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Code of Ethics

Erica Navarrette
EDU600: Viterbo University
As an educator, there are many hats you wear. As an educator, there are many

responsibilities you will take on. While educators are expected to teach their curriculum,

turn students into proficient readers and mathematicians, there is one job that holds to

be the most important. As an educator, the utmost important job lies in our hands to

shape our children to be successful and contributing members to society. While our

roles and responsibilities are always changing and growing, one thing needs to stay

constant, our commitment to raising democratic citizens. As an educator my philosophy

has now shifted to encompass that commitment. My teaching philosophy consists of my

responsibility to myself as an educator, my responsibility to my students, and my

responsibility to my community. My responsibility as an educator is to take risks and do

all that I can to be the voice of change. My responsibility as an educator is to collaborate

with fellow educators as we truly are in this profession together. My responsibility to

students consists of creating a strong classroom community and incorporating students’

lives into my curriculum. My responsibility to my community consists of upholding my

professional demeanor and to assist in creating well rounded children to be successful

members in society. Overall, my commitment entails staying true to my beliefs,

advocating for my students, and ensuring all students will be contributing members to


My responsibility as an educator is to be the voice of change and use the

expertise of those around me through collaboration and conversation. Richard

Rothstein gave a speech to graduate students and stated, “You will often have to decide

whether you can do more good by going along, or more good by taking a risk, perhaps
just a small one, sometimes a large one, with your security and career (Strauss, 2015).”

This statement speaks volumes to me as an educator. It is imperative that educators

take risks no matter how big or small, it will make an impact and it will make a

difference. If we start small and stay true to our beliefs, your colleagues will catch on to

your commitment and change and be more willing to join you. It is my responsibility to

take these risks and encourage others in my school to join me. We will work together,

share ideas, confide in one another while student growth is the forefront of the risk we

are taking. This change will take time, but in the end it will be worth it. I have to model

taking risks as my students will look up to me and take after my actions and attitude. In

the article by Mackenzie and Mackenzie they discussed greatly how educators are role

models to their students. “We should be fair and tolerant in our interactions and seek to

do the right thing in our behavior because those are important ethical standards. But we

seek to meet those standards as well because they provide clear and good lessons to

the students who watch and copy us closely (Mackenzie and Mackenzie, 2010).” As an

educator, it is my responsibility to model and teach the right behavior in and

outside of the classroom. My students will rely on me as a constant in their lives and I

have to be their inspiration as a democratic citizen.

My responsibility to my students is to create a strong classroom

community for my learners and to ensure their lives and stories are incorporated

into my curriculum. In Richard Rothstein’s speech he stated, “If a teacher might be

fired, or if her school might be closed, if she refused to engage in excessive test prep,

should she nonetheless refuse to engage in that picture? If a teacher is expected to get

her students to proficiency while no one worries about her students’ stress, or
homelessness, or lead poisoning, or abuse, should she rebel (Strauss, 2014)?” The

answer to that question according to my code of ethics, is absolutely she should rebel.

Our students may go home to less than what they have during the day, our students

may go home and their parents are not there, our students have stories that we need to

learn about. Rather than stressing over test prep and feeling as though we need to

ensure all students reach proficiency, why don’t we stress over if our students are

happy, if our students are kind, or if our students are loved? It is my responsibility as an

educator to talk to my students every day and grow that trust between the two of us. As

an educator, I need to ensure my students’ lives and interests are embedded into my

curriculum. We’ve discussed the importance of planning curriculum and units with our

students, which has endless benefits. In the article, “Our School, an arctic community

changed the way they approached curriculum for their students.” They started with the

question, “what does a successful eighteen-year old inupiaq student look like

(Markham, 2016).?” This school was able to take that question and create curriculum.

This curriculum was centered around the whole child and the critical skills and learning

their citizens needed to succeed. “My theory is the more students begin to see

themselves reflected in the content, in the school aesthetics, in the school lunches, the

more they will want to become the teachers (Markham, 2016).” If students find their

interests in their learning, see themselves on the walls of their school, and are eating

foods their cultures are familiar with, students will be more likely to be advocates of their

own education and become incredibly successful. As an educator, it is my

responsibility for my students to feel like they matter and that their stories are

more important than any standardized test ever could be.

My responsibility to my community is to uphold my professional demeanor

and to assist in molding successful democratic citizens to succeed in society. It is

imperative that educators uphold to their professional obligations as educators. For

example, Mackenzie and Mackenzie discussed the importance of teachers supporting

decisions made that are best for the students, school, and community no matter what

their personal beliefs may be. “In creating an ethical environment in a school,

perceptions matter deeply. One can be sure, for example, that if a teacher were to

participate in the hardware selection described here, and the committee’s decision was

to adopt the hardware sold by the company in which that teacher owned stock, the

losing bidder would cry foul and suggest that the choice was infected by conflict of

interest (Mackenzie and Mackenzie, 2010).” In order to ensure this doesn’t happen,

educators need to be aware of their personal biases and beliefs, and remove

themselves from the decision making process that may influence their beliefs

(Mackenzie and Mackenzie, 2010). It is my responsibility to make decisions based on

what is best for the students, the school, and the community and always put my

personal bias aside. My responsibility as an educator, and arguably the most

important is to ensure I am teaching my students the crucial skills to be

successful members of society. “There are teachable moments for social justice

everywhere, and a teacher who is primed and committed to noticing and responding to

such moments can infuse values about belonging, right treatment, and justice

throughout the day (Sapon-Shevin, 1999).” Educators are overloaded with curriculum

and standards they have to teach daily, however, it is an educators responsibility to

teach critical social skills to every student. Students need to solve problems on their
own, students need to engage in critical thinking, and students need to learn how to

respect and appreciate the world around them. It is my responsibility as an educator to

model these skills for my students. It is my responsibility as an educator to hold my

students to high expectations. It is my responsibility to encourage the mistakes that

will be made along the way and use those as learning opportunities for all


In conclusion, educators responsibilities are limitless and forever growing. It is

our responsibility as educators to understand those responsibilities and hold ourselves

to high standards just like we hold our students. It is my responsibility as an educator is

to advocate for change and use my voice to be heard. It is my responsibility as an

educator is to collaborate with colleagues and create that change together. It is my

responsibility as an educator to create a safe environment for my students so they know

they are loved and cared for. It is my responsibility to incorporate my students’ lives and

interests into my curriculum and content. I believe in the importance of maintaining

professionalism while creating well-rounded children that will be successful members of

society. It is imperative as an educator that I stay true to myself and grounded in my

code of ethics. My students always have and always will come first. My code of ethics

will provide my students with endless success in society, which in the end that is all that

really matters.

Lauren, M. (2016, December). Our School: An arctic community prepares its young people for
the future. Orion.

Mackenzie, S. V., & Mackenzie, G. C. (2010). Now what? confronting and resolving ethical
questions: A handbook for teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Sapon-Shevin, M. (2010). Because we can change the world: A practical guide to

building cooperative, inclusive classroom communities. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.

Strauss, V. (2015, June 04). The hard ethical challenges that confront teachers today. Retrieved
from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-