Considering the fact that students spend a great part of their life at school, one may come to the conclusion that schools contribute significantly into overall ‘quality’ of students’ lives. No wonder that personality of a teacher is of crucial importance; moreover, some teachers turn into extremely important people for the whole life due to the impact they make while teaching us. It is good if this impact is positive and brings motivation for students, however, it sometimes happens that teachers manage to spoil not the only mood of a student but intrude into internal world, leaving unpleasant vestige there. That is why the statement that “What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches”, expressed by Karl Menninger is really truthful. The question of teacher’s ethics has been on the agenda since teachers appeared and it is still important to talk about that.
As long as children go to school to get knowledge and develop themselves, so long teachers are in need. And as long as teachers are working with young personalities, so long the question of their professional ethics is staying on the agenda. Ethics can be inborn but it can and should be developed. Some people are born tactful, tolerant and moral enough to become good professionals in terms of ethics. Some are taught how to behave in order to correspondent to necessary requirements of ethical conduct. What kind of a person does one need to be to be an ethical teacher? Certainly, a teacher has to be loyal meaning being patient to students and caring about them, despite individual abilities of this or that student. The teacher should not shout at students and demonstrate irritation. That doesn’t mean that teachers should allow everything or let alone allow disrespect. When conducting a class, a good teacher should cultivate mutual respect and absolute tolerance. And thus he has a right to demand the same attitude. Today students rarely hear about punishment, which was an indispensable element of education some centuries or even decades ago. Some conservative-minded people claim that punishment brought positive fruit in the form of students’ commitment to discipline and self-discipline, as a result. Anyway, today corporal punishment is believed to be an atavism and a way to humiliate students, while humiliation can hardly be a good companion in any educational process. Teachers’ ethics should not allow teachers choose “favorites” in the group and differentiate students. If one monitors Mass Media reporting or at least tracks mainstream reports one will definitely recollect some notorious cases of teachers’ sexual harassment, which shock public. Indeed such cases are not that rare nowadays. Sure, sexual harassment is probably most dishonorable examples of violating teacher’s ethics and is even a subject of criminal law. However, even minor misdemeanors may turn into breaking the ethical code of conduct.
Teachers are the people, who should serve for students not only as examples of high education but of decent behavior as well. That is why each violation of teacher’s ethics may cause some really serious consequences and turn into crucial mistakes. For example, ignoring some student may lead to personal complexes because a young person will feel depressed and underestimated. Of course, much depends on child’s family, surrounding, but as it was stated from the very beginning school is the place where children spend a great part of their time and that’s why they are growing as personalities at school. It is vital that they grew in a healthy atmosphere, surrounded by professional teachers that would be able to not only give knowledge but give lessons of ethics too.