I’m one of those poor people who take their job very seriously. After reading this blog entry about a teacher having romantic encounters with some of his students, I felt a general sense of disgust. Both because it disturbs my moral sensibilities when people in positions of responsibility behave in such a massively irresponsible fashion and also due to the fact that I have a strong sense of professional ethics. I’m not of the opinion that professional ethics are only for doctors or engineers or lawyers or accountants or educators who belong to professions that have their own formalized and specialized codes of ethics. I think basic ethical principles should be upheld by people who work at restaurants, bars, factories, construction sites, retail stores, gas stations, offices, military bases, and churches. The list goes on and on.
Here are some of the ethical standards I hold myself to at my job. This is not an exhaustive list.
1. Be as honest and accurate as possible.
2. Communicate using the chain of command as much as possible.
3. Reinforce positive workplace behaviors; discourage negative workplace behaviors.
4. Keep promises.
5. Help as many people as possible who genuinely need help.
6. Eliminate personal feelings as a factor in any assessment of a student’s performance.
7. Be willing to admit being wrong when evidence indicates it.
8. Correct mistakes as soon as possible.
9. Treat people like people, not machines.
10. Don’t date coworkers; it’s a bad idea.
Do you have ethical standards that you uphold at your job? What kinds of behaviors do you expect from yourself and others at work?