Step 1: Don’t leave the classroom unattended and this holds especially true if students begin to fight. You should assign a student in the class in order to try and avoid these instances of trouble, and this will allow the teacher to be covered in case of a bad situation happening when they aren’t there. Teachers must understand that it is their duty to protect their students and watch over them in class.
A possible violation can be when students start to fight each other but you are not in the classroom. This is your responsibility and you can be held accountable for this.
Step 2: Never be alone in private with a student – always make sure to talk to students in a private area where there is no one-on-one because then there are no witnesses.
If Timmy asks you for help after class on his essay, make sure that you either talk to him with other kids in the class or you go outside in the hall with him and talk about his essay.
Step 3: Don’t give students your phone number and always talk to the parent when contacting the family, not the student.
If you need to call Clara’s mother about a possible behavior violation and late homework, make sure to contact the parent, not the child. If the child picks up the phone, politely ask to speak to his or her mother or simply say that you will call another time.
Step 4: Don’t drive a student in your vehicle. If it is necessary than have someone else accompany you.
If John needs to get home after baseball practice and missed the bus, make sure that you are driving with another adult. If there is no adult, you can wait at the school for a driver to take John home so he feels comfortable waiting.
Step 5: Don’t use force with a student unless they attack you or you are protecting another student.
If Jen gets into a fight with Ken over lunch, and physical confrontation breaks out, make sure to separate them without hurting them. If that is not possible, make sure that the other children aren’t in harm’s way and that you call security as soon as possible.
Step 6: Don’t change a child’s underwear unless a witness is present.
If Jake accidentally goes to the bathroom in his diaper and needs to be changed, make sure that another grown-up is present to ensure that you are protected in terms of sexual abuse charges.
Step 7: Don’t use corporal punishment unless told to.
Don’t spank or flog children even when they misbehave. While physical punishment may work initially, it can have some long-term effects that aren’t so great. It’s important to keep this in mind when trying to discipline children (Rochman, 2012).
Step 8: Don’t body search (Strip search) a student.
Don’t strip a student down to do a body search. If you think one of your children has a weapon, call the police or security and let them check.
Step 9: Don’t tutor for compensation unless the principal gives you permission.
Tutoring your own student can be considered unethical. Make sure you have permission.
Step 10: Keep the accurate documents of cash in the collection of school funds
If you lead the school’s charity club, keep cash receipts and documents showing the validity of this cash and monetary funding.
Step 11: Don’t have a relationship outside of the school with your students. Always be professional.
If you run into a student in the grocery store, act like your normal self; don’t act like your “outside-the-workplace” self.
Step 12: Keep a journal of class events and especially open-ended comments made by students that can be interpreted in another way.
Always record conversations in a journal at the end of the day to keep documented representation of what happens.
Step 13: Be a teacher to the students, not a parent.
Don’t chide the student, you’re there to teach them math, science, English, and history, not political nor moral lessons.
Step 14: Don’t overlook suspected child abuse. Report even if you are only suspicious.
If you see Jen with bruises on her arms, make sure to report this to child welfare or another coworker.
- Rochman, Bonnie. “Why Spanking Doesn’t Work.” Time, Time, 6 Feb. 2012, healthland.time.com/2012/02/06/why-spanking-doesnt-work/.
- Sharkey, Colin. “Protect Yourself From False Accusations.” NWPE Vision, www.nwpe.org/index.php/legal/false-accusations.