School of Education Policy on Professionalism

 

The Hunter College School of Education is dedicated to the preparation of deeply thoughtful, knowledgeable and highly effective teachers, administrators and counselors. Our commitment is to educating these candidates — future professionals who will make a significant impact on the academic achievement, as well as the intellectual, social and emotional development of their students

As such, the Hunter College School of Education values professionalism among its students, professors, and staff. In this section, you will find the standards of professionalism that you are expected to follow while a student at Hunter College.

Professionalism at Hunter College

As part of students’ professional development, and in order to nurture a safe and supportive learning environment for professors, teacher candidates, and students alike, all members of the Hunter College School of Education community are expected to adhere to the codes of professionalism outlined below. As a student at Hunter College, whether you are in class or at your fieldwork experience, you are a representative of Hunter College, and not an employee of the NYC Department of Education (DOE) or any other organization where you are placed, and are expected to adhere to these codes.

Below, you will find the description of the various aspects of professionalism that are expected of the School of Education’s students, both while at Hunter and as a guest in a field site, during coursework and during your clinical experience.

1. Professional Behavior

Interpersonal Relationships: As a member of the Hunter College School of Education community, you shall be courteous to and respectful of faculty, staff, other students, and any other members of the education community irrespective of race, political ideals, belief systems, and gender or sexual identification, so that all may feel at ease in a learning environment where everyone is free to participate in an open exchange of ideas. Throughout your professional career you will be in contact with people from different cultural perspectives, and it is important to be sensitive to these differences. Therefore, you shall make every effort to respect cultural diversity both at Hunter and when you are a guest in a field site, and shall discourage any prejudice or discrimination in your own classroom. You shall at all times respect multiple points of view from your teachers, peers and your own students, and willingly accept constructive feedback from your professors, supervisors, mentors and cooperating teachers.

Punctuality and Attentiveness: Hunter students shall arrive promptly and be attentive in class, without engaging in private conversations, texting, or other activities that may be distracting to you or to other students. As professionals, you are expected to be on time for class, fieldwork, and other appointments.

Professional Attire: As Hunter College teacher candidates or counselors, you are representatives of the School of Education. As such, Hunter College expects that you dress in a professional manner when working in schools or in other professional settings where you will be conducting your clinical experiences.

2. Professional Integrity

Hunter College School of Education students are expected to conduct themselves ethically and with integrity, according to the expectations of the professions of teaching, administration, counseling and educational psychology. You shall interact with your peers, faculty, administrators, classroom teachers, and students, with respect and fairness, as well as follow the rules of confidentiality for your students and peers (see the Hunter College Disclosure Policy and the rights and protections of privacy afforded to Hunter students by FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act). All work you complete shall be your own, and you shall familiarize yourself with Hunter College’s policy on Academic Integrity.

3. Professional Communication

Email Address: You are expected to use your Hunter College email address for all electronic communications relating to your work at Hunter or in the field, since this email address is evidence of your professional affiliation with Hunter. If you absolutely must use an alternative email address, that address should signify who you are (i.e. your name), and not be a nickname, phrase, or be in any way provocative or childish. Conversely, you should avoid using your professional email address for personal correspondence.

Email Etiquette: You shall also follow basic rules of email etiquette. Always include a clear and direct subject line, and be clear and concise in the body of the email. Obey standard rules of grammar and style, write in full sentences, and avoid being overly familiar. Avoid humor, and be aware that written communication is different from face to face communication, since social cues such as facial expressions and tone are lost when writing, and something you might mean as a harmless joke could be taken as an offense by the recipient.

Communicating with Your Professor: When writing to a professor, be sure to indicate your course and section number, and follow the basic rules of email etiquette discussed above. Also include your EMPL ID number.

4. Social Media

Social Media (sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other sites that encourage interactivity with the use of text or multimedia “sharing”) is a powerful tool for communication and networking, with the potential for useful teaching and learning opportunities. Although Hunter College does not have a specific policy related to Social Media, you are cautioned to use common sense with online interactions, and to adhere to the same behavior as described in the above section under “Interpersonal Relationships.” The privacy of others in the community must be respected according to the college’s FERPA policy, which includes the posting of information about, or photos and videos that depict your students or peers.

If you are placed in a DOE facility for your clinical field work, you are required to adhere to the DOE Social Media Guidelines.

In addition to the above standards, you should be prepared to adhere to the standards of professionalism that will apply to your future employment as a teacher, administrator, or counselor in a school system. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification defined a model code of ethics for educators in a recent document published on the web:

  • Responsibility to the Profession, including upholding the rules, policies, and regulations of the profession, maintaining mental and physical health, and engaging with professional associations.
  • Responsibility for Professional Competence. This includes keeping up-to-date on content and pedagogy, disposing of student records, and working to provide all students with equal access to curriculum and resources.
  • Responsibility to Students, including respecting their backgrounds, avoiding inappropriate relationships with students, and protecting student privacy.
  • Responsibility to the School Community, including working collaboratively with peers, supporting and mentoring new teachers, and communicating with parents in a timely and respectful way.
  • Responsible and Ethical Use of Technology. This includes using social media in accordance with school and district policy, monitoring the potential for cyberbullying, and using technology to supplement teaching and learning.

The full text of the above code of ethics can be found here. It is recommended that you take the time to familiarize yourself with these standards, which offer a common framework that will most likely be applicable in some form in any educational institution where you will be employed in the future.