Educator Code of Ethics

700.1P The Teacher: Performance-based
Part 1: Educator Code of Ethics
As you have learned in this course, teachers serve as role models and your conduct, both on
and off the job, can significantly impact your professional image. In this project, you are to
read each scenario and answer the questions that follow.
Your Task:
For each scenario (2), you are to write a paragraph of at least 1/2 page in length that will:
• Identify the ethical behavior/dilemma,
• Cite the standard of professional behavior from the Code of Ethics the action violates
using the number and letter and exact language of the standard.
• Provide justification for your selection of the standard, and
• Describe an alternate behavior that is detailed and appropriate to take in that situation.
You are expected to use professional language, spelling, and grammar.
Scenario 1
The Life Skills classroom at Hasting High provides Community Based Instruction to its small
group of students with severe disabilities. The district provides some funds for transportation
and community outings, but it isn’t usually enough to keep the students busy throughout the
school year. To help with the funds, the principal allows the students, with the support of the
teachers, to sell breakfast items to the school three days a week. This fundraiser becomes very
popular with the rest of the student body because the breakfast items are inexpensive,
delivered straight to their 1st period classes, and they get to feel good about helping the Life
Skills classroom in a positive way. Ever since the Life Skills fundraising began, the Student
Council sponsor, Mrs. Sumner, has noticed that support for their daily candy fundraiser has
declined, and she believes it is due to the popularity of the breakfast items being sold. One day
she notices a Life Skills student and one of the teachers, Mr. Moore, out making deliveries and
collecting money. The student is clearly struggling with handling the money, so Mr. Moore helps
her by taking some of the money and putting it into his own pocket. Mrs. Sumner sees only this
small interaction and has no other context for the exchange. Later that day, when speaking to a
group of other teachers she mentions seeing Mr. Moore putting some of the breakfast
fundraiser money into his pocket. Over the next several days, this comment makes its way
through the faculty, and when she is questioned by other faculty members, Mrs. Sumner’s
response is that she did see Mr. Moore pocket the money, but she doesn’t know what he did
with it after that. In the same conversations, she also casually mentions the expensive new car
Mr. Moore recently started driving.
1. Identify the behaviors (if any) that you believe violate standards in the Educator Code
of Ethics.
2. Which standards do you think were violated? Explain your reasoning. If you feel that
no standards were violated, explain your reasoning.
3. Should Mr. Moore and/or Mrs. Sumner have handled this situation differently so as
not to violate the Code of Ethics, or (if you feel that there was no violation) to avoid
their actions being called into question?
Scenario 2
Mrs. Nelson is a 5th grade teacher at Xander Elementary School. Mrs. Nelson is very tech-savvy
and uses many forms of social media to communicate with her parents and students. At the
beginning of the year she asks parents to follow her on a communication app, Remind, so that
they can receive important text reminders about upcoming events. Remind is typically used for
group communication. For example, Mrs. Nelson might send out a reminder to the class that
they have a field trip and will need to remember to bring their lunch. After receiving a group
text, parents then have the option to respond individually to Mrs. Nelson and they can then
carry on a conversation in a private environment if they need to discuss more student-specific
information. Many of her students have their own cell phones and have also begun following
Mrs. Nelson on the Remind app. While Mrs. Nelson does not encourage this, she doesn’t
remove them when they do. It has never been an issue in the past, and she assumes it might
help them to know about upcoming and important events too. Mrs. Nelson is a very loved and
respected teacher, and she is known for providing a very safe and nurturing environment in her
classroom. Whenever a student is struggling with an issue, he or she knows that Mrs. Nelson
will listen and support them. Because of the precarious nature of 5th grade, students often
come to Mrs. Nelson with all kinds of problems. After sending out a Remind text about the
upcoming early dismissal day, a student, Maddie, responded with a private message to Mrs.
Nelson telling her that she needed to talk to her about a problem. Mrs. Nelson tells her to come
to her first thing in the morning, so they can talk before class begins. The next morning, Maddie
shows up early to class as instructed and tells Mrs. Nelson that she thinks something is wrong
