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Professional Identity and Boundaries: Making Sense of the Standards 2013.

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1 Professional Identity and Boundaries: Making Sense of the Standards 2013

2 Regulation of Occupations Provinces have the authority to regulate and establish standards for workers in different occupations. This is created through legislation. On January 9, 2012, the legislature enacted the Teachers Act which created a hybrid regulatory system based on two foundational principles: the public interest and transparency.

3 Regulatory Model A hybrid regulation model is characterized by shared responsibility among education partners, including government, certificate holders, employers and others. This model is unique in the regulatory community in Canada.

4 Regulatory Model The model involves four separate and distinct entities which carry out the functions of regulation according to the provisions of the Teachers Act.

5 16 council members including: 5 elected from among the certificate holders 3 appointed by the Minister from a list submitted by the BCTF on behalf of public school teachers 7 appointed by the Minister from lists submitted by other education partners on behalf of their members 1 appointed by the Minister to represent the Minister (non-voting) 1. BC Teachers’ Council

6 Establishes standards for the education, competence and conduct of certificate holders Establishes standards for applicants’ qualifications and fitness Evaluates and approves teacher education programs for the purpose of certifying their graduates Carries out its duties in the public interest Separate and independent of government BC Teachers’ Council

7 2. Commissioner Appointed by Cabinet, the Commissioner is independent of government and oversees the discipline process. The Honorable Bruce Preston Retired BC Supreme Court judge Appointed for 5 years

8 Receives reports and complaints regarding possible breaches of the Standards from: – the public – employers – boards, independent school authorities – attorney-general’s office – other certificate holders – more later – other sources such as the media Commissioner

9 Determines what processes should be undertaken with respect to a report from an employer or a complaint from the public. – take no further action – undertake an informal resolution – order an investigation – initiate an alternate dispute resolution – issue a citation leading to a hearing Commissioner

10 3. Disciplinary and Professional Conduct Board (DPCB) Provides the Commissioner with a pool of council members and lay persons who can serve on hearing panels. Three people sit on a hearing panel to act as judges and determine whether or not a certificate holder has breached the Standards, and if so, what penalty should be imposed.

11 Penalties include reprimands, suspensions or cancellations of certificates. Hearing panels must act independently of government or any other group Act in the public interest. Disciplinary and Professional Conduct Board (DPCB)

12 4. Director of Certification Issues Certificates of Qualification for applicants who meet all of the necessary requirements, based on the standards set by the BC Teachers Council. Issues Independent School Teaching Certificates based on requirements set out by a separate board. Issues letter of permission on a temporary basis when a certified teacher cannot be found to fill a position. Maintains a registry of certificate holders and an employers’ area on the TRB website.

13 5. Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB) – Not created under the Teachers Act A fifth entity, the TRB, is part of the Ministry of Education and provides administrative support for the BC Teachers Council, the Commissioner and the DPCB. BUT the TRB is not a decision-making body. It only provides the necessary assistance to the decision- makers: the BC Teachers Council, the Commissioner, the DPCB and the Director of Certification

14 BC Teachers Council (BCTC) CommissionerDisciplinary and Conduct Board Director of Certification Sets StandardsOversees discipline process of certificate holders Conducts hearings Issues certificates Independent of government though overseen by the Minister of Education Independent of government Government employee Teacher Regulation Branch Supports the work of the four statutory entities above. Overview of the Regulatory Model

15 How the TRB Can Help We act as a resource of information for questions related to Standards, certification, qualifications, competence and conduct. We communicate with and educate certificate holders and others about the important work of teacher regulation – teaching standards and the expectations that the public has for educators.

16 RegulationAdvocacy Established by statute Powers of government given to regulatory body Established by will of a group usually within an employment context Concerned with the public interest and protecting “clients” from incompetence or misconduct of professionals Concerned with the collective interests of members and protecting individuals within an employment context Teacher Regulