Two ethical issues that are increasing issues are academic integrity and teachers putting sexual advances on students. A student that is involved in academic misconduct, an act that improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic achievement, is not following the academic integrity of the school. Issues at a college in Ohio include putting tests in the Greek housing test bank for all members to use and the option to withdraw from classes after being caught cheating. A test bank and being able to withdraw without any punishments for cheating are not following the school’s academic integrity. Teachers and sexual advances on students is an even larger issue. One main issue is the fact that teachers are supposed to be role models for students. If this is the case and it is going to continue to happen- why don’t we have a zero-tolerance policy for teachers making sexual advances towards students?
Schools contribute significantly to the overall quality of students’ lives. If you think about it, most of a person’s life from the ages of five to eighteen, maybe twenty-two if they go to college, is going to school. More importantly, the teachers we encounter throughout school have the largest impact on students. There are teachers that I still remember from elementary school that I will never forget because of the impact they had on my childhood. Teachers have a greater impact on students the younger they are because of trying to figure out who they are as a person. Children are vulnerable to everything when they are young. It is important to understand that children learn 95% of what they know from school and teachers. School is a social network for students. To students of all ages, teachers are supposed to be role models. What are students at the age of thirteen supposed to think when a teacher is making sexual advances on them? If a teacher is whom they are supposed to listen to day in and day out, then if they are doing it a student might think it is ok. Perhaps that is the reasons for only eleven percent of students who are sexually abused by teachers actually report the issue.
Teachers should be role models of high education and decent behavior. As a future teacher, being ethical is one of the most important characteristics. I believe that a teacher is not only to teach about the core curriculum, but about life as well. Teachers are there to give lessons on ethics, morals and life values. The personality of a teacher is also crucially important. A teacher must be patient, motivational, caring, professional and ethical. Once again, realizing the vulnerability of students is crucial. It is important to understand that as a teacher, you could spoil not only the mood of a student, but intrude on their whole lives- whether positive or negative.
As a future teacher, I want to understand the ways to teach my students how to remain ethical in and out of school. I believe that stressing the importance of ethics to future teachers throughout their schooling and into their job as a teacher is vital. Perhaps a lecture or meeting on ethics every once in a while would not be a bad idea. According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, there have been at least 150 teachers (reported) in the state of Florida that have been disciplined in the last three years after being accused of sexual misconduct with students. The numbers are continuing to rise especially among female educators. With the statistics at hand, I am starting to lean more and more towards the zero-tolerance policy for educators. No matter what the situation is, it should not be taken lightly. Schools are supposed to be in loco parentis, parent-like, in responsibilities and functions. I feel that teachers do share a responsibility in being parent-like to a student. Students are going to school to learn, not be sexually abused by their own teachers.
Teachers, both present and future, need to realize the ethical dilemmas that society is going through. Whether it is academic integrity or sexual advances towards students, it needs to be addressed as an issue. Being a role model should be a future teachers top priority; I know it is mine.