Friday, July 22, 2011

Ethics in Teaching

Although we have addressed this issue before, it might be a good idea to do it again in light of recent scandals involving education in the US and other countries, as well as the journalist scandal regarding ethics in the UK.

If anything, education is an industry where the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and being law abding should show the most strength. These standards should be strongly upheld by teachers, principals, and superintendents. We have children's lives in our hands. We are with them on a daily basis. they both depend on and look up to us, not only for learning, but for examples of how to lead their lives. What has happend to our standards? We have to remember that student's, especially young learners, not only acquire academic knowledge from teachers but life skills and behavior norms as well.

TEFL is not a teaching world apart, as soon as you step into that classroom you transform yourself into a role model to which the students will mimic every move, word, promnunciation, and body language.

When teaching in a foreign country, some people think that if they are overseas, then they do not have to follow any standards of ethics, thus they are "above the law" and any real standards of ethical behavior. Wrong!!! There have been people arrested and extradited to their home countries for unethical- and sometimes criminal- conduct. There have been teachers kicked out of countries they were working in for unethical behavior. Do not think that you will be the exception to the rule. You are not. You may make friends with people who do unethical things. That is your choice, but this choice can land you in a foreign jail, ousted from a country (which goes on your passport), and has potential for you to possibly endure great embarrassment to you and to whomever hired you. This definitely does not look good on your resume. Yes, we have internet now folks. This can add and will follow you for quite some time. Use common sense.

Remember all those rules that your parents told you about right and wrong. Remember them, use them, and act like a professional English teacher. Teaching is not just about pouring facts into empty minds but rather stimulating interest within those minds to spark the fires of true knowledge.

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