I have just started a new job as a dance teacher, in an academy that has never taught dance. This has provided me with an excellent chance to look at the creation of an ethical dance class. In this context I feel that ethics involves building a safe, supportive environment which encourages motivation and mutual respect.
I also have an awareness of organisational ethics. Organisational ethics govern the set up of a safe environment - the implementation of codes of practice and regulations that guide the setting I teach in and make it fit for purpose.
These guidelines are based on my own personal thoughts and views.
First and foremost, I believe I have a duty and a responsibility to my students. Each pupil has a right to feel accepted, valued and safe whilst in my care.
With regards to ethics, I feel it is my responsibility to be a role model, modelling the behaviour that I would encourage from my students. My actions influence the learning environment and ensure safeguarding.
Creating a safe environment
My personal responsibility is to ensure that the students come to no harm:
- I am trained to the required level to teach the subject and provide structured lessons including the necessary warm-up and cool-down exercises to prevent injuries;
- I have a first aid certificate and am aware of the injury policies;
- I am CRB checked;
- I am aware of all relevant Health and Safety policies, accident policies etc;
- I am aware of the Fire Regulations and ensure that my students are equally prepared;
- I ensure that the equipment (electronic or otherwise) is tested and meets the required standard;
- I ensure that the classroom environment is clean and free from clutter;
- Prior to class, I carry out a visual risk assessment of the room, removing any hazards and ensuring that the room is safe and fit for purpose;
- I create a safe environment by the setting and enforcing of rules and boundaries that protect the student emotionally and physically.
Promoting Respect for each other:
- I discuss with the students the reasoning behind the rules, so as to develop a greater understanding of why they are in place – eg. by explaining the consequences of being disruptive and not respecting other individuals' right to listen and learn;
- I aim to promote an environment of respect and acceptance by encouraging students to treat others as they would like to be treated;
- I agree guidelines with my students for ‘our lessons’ and use these to develop rules that they understand;
- I respect students by giving them the best I can and preparing stimulating and challenging lessons;
- I do my best to make each and every student feel valued and important. I do this by greeting each and every student as they enter the class;
- I adopt a friendly and approachable manner. I aim to divide my time equally between students and only show disapproval at their incorrect behaviour.
I believe that there are also unwritten ethical standards that are expected of me as Professional working for a company which include:
- Maintain the reputation of the Academy;
- Uphold the ethos of the Academy; and
- Liaise with parents and colleagues to ensure the safeguarding and well being of students.
I realise that I have strong personal ethics that I can only assume I have collected from life experiences. I wonder if they can be easily challenged and disputed.
I also wonder if my desire for an ethical class is idealistic and naive and maybe it is just as simple as right and wrong.
Would love some feedback.