you're reading...
Learning at its Best

Ethics/Principles – what is your compass?

I was asked by Joe Nathan from the Center for School Change, “What are one or two of the most important ethics or principles that you use as an educator? ”  Coop members can I get a sentence on this question to help him craft an article?

My response: I am there to serve the students, parents, community and staff.  The school exists for students.  It is their school. In that vein, we look at each student as an individual.  Our tag line: students first adult egos last. In this recent budget debate, I rarely hear an articulated vision about the role of education and what education should be imparting to the kids we teach.  There needs to be shift from top down mandates to local and sustainable solutions.

About Jamie Steckart

Currently the Head of Academic Affairs for the Qatar Leadership Academy. Passionate about experiential and project based learning.


7 thoughts on “Ethics/Principles – what is your compass?

  1. One of the most important ethics or principles I use as an educator is to always keep my eye on my students and their families. If I chance to look away things go awry. I never make a bad decision when my gaze is steady and my mind is clear.

    Posted by Elisa Waingort | July 19, 2011, 11:49 am
  2. Promote self expression and community understanding equally; facilitate the students asking good questions, engaged in the discovery process, and realizing that each conclusion is only a springboard for better questions.

    To a degree, it’s the Joe’s Crab Shack principle : Each school should have “We’ll be done learning tomorrow” painted above the entrance.


    Posted by Kevin Crouse | July 19, 2011, 3:19 pm
  3. I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” If I’m doing something because I want out of a challenging situation or relationship in the classroom, I try to check myself, take a breath, and help solve – rather than avoid – the problem. If I’m doing something because I don’t know what else to do, I ask students what they would do. If I’m doing something because I believe it’s a good fit for teaching and learning with particular student, I double-check myself by asking the kid how things are going. I try to identify what I’m doing and to make sure it’s something that could help a kid learn in a constructive and personally meaningful way.

    Good question,

    Posted by Chad Sansing | July 19, 2011, 8:21 pm

    Posted by MARTINIAMINC School For Entrepreneurship | July 19, 2011, 11:02 pm
  5. One, “Children enter school as question marks, but they leave as periods”–Neil Postman. Principle: Never allow this to happen; in my classroom children should leave each day understanding that the more they learn, the more questions they should have and feel free to express.

    Two, Admit what I do not know and engage students in “the pleasure of finding things out.” (I’m quoting the title of a book of short works by Richard Feynman whose life of discovery has always been a model for how I live and who I am in the classroom.)

    Posted by Garreth Heidt | July 20, 2011, 9:14 am
  6. Do you think that teachers should have a hippocratic oath: First do no harm. In Ron Wolk’s book: Wasting Minds, he makes reference to a dog show where all the dogs have to swim. Of course the labradors excel at this task, and the Chihuahua fail miserably, Yet is is required that all dogs swim proficiently. So day in and day the poor little Chihuahua has to practice swimming in order to meet a standard, that quite frankly it will never achieve.

    Are we harming kids by processing them as if they were interchangeable parts and not unique and gifted individuals. I see hope. With technology, we can customize learning for each kid, based on their unique needs, passion and gifts. If only mainstream schools would embrace these tools instead they tinker around the edges.

    Posted by Jamie Steckart | July 20, 2011, 7:54 pm
  7. Teachers on tap, not on top.

    Posted by tellio | July 21, 2011, 6:55 am

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,103 other followers

Comments are subject to moderation.

%d bloggers like this: