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Teacher Professionalism in America and the Teacher Code of Conduct STARTALK Guest Teacher Summer Institute July 27, 2012


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

1. set a positive, safe, and productive learning environment;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

2. create a community of active, cooperative learners;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

3. determine learning goals and expectations;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

4. plan and facilitate learning activities and opportunities;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

5. monitor student progress, assess performance regularly and keep accurate records;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

6. motivate and enable learners with different abilities;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

7. collaborate with other teachers and school staff members;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

8. communicate regularly with parents;


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

9. participate in school-wide activities; and


In General, Teachers in America Are Expected to‌

10.reflect on their work in order to improve instruction.


Teachers are contractually obligated to… • arrive at work on time every day; • remain at school throughout the day; • stay until the official end of the work day; and • adhere to their school or district’s attendance policies.


Teachers are contractually obligated to… • teach a minimum number of daily classes to be considered full-time: o usually five or six 50-60 minute classes or four 90 minute classes at the middle school or high school level; or o usually a minimum of 280 minutes of total instruction per day at the elementary school level (varies by district).

• American teachers usually teach the full school day with a short amount of time off for lunch and usually one additional period off for lessonplanning.


Teachers are contractually obligated to….. • work for the entire school year; or • give adequate notice to College Board and their school in a written letter if they decide to resign their position prior to the end of the school year (guest teachers should give at least one month’s notice).


Teachers are contractually obligated to‌..

• dress modestly and professionally - in accordance with the policy established by the school administration or the local board of education.


Teachers are contractually obligated to…. • maximize the use of class time to provide quality instruction; and • avoid giving students free time, showing movies that are not tied to the curriculum, playing noneducational games , or have celebrations that are culturally unrelated to the curriculum.


Teachers are contractually obligated to…. • participate in periodic meetings as determined by the school administration and the local board of education. – – – – – –

Staff meetings Team meetings Curriculum development meetings Professional development meetings Student intervention meetings Parent-teacher conferences


Teachers are contractually obligated to‌.

• regularly inform both students and their parents about the academic progress the students are making in their classes via regular e-mails, phone calls, mailings, report cards, and formal & informal conferences. (There should be no surprises when the students receive their grades!)


Teachers are contractually obligated to…. • officially report their pending absences to their school as early as possible so that a substitute teacher can be secured (preferably the day before whenever possible); • provide detailed lesson plans for the substitute teacher for the day of their absence prior to the start of the day they will be absent to ensure that learning continues in their absence; • keep emergency lesson plans at school in case they have an unexpected absence; and • keep a folder ready for their substitute teachers with updated class rosters, seating charts, and any forms that might be needed.


Teachers are contractually obligated to…. • perform extra duties in addition to their teaching responsibilities, for example: – – – – – – –

supervise students in the lunch room tutor students outside of class time monitor a study hall assist with clerical duties fill in for absent teachers work with heritage students develop curriculum


Teachers are contractually obligated to…. • Follow the official school calendar established by the local board of education; and • not misuse their sick leave, personal days, or holiday breaks.


Teachers are contractually obligated to‌. • submit daily attendance, grades, and other reports and information in a timely manner.


Teachers are contractually obligated to‌. • collaborate with colleagues through a variety of means: departmental teams, grade-level teams, team-teaching, peer-mentoring, etc.


Teachers are legally obligated to…. • undergo criminal background checks by submitting their fingerprints to the appropriate state and federal agencies; and • report to College Board, their school, and IIE any crimes or immoral behavior of which they have been accused or convicted.


Teachers are legally obligated to…. • immediately report any signs of physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse or substance (drug) abuse exhibited by their students to the proper authorities. • Teachers may NOT contact the student’s parents or guardians directly to share their suspicions.


Teachers are contractually and legally obligated to…. • provide fair and objective assessment of their students’ language proficiency based on what the student knows and can do; and • never be influenced by outside factors (e.g., monetary bribes, gifts, favors, etc.) when assigning student grades.


Teachers are contractually and legally obligated to‌.

• obtain and maintain in good standing the appropriate professional certificate or license which allows them to teach in the state where they have been assigned. • Your host school or district will help you to obtain this document.


In some (but not all) states, teachers are contractually and/or legally obligated to‌. • join the local teachers union (sometimes called a labor union) and pay monthly membership fees.


In some (but not all) states, teachers are contractually and/or legally obligated to‌. • pay into the state or local teacher retirement or pension system.


Teachers are legally obligated to‌. • depart the United States within 30 days of

finishing or losing their jobs and/or having their J1 visas revoked.


Teachers are legally and morally obligated to…. • never touch or speak to a student in an inappropriate manner. – Anything that could be interpreted as being sexual should be avoided!

• avoid punishments like spanking, slapping, pinching, embarrassing, or making fun of students. All are grounds for terminating your employment contract.


Teachers are legally and morally obligated to‌. • never involve themselves sexually with a student or involve themselves with a student in such a way that a sexual relationship could be misinterpreted.


Teachers are legally and morally obligated to‌. • avoid personal electronic communication with students outside of the school setting. – Sending personal e-mails or text messages to students could result in the loss of your job!


Teachers are legally and morally obligated to‌. • not attend or participate in any activity where students are taking part in any illegal activity (e.g., drinking alcohol, taking drugs, smoking, having sex, stealing, destroying property, etc.).


Teachers are expected by American society to‌. • set an example of outstanding moral behavior for their students.


Your teaching license can be taken away if you… • engage in an immoral act; • demonstrate incompetence, negligence, or any conduct (behavior) that is unbecoming of a teacher; • plead “guilty” to: – a felony (serious crime); – an offense of violence; – a theft offense; – a drug offense; or – a sexual offense. • are proven to have committed one of these offenses in another state or country.


If you are unsure about whether an action or behavior is acceptable/legal: • Use your common sense (if it feels like it might be wrong or inappropriate, it probably is). • Ask an American friend of colleague for guidance. • Contact the College Board for advice. • Seek the legal advice of an expert, like an attorney (lawyer).


Breakout Session Meet with mentor teachers who will help answer your questions.


Resources Association of American Educators • Code of Ethics for Educators • http://www.aaeteachers.org/index.php/about-us/aae-code-of-ethics

National Education Association (NEA) • Code of Ethics • http://www.nea.org/home/30442.htm


Teacher Professionalism in America & Teacher Code of Conduct 2012_NCSSFL