms of interactions with parents and community TEACHERS AND THE LAW
Name the basic principles that should guide teachers’ decisions in relation to their practice (negligence, freedom of expression, teacher lifestyle, religion in and out of the classroom) ROLE MODEL CONSIDERATIONS

Identify the potential impact of controversial person conduct on employment
and licensure Recognize how boundary violations between teacher and students affect the education process Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate forms of communication with students


As teachers, we are expected to act in an appropriate manner. We should always be responsible of our actions especially when dealing with our students. We should always remember that RESPECT is being earned and not to be asked or forced someone to give it to you.


Situation Ethics The New Morality, Joseph Fletcher

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