The Tasmanian Teachers Registration Board (TRB) professional code of Ethics holds the principles of dignity, respect, integrity, empathy and justice (Teaching Registration Board, 2006) and these are values that I hold in both my personal and professional life. I believe this code is not just the responsibility for all teachers to adhere to but the way in which all people ought to act if wishing to be an ethical individual.
I have a strong belief in the importance of professional ethics within the teaching profession. I strongly believe that ethical people will make ethical decisions and being an ethical person is one of the most important attributes for any one preparing to enter the teaching profession. Over my professional experiences, I have been praised for my ethical handling of difficult situations and for the treating my students with respect and dignity.
My personal and professional ethical position references Plato’s cardinal virtues of temperance, justice, wisdom and courage (Plato, 1955) and I believe in the intrinsic worth in all people that teachers have a wonderful opportunity to instil these values within our students and to develop ethical individuals. My own ethical positioning and decision making has been praised by colleagues and university teachers throughout my degree and I have been commended within an assessment piece for professional ethics on my ethical positioning and on my personal view on the aim of education.
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Teachers have a wonderful opportunity to develop ethical positioning in their students and act as agents of social change to develop restorative justice (O’Dowd, 2010). An assessment piece for a unit on Cultural Awareness required me to identify barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and to create a lesson sequence to overcome these barriers. My response aimed to address the barrier of ‘Otherness’ and to encourage students to address their own barriers and to develop an ethical position to address restorative justice. My assessment piece can be accessed here along with a personal recommendation from my lecturer within this unit.
Teachers can only be authentic and engage in ethical practice if they truly understand what guides them (Starratt, 2005). I believe that teachers have an ethical responsibility to believe that what they teach is worth learning. I believe I have a strong view of my teaching philosophy and the ethical responsibility surrounding this position.
O'Dowd, M. (2010). 'Ethical positioning' a strategy in overcoming student resistance and fostering engagement in teaching Aboriginal history as a compulsory subject to pre-service primary education students.Education in Rural Australia, 20(1), 29.
Plato. (1955).The Republic (Penguin Classics). (D. Lee, Trans.). London, England: Putnam Books. (Original work written 360 BCE).
Starratt, R. J. (2005). Ethical leadership. The essentials of school leadership, 61-74.
Teaching Registration Board. (2006). Code of Professional Ethics for the Teaching Profession in Tasmania. Retrieved from: https://www.trb.tas.gov.au/Pages/Home.aspx