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Code of Conduct for Teachers and Students

Classroom Responsibilities Set the Tone for the Academic Term

It's that time of the year again. Students are "anxiously" awaiting the start of a new academic year. My students at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo know what to expect from me. It's a strict code of conduct that sets the tone for my expectations of them and my responsibilities to them. I make it clear that it is a two-way street. Ethics always is when you look at it from the perspective of the Golden Rule: Treat Others the Way You Would Want to be Treated. It is in their vein that I offer up the code of classroom responsibilities with the hope it might help teachers of all education levels struggling with how to teach basic ethics including personal responsibility, integrity, fair treatment, respect and exercising due care all with the goal of pursuing excellence in everything we do. A classroom is like a laboratory in which we experiment with different teaching techniques and hope to find a way to break through the apathy that all too many students feel towards education by engaging them in active, not passive learning whereby they are active participants in the learning process.

                                Classroom Code of Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

1.              Stop talking as soon as I begin the lecture each day. It is rude to continue to talk once the class has started.

2.              Don’t read a newspaper or other document; don’t sleep during class; don’t hold side conversations with your neighbor(s); and don’t check your e-mail, update your Face Book page, or tweet in class. Remember, you may be called upon to answer a question and if you are not prepared, you will not be given credit for attending that class. This is a participative course.

3.              Attend all classes unless an emergency arises. If that occurs, please let me know by e-mail or in person. Remember, the quizzes are based on class discussions. Unexcused absences from the midterm and/or final exam may lead to a grade of zero for that assignment.

4.            Don't pull a "Ferris Buehler" and take the day off to goof off. You wouldn't do it in the working world; don't do it in this class. YOU HAVE A PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO COMPLETE ALL ASSIGNMENTS ON THE DUE DATE. If you fail to do so, I will dock you by one grade level.

5.              If you have to use the restroom before the 10 minute break, please do so quietly and quickly.

6.              Do your own work. Cheating will not be tolerated. It is unfair to students who work diligently to get the best grade possible in this course. Remember, THIS IS AN ETHICS COURSE!

7.              You cannot use cell phones on exams. Basic calculators are acceptable to help with the math. You should not leave cell phones turned on in class. If your cell phone goes off, I will take it from you and return it at the end of class.

8.                Be a contributing member of your group. Don't let others carry the load for you. The business world revolves around teamwork and a consultative approach to problem solving. This is what I expect of you in class discussions whenever I break you up into groups.

If you violate any of these rules, I may ask you to leave class for the day. I don’t want to embarrass anyone but I expect to have your respect and attention throughout the course.

            My Obligations

1.            Model ethical behavior in the classroom and during office hours and in out-of-class discussions.

2.            Be respectful towards all students; not to talk down to you.

3.            Be diligent and provide interesting and informative lectures and discussions that challenge your intellectual curiosity.

4.            Provide a diverse learning experience including using social media and Internet research in class discussions and assignments.

4.            Be available during office hours and, when necessary, at other times during the course. Be attentive to your questions and concerns. Feel free to see me if you have a personal issue related to the course that you think I should know about. I do care about your well-being and hope to contribute towards your growth as a person. All of our communication about such matters is on a confidential basis.

5.            Assist you in any way that I can to help you learn the course material. This includes meeting outside of office hours at a mutually convenient time and place.

6.            Be fair in the grading process including grading quizzes, examinations, term papers, and the group case presentation. My evaluation of your work and grading process simulates the way performance evaluations should be done in the business world. I view the classroom as a learning laboratory to get you ready to be contributing members of society.

7.            Be diligent in returning work with a grade and, where appropriate, my explanations of why points were deducted from your grade. See me if you have any questions on your grade but first review my comments to better understand why points have been deducted.

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on August 12, 2011