Review the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE). How does your professionalism and leadership in working with ELLs relate to your ethical responsibility as an educator and reflec


Review the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE). How does your professionalism and leadership in working with ELLs relate to your ethical responsibility as an educator and reflect a Christian worldview? 


An ESL/Bilingual teacher or specialist will be looked at as a language model and resource by ELL students, families, and other colleagues. How confident are you in your ability to field questions regarding English language structure and use? What are a few areas of English linguistic knowledge you would like to grow in personally, to build your confidence and ability to serve as a model and resource to others? 

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 1

Principle I: Responsibility to the Profession

The professional educator knows that trust in the profession depends upon a level of

professional responsibility that may be higher than the minimal standard of policy and law. This

responsibility entails holding oneself and other educators to the same ethical standards.

A. The professional educator demonstrates responsibility to oneself and the profession by:

1. Holding oneself responsible to Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) and other

recognized professional ethics standards;

2. Knowing and upholding the procedures, policies and laws relevant to professional

practice regardless of personal views;

3. Monitoring and maintaining sound mental, physical and emotional health necessary to

perform duties and services of any professional assignment and taking appropriate

measures when personal or health-related issues may interfere with work-related


4. Refraining from professional or personal activity that may lead to reducing one’s

effectiveness within the school community;

5. Refraining from using one’s position for personal gain and avoiding the appearance of


6. Taking responsibility and credit only for work actually performed or produced, and

acknowledging the work and contributions made by others; and

7. Recognizing a lack of knowledge or understanding of the MCEE is not, in itself, a defense

of unprofessional conduct.

B. The professional educator fulfills the obligation to address and attempt to resolve ethical

issues by:

1. Identifying and taking reasonable steps to resolve conflicts between the MCEE and the

implicit or explicit demands of a person or organization;

2. Maintaining fidelity to the MCEE by taking proactive steps when having reason to

believe that another educator may be approaching or involved in an ethically

compromising situation;

3. Refraining from discriminating or retaliating against a person on the basis of having

made an ethics complaint;

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 2

4. Refraining from filing or encouraging frivolous ethics complaints solely to harm or

retaliate; and

5. Cooperating fully and honestly during investigations and proceedings.

C. The professional educator promotes and advances the profession within and beyond the

school community by:

1. Engaging in respectful discourse regarding issues that impact the profession;

2. Influencing and supporting decisions and actions that positively impact teaching and

learning, educational leadership and student services;

3. Staying current with ethics guidelines and decisions from professional organizations and

other relevant sources;

4. Engaging with the greater educational community through professional organizations

and associations; and

5. Advocating for adequate resources and facilities to ensure equitable opportunities for

all members within the learning community.

Principle II: Responsibility for Professional Competence

The professional educator is committed to the highest levels of professional and ethical


A. The professional educator demonstrates commitment to high standards of practice through:

1. Using the MCEE and other ethics codes unique to one’s discipline to guide and frame

educational decision-making;

2. Incorporating into one’s practice state and national standards, including those specific

to one’s discipline;

3. Advocating for equitable educational opportunities for all students;

4. Accepting the responsibilities, performing duties and providing services corresponding

to the area of certification, licensure and/or training of one’s position;

5. Reflecting upon and assessing one’s professional skills, knowledge and competency on

an ongoing basis; and

6. Committing to ongoing professional learning.

B. The professional educator demonstrates responsible use of data, materials, research, and

assessment by:

1. Recognizing others’ work by appropriately citing data or materials from published,

unpublished or electronic sources when disseminating information;

2. Using appropriate assessments for the purposes for which they are intended and for

which they have been validated to guide educational decisions;

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 3

3. Conducting research in an ethical and responsible manner with appropriate permission

and supervision;

4. Seeking and using evidence, instructional data, research and professional knowledge to

inform practice;

5. Creating, maintaining, disseminating, storing, retaining and disposing of records and

data relating to one’s research and practice, in accordance with, but not limited to,

official guidance, policy and laws; and

6. Using data, data sources, or findings accurately, reliably and ethically.

C. The professional educator demonstrates competence by acting in the best interest of all

students by:

1. Increasing students’ access to the curriculum, activities and resources in order to

provide a quality and equitable educational experience;

2. Working to engage the school community to close achievement, opportunity and

attainment gaps; and

3. Protecting students from any practice that harms or has the reasonable potential to


Principle III: Responsibility to Students

The professional educator has a primary obligation to promote the health, safety and well-

being of all students. The professional educator treats students with dignity and respect, and

establishes and maintains appropriate verbal, physical, emotional and social boundaries.

A. The professional educator respects the rights and dignity of all students by:

1. Respecting students by taking into account their individual characteristics, including but

not limited to age, gender, culture, setting, ability and socioeconomic context.

2. Interacting with students with transparency and in appropriate settings;

3. Communicating with students in a clear, respectful and culturally sensitive manner;

4. Taking into account how appearance and dress can affect one’s interactions and

relationships with students;

5. Considering the implications of accepting gifts from or giving gifts to students;

6. Engaging in physical contact with students only when there is a clearly defined purpose

that benefits students and continually keeps their health, safety and well-being in mind;

7. Avoiding multiple relationships with students that might impair objectivity and increase

the risk of harm to their well-being or decrease educator effectiveness;

8. Acknowledging there are no circumstances that allow for educators to engage in

romantic or sexual relationships with students; and

9. Considering the ramifications of entering into an adult relationship of any kind with a

former student, including but not limited to, any potential harm to the former student,

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 4

public perception and the possible impact on the educator’s career. The professional

educator ensures the adult relationship was not started while the former student was in


B. The professional educator demonstrates an ethic of care through:

1. Seeking to understand students’ educational, academic, personal and social needs as

well as their values, beliefs and cultural background;

2. Respecting the dignity, worth and uniqueness of each individual student including, but

not limited to, actual and perceived gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual

orientation, civil status, family status, religion, age, disability, race, ethnicity,

socioeconomic context and culture; and

3. Establishing and maintaining an environment that promotes the emotional, intellectual,

physical and sexual safety of all students.

C. The professional educator maintains student trust and confidentiality when interacting with

students in a developmentally appropriate manner and within appropriate limits by:

1. Respecting the privacy of students and the need to hold in confidence certain forms of

student communication, documents or information obtained in the course of

professional practice;

2. Upholding parents’/guardians’ legal rights, as well as any legal requirements, to reveal

information related to legitimate concerns for the well-being of a student; and

3. Protecting the confidentiality of student records and releasing personal data in

accordance with prescribed state and federal laws and local policies.

Principle IV: Responsibility to the School Community

The professional educator promotes appropriate relationships and effective interactions with

members of the school community.

A. The professional educator promotes appropriate and effective relationships with

parents/guardians by:

1. Communicating with parents/guardians in a timely, respectful and culturally sensitive

manner that represents the students’ best interests;

2. Demonstrating a commitment to equality, equity, diversity and inclusion with


3. Considering the implication of accepting gifts from or giving gifts to parents/guardians;


4. Maintaining appropriate confidentiality with respect to student information disclosed

by or to parents/guardians unless required by law.

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 5

B. The professional educator promotes appropriate and effective relationships with colleagues


1. Respecting colleagues as fellow professionals and maintaining civility when differences


2. Resolving conflicts, whenever possible, privately and respectfully and in accordance with


3. Working to ensure a workplace environment that is free from harassment;

4. Collaborating with colleagues in a manner that supports academic achievement and

related goals that promote the best interests of students;

5. Keeping student safety, education, and health paramount by maintaining and sharing

educational records appropriately and objectively in accordance with local policies and

state and federal laws;

6. Enhancing the professional growth and development of new educators by supporting

effective field experiences, mentoring or induction activities across the career


7. Ensuring educators who participate as mentors for new educators, cooperating teachers

and leadership positions are prepared and supervised to assume these roles; and

8. Demonstrating a commitment that educators are assigned to positions in accordance

with their educational credentials, preparation and/or training to maximize students’

opportunities and achievement.

C. The professional educator promotes appropriate and effective relationships with the

community and other stakeholders by:

1. Maintaining the highest professional standards of accuracy, honesty and appropriate

disclosure of information when representing the school or district within the community

and in public communications;

2. Advocating for policies and laws benefitting students and families within the school

community; and

3. Collaborating with community agencies, organizations and individuals in order to

advance students’ best interests.

D. The professional educator promotes appropriate and effective relationships with employers


1. Exhibiting personal and professional conduct that is in the best interest of the

organization, learning community, school community and profession;

2. Using property, facilities, materials and resources in accordance with local policies and

state and federal laws;

3. Respecting intellectual property rights (e.g., original lesson plans, district level curricula,

syllabi, gradebooks) when sharing materials; and

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 6

4. Considering the implications of offering or accepting gifts and/or preferential treatment

by vendors or an individual in a position of professional influence or power.

E. The professional educator recognizes the problematic nature of multiple relationships by:

1. Considering the risks that multiple relationships might impair objectivity, increase the

likelihood of harm to students’ learning and well-being, or diminish educator


2. Considering the risks and benefits of a professional relationship with someone with

whom the educator has a current or past personal relationship;

3. Considering the implications and possible ramifications of engaging in a personal

relationship with parents/guardians, student teachers, colleagues and supervisors; and

4. Ensuring professional responsibilities to paraprofessionals, student teachers or interns

do not interfere with responsibilities to students, their learning and well-being.

Principle V: Responsible and Ethical Use of Technology

The professional educator considers the impact of consuming, creating, distributing and

communicating information through all technologies. The ethical educator is vigilant to ensure

appropriate boundaries associated with role, time and place are maintained when using

electronic communication.

A. The professional educator uses technology in a responsible manner by:

1. Using social media transparently and primarily for purposes of teaching and learning per

school and district policy. The professional educator considers the ramifications of using

social media and direct communication via technology with one’s interactions with

students, colleagues and the general public;

2. Staying current with trends and uses of school technology;

3. Evaluating information obtained electronically for reliability and bias;

4. Respecting intellectual property rights, copyright and fair use when accessing, using and documenting proprietary materials;

5. Understanding and abiding by the district’s policy on the use of technology and


6. Recognizing that some electronic communications are records under the Freedom of

Information Act (FOIA) and state public access laws;

7. Considering the implications of sharing legally protected or other sensitive information

electronically either via professional or personal devices/accounts; and

8. Exercising vigilance in maintaining separate and professional virtual profiles and keeping

personal and professional lives distinct.

B. The professional educator ensures students’ safety and well-being when using technology by:

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 7

1. Being vigilant in identifying, addressing and reporting (when appropriate and in

accordance with local school, district, state and federal policy) inappropriate and illegal

materials/images in electronic or other forms;

2. Respecting the privacy of students’ presence on social media unless there is possible risk

of harm to the student or others; and

3. Being attentive to (and appropriately reporting) information concerning possible cyber

bullying incidents and their potential impact on the student learning environment.

C. The professional educator maintains confidentiality with the use of technology by:

1. Taking appropriate and reasonable measures to maintain confidentiality of privileged

information and stored or transmitted educational records;

2. Understanding the intent of Federal Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) and how

it applies to sharing student records electronically;

3. Ensuring the rights of third parties, including the right of privacy, are not violated via the

use of technology; and

4. Protecting information from being shared with unintended third parties through


D. The professional educator promotes the appropriate use of technology in educational

settings by:

1. Advocating for equal and equitable access to technology for all students;

2. Promoting the benefits and clarifying the limitations of various appropriate

technological applications with colleagues, appropriate school personnel, parents and

community members;

3. Promoting technological applications that assist and enhance the teaching and learning

process; and

4. Practicing and advocating for cybersecurity to protect oneself, others and the integrity

of the network.

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 8

Operational Definitions

Boundaries: The verbal, physical, emotional and social distances that an educator should consider to provide structure, security and predictability. Challenges with boundaries often relate to role, time and place. Appropriate boundaries are established for the school community by respecting contracted roles, working hours and the location of the learning environment.1 Culture: The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious or social group, including the characteristic features of everyday existence shared by people in a place or time.2 Implicit or Explicit Demands of an Organization: Implicit demands are often subjective or implied and reflect the culture of the schooling environment. Explicit demands are clearly articulated through directives, policies, regulations or statutes. Harm: Any potential action that may impair physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or intellectual safety and well-being of a student or a member of the school community. Learning Community: Educators working together to achieve the shared goals of strengthening professional practice and student growth. Multiple Relationships: Multiple relationships occur when an educator is having both a professional and personal affiliation with a member(s) of the school community. New Educators: Pre-service educators and recently employed in-service educators. Professional Educators: Licensed educators and other professionals employed by a school entity who demonstrate the highest standards of ethical and professionally competent practice and are committed to advancing the interests, achievements, and well-being of students. Professional educators are also committed to supporting the school community and the education profession. They

1 Stone, Carolyn (2013). School counseling principles: ethics and law (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American School

Counseling Association, 58 2

MCEE 2nd Edition: June 2023 9

include, but are not limited to, licensed educators, paraprofessionals, teachers, teacher leaders, student support personnel, administrators, coaches, administrative assistants, custodians and other school staff. Proprietary materials: Materials that are protected from unauthorized use by copyright or other forms of intellectual property rights. Risk: A non-desirable consequence that may occur as a result of the situation (e.g., risk to student(s), educator, colleagues, school, profession). School Community: Stakeholders invested in the welfare of a school and its community. A school community includes school employees, students, their parents and families, school board members and other community members.3 Sensitive Information: Information gathered through one’s professional practice that, if shared, could cause harm. Student: A learner enrolled in or receiving services from a P-12 school unless otherwise defined by state statute. Technology: Current and future tools, systems, applications and processes that can include, but are not limited to, electronic communications networks such as the internet and electronic devices (e.g., computers, laptops, phones and other hardware/software) that deliver text, audio, images, animation and streaming video. Third Party: Third party refers to a person or a group besides those primarily involved in a situation.

Transparency: An educator’s openness with respect to one’s behaviors, actions and communications.

© NASDTEC 2015

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