I answered a very similar blog prompt for the Preparing the Future Professoriate course. For that blog, I chose to write about the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) code of conduct. You can find that blog post here. In order to refrain from writing the same thing in this blog, I chose to concentrate on a different code of conduct. After Googling “code of conduct for English teachers,” I found the Code of Ethics from National Education Association (NEA).
The National Education Association is an association that includes teachers from all levels of education, “from pre-school to university graduate programs” (NEA). So this explains the lack of specificity in the two main sections of the code. The first section pertains to an educator’s involvement with students; the second section pertains to the educators involvement within the profession. In the section about the student, the NEA basically lays out that an educator should keep a student’s safety in mind at all times, should not discriminate against a student based off his/her race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, politics, etc., and should not abuse their professional relationship with the student (NEA). One interesting inclusion that I think is important is that an educator “Shall not unreasonably deny the student’s access to varying points of view” (NEA). I like that the NEA advises the educators to be fairly partial and openminded when talking about different views and not biased (within reason). I think that is important, especially in today’s political climate.
The section pertaining to an educator’s involvement within the profession covers the bases of ethics pertaining to individuals in positions of power, including statements such as an educator “shall not misrepresent his/her professional qualities” and “Shall not assist any entry into the profession of a person known to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute” (NEA). I also noticed that the section concentrating on relationships with colleagues had some inclusions that weren’t talked about in the MLA’s code of ethics, such as an educator “Shall not knowingly make false or malicious statements about a colleague” (NEA). I thought this one was particularly interesting. Workplace gossip happens everywhere; this doesn’t make it right. But I thought it was intriguing that this statement was purposely placed here. Why? Well, after thinking for a bit, I figured that saying the wrong thing about a colleague who works in education could effectively get them fired from a job and blacklisted for life. Words have extreme power, as educators know, and within this statement, the NEA reminds its members of the power of words and the potential they have to hurt a person’s livelihood as well as a person’s feelings.
I thought it was interesting that the section on the profession didn’t include any thing regarding an educator’s contribution to knowledge through publishing or writing of any kind. I attribute this to the fact that the members of the NEA are teachers from various levels of education and might not be concerned with the publishing aspect of the profession.
The National Education Association (NEA). “Code of Ethics.” NEA. www.nea.org/home/30442.htm