Teachers must adhere to a conduct code that is often stricter than those in the corporate world. Since educators are primarily dealing with children, they need to be sensitive to them and understand that they are impressionable. A simple code of conduct keeps everyone in the same frame of mind about what is deemed appropriate. Each school district creates its own unique code based on experiences and preferences of the administration.
What is it?
A code of conduct is the set of guidelines that a school district will use to define the behavior of the school employees, namely teachers. Any school district can hold any teacher to any code of conduct once that teacher signs the contract. These codes cover proper dress, behavior and the ramifications of not adhering to the policies. Teachers are held to different sets of standards than the rest of the working world as they cultivate and educate children, and codes of conduct often encompass teaching methods and imposition of beliefs.
Conduct codes involve adherence to a specific dress code for teachers. The generally accepted practices as to what is considered "professional" attire usually involve a "business casual" style of relaxed, yet work-appropriate attire that is not revealing or suggestive. Since children notice a teacher's dress style and the attitude it conveys, as well as changes in appearance, the dress code bars teachers from wearing words on shirts, open-toed shoes or hats.
The teacher is judged according to two facets of employment: The first is his interactions with peers and colleagues in all social and administrative capacities. Any form of sexual harassment, discrimination or ridicule of students is banned according to most codes of conduct. The code of conduct will usually also cover how and in what contexts different types of interactions are appropriate. The second facet involves observations and assessments of a teacher's performance. The basic rule is that a teacher should educate objectively without imposing his personal beliefs on students.
As educators must elevate students, any form of ridicule or even mild sarcasm being incredibly inappropriate.The way in which a teacher acts in her classroom is a direct reflection on the school, the district and the entire staff. Because of this, the code will usually regulate what behavior is allowable. Any current events, movies or Internet websites used must be safe at a level that is deemed appropriate by the district.
The consequences of not adhering to the code of conduct are included in the code. In this way, administration can ensure a fair and legal treatment of violations. Teachers will often be warned on the first offense. After several offenses, anything from a salary freeze for the following year to tenure charges that potentially remove a teacher from the classroom permanently can be incurred.
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