TEXAS EDUCATORS’ CODE OF ETHICS:
The Texas educator is required to comply with standard practices and ethical conduct toward students, professional colleagues, school officials, parents, and members of the community. Educators are expected to respect and obey the law, demonstrate personal integrity, and exemplify honesty and good moral character. Educators are also expected to extend just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession, and to cooperate with parents and others to improve public schools in their community. (See Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics.)
Urban Teachers participants in Texas are required to complete ethics training at the start of Summer A that includes professional ethical conduct, practices and performance; ethical conduct towards professional colleagues; and ethical conduct towards students. The purpose of this training is to make teachers aware of their actions and hold them accountable for their behavior. Participants will be asked to sign an agreement that indicates their willingness to comply and commit to these ethical practices.
Please note that your local district or charter school policies may differ from those shared as guidance in the ethics training. Always check with your district or school to find out local policies on social media and reporting procedures or if you feel you are in a situation that needs guidance.
BEST PRACTICES FOR TEACHERS:
Always check with your district or school on local policy, but the following are some best practices. If you witness another teacher doing something unethical, make factual notes about what you saw. Report the behavior or actions to the principal or other immediate supervisor. The district or school will investigate the report. Avoid placing oneself in compromising situations. Participants are required by law to report child abuse. Urban Teachers encourages its participants to revisit ethics regularly to ensure that they know and understand the district or school procedures.
TECHNOLOGY IN THE CURRICULUM
TEA requires that our curriculum prepares candidates to, a.) integrate technology into curricula and instruction, including activities consistent with the principles of universal design for learning and b.) use technology effectively to collect, manage and analyze data for the purpose of increasing student achievement (TEC 21.0452(b)(5)). During graduate coursework, faculty model the integration of technology which candidates will then be expected to respond to and utilize in their own classrooms. During professional development opportunities such as Planning Bootcamp, candidates utilize digital platforms aligned to those used by district partners to collect, review and analyze data to drive instructional practice.
TEXAS EDUCATORS CERTIFICATION STANDARDS
The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) creates standards for beginning educators. These standards are focused upon the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the required statewide public school curriculum. They reflect current research on the developmental stages and needs of children from early childhood (EC) through grade 12. (See Texas Educator Certification Standards.)
PEDAGOGY AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES STANDARDS
The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) also creates standards regarding the pedagogical abilities and professionalism that teachers are required to exhibit. These standards are thought to encompass the requisite skills and knowledge that all beginning teachers should possess. (See Texas Pedagogy & Professional Responsibilities Standards.)
In addition to meeting all certification standards, participants must meet the criminal background requirements in Texas in order to be eligible for continued certification. This means:
- Participants must pass a fingerprint background check to be eligible for employment and certification in the state of Texas.
- If at any point prior to or during their time as a teacher, a participant has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or certain other criminal histories then this may jeopardize their continued eligibility for certification.
- If a participant has questions about their eligibility for certification in Texas, they have the right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the Texas Education Agency if they have concerns about eligibility for certification.
Further information on the Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History for a Certificate can be found here.