Professional Conduct

Professional conduct is the set of attitudes, behaviours, and characteristics deemed desirable in members of a profession. It defines the profession and its relationship to its members and to society. It is the responsibility of teacher candidates to familiarize themselves with and meet the expectations for professional conduct in all settings.

Faculty members are expected to help teacher candidates interpret specific school and/or practicum guidelines and apply them appropriately.

Although satisfactory performance in both academic coursework and in practicum placements is a prerequisite to advancement, it is not the sole criterion in the consideration for advancement or graduation. The UBC Faculty of Education reserves the right to require a teacher candidate to withdraw if they are considered not suited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching.

A teacher candidate may be considered unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching if they engage in unprofessional conduct. The examples of unprofessional conduct in this policy are not exhaustive, and the Faculty will review allegations of unprofessional conduct on a case-by-case basis. This policy applies to all conduct of its teacher candidates, even when not in the classroom or on practicum or otherwise related to the program.

Examples of unprofessional conduct include but are not limited to:

  • behaving in a manner that endangers teacher candidate peers, faculty, staff, students, staff in practicum settings, volunteers, or others,
  • harassing or being abusive towards students, teacher candidate peers, faculty, staff, staff in practicum settings, volunteers, or others,
  • breaching confidentiality or other ethical obligations,
  • engaging in illegal activities that are inconsistent with the practice of teaching or likely to harm students or others, or
  • failing to meet the Standards of Professional Conduct as outlined below.

Membership in the teaching profession demands integrity, competence and adherence to ethical standards. Teaching is a profession that is enormously demanding and carries considerable responsibility as teachers assume a crucial and challenging role in the support, care and development of other people’s children.

See Responding to Allegations of Unprofessional Conduct

At all times, teacher candidates are expected to demonstrate:

  • Act with integrity and demonstrate personal and academic honesty in all interactions and communications, both orally and in writing. Communicate truthfully with students, teachers and other school-based personnel, teacher candidate peers, faculty members, and staff.
  • Acknowledge contributions made to course assignments, lesson plans, and materials designed or provided by others.

  • Engage only in respectful interactions with others that do not discriminate on grounds protected by the British Columbia Human Rights Code.
  • Contribute to a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning and the conduct of professional work. Maintain personal composure and consideration for others in all interactions.
  • Ensure that all communications, including those on the internet and social media, are respectful.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate personal boundaries in relationships with others both on and off campus.
  • Do not engage in conduct that exploits students or others for personal, sexual, ideological or other advantage.
  • Respect the confidentiality of student information, the dignity of children and their right to confidentiality, subject to your legal and professional obligations, which include a duty to report abuse or suspected abuse.
  • Treat students and their families with respect and dignity both in their presence and in discussions with other members of educational teams.

  • Be accountable for personal conduct. Show enthusiasm, initiative, adaptability and curiousity.
  • Receive feedback in a non-defensive and receptive manner.
  • Meet expectations related to dependability, punctuality, attendance and participation. Meet deadlines.
  • Use social media responsibly, refraining from posting any information or comments related to students or colleagues or any personal information without appropriate consents.
  • Assure the primacy of students’ wellbeing.
  • Respect boundaries between teachers and students in all interactions, including social media.
  • Create environments that are conducive to student learning.
  • Recognize your own limitations and seek help when your level of experience is inadequate.

UBC Statement of Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Teacher candidates are bound by the statutes, rules, regulations, and ordinances of the University and of the Faculty. They are expected to adhere to the UBC Statement of Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty, and Staff, and are expected to be familiar with and to comply with the policies of the University relating to conduct, including but not limited to:

BC Teachers’ Council Standards for the Education, Competence and Conduct of Education in BC

During the course of the teacher education program, teacher candidates will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the following BC Teachers’ Council Standards for the Education, Competence and Conduct of Education in BC:

  1. Educators value the success of all students. Educators care for and act in their best interests.
  2. Educators act ethically and maintain the integrity, credibility and reputation of the profession.
  3. Educators understand and apply knowledge of student growth and development.
  4. Educators value the involvement and support of parents, guardians, families and communities in schools.
  5. Educators implement effective planning, instruction, assessment and reporting practices to create respectful, inclusive environments for student learning and development.
  6. Educators demonstrate a broad knowledge base and an understanding of areas they teach.
  7. Educators engage in professional learning.
  8. Educators contribute to the profession.
  9. Educators respect and value the history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada and the impact of the past on the present and the future. Educators contribute towards truth, reconciliation and healing. Educators foster a deeper understanding of ways of knowing and being, histories and cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

In School or Field Settings

In school or field settings, teacher candidates are expected to be familiar with relevant policies and procedures governing conduct within those settings, including but not limited to the:

Teacher candidates whose program is interrupted and who are readmitted to the program will be required to authorize a new criminal record request if they have not been registered in the program during the past winter session.