with her because she doesn’t like boys the way her friends do, but she really doesn’t want to be
gay. She is afraid of what her parents and friends would say if she never likes boys the way she
thinks she is supposed to. Though she was a little taken aback by this confession, Mrs. Nelson
assures her that she will be ok, and that it is ok that she doesn’t have the answers to those
questions right now. Thinking about it later that evening, Mrs. Nelson was concerned that she
hadn’t been supportive enough in talking with Maddie, so she sends her a private Remind text
saying, “I want you to know that you are a very smart and beautiful young lady, and that won’t
change if you like boys or girls. I won’t say anything to anyone about our conversation.”
1. Identify the behaviors (if any) that you believe violate standards in the Educator Code
of Ethics.
2. Which standards do you think were violated? Explain your reasoning. If you feel that
no standards were violated, explain your reasoning.
3. Should Mrs. Nelson have handled this situation differently so as not to violate the
Code of Ethics, or (if you feel that there was no violation) to avoid her actions being
called into question?
Part 2: Effective Communication with Parents
The Situation
Brandon, a student in Ms. Jennings 7
th grade science class, had his phone out during a major
exam. Ms. Jennings established testing procedures at the beginning of the year. Phones are to
be put away during tests and quizzes. All students are to place their phones in their backpacks.
Students know that – if they do not follow this rule – Ms. Jennings will take up their phone for
the duration of the class. If a student violates this rule twice, Ms. Jennings takes up the
phone, notifies the parent, and assigns a detention.
When Ms. Jennings calls Brandon’s mother, she explains the situation and that, when she
questioned him, he indicated to her that he knew he wasn’t supposed to have his phone out but
kept it anyway so he could check the time. The mother became upset that Brandon had
received a detention for this and sent the following email after the conversation.
I am highly disappointed in how this issue was handled with my son. I really believe the
teachers at this school are out to get him. It is evident by how you seemed happy to tell me
that Brandon was going to have a detention. It is obvious he does not understand the
seriousness of this. However, you all are so quick to punish him. Did anyone triple check if he
understood the penalties of having a phone? He did not engage in taking pictures or use it for
cheating. However, he was treated like he did. I disagree with after school detention.
Mrs. Jackson
Your Task
Respond to Mrs. Jackson in a paragraph or two. Your response should reflect effective
communication skills such as setting aside judgement and remaining calm. You should address
her concerns and assert yourself through the values of the district.
You are expected to use professional language, spelling, and grammar.
Part 3: Relations with Colleagues
The Situation
In order to illustrate the importance of early trade in her world history class, Ms. Jeffries asks students
to bring snacks the next day of class to use in a simulation activity. Several students forget and Ms.
Jeffries sends them to the vending machine in the cafeteria at the very beginning of class to purchase
some. A short time later, Mrs. Daniels, an assistant principal, escorts them back to Ms. Jeffries room.
While still about 100 feet from the classroom Mrs. Daniels yells “Did you send these kids to the
cafeteria?” Ms. Jeffries acknowledges that she did and starts to explain when Mrs. Daniels remarks,
“Don’t you know that you aren’t supposed to send students out of the classroom for snacks? Don’t ever
do that again!” Ms. Jeffries’ students try to explain but Mrs. Daniels cuts them off. Once the students
are inside the classroom, Ms. Jeffries starts to give instructions for the activity, but she is fuming. She
was just reprimanded in front of her students.
Your Task
In a paragraph or two explain how Ms. Jeffries should handle the situation. Be sure to consider the
1. Did Ms. Jeffries do anything inappropriate? If so, what should she have done instead?
2. Did Mrs. Daniels do anything inappropriate? If so, what should she have done instead?
3. According to guidelines of effective communication, what should Ms. Jeffries do next? Be
specific in how she should approach the situation and Mrs. Daniels.

Code of Ethics portion:
• Identification of behavior
• Standard(s) cited and justification
• Identification of alternative, ethical behavior
• Professional Writing
Communication with Parents
• Effective Communication
• Concerns Addressed
• Professional Writing
Relations with Colleagues
• Identification of inappropriate behavior and alternatives
• Explanation of Next Steps
• Professional Writing

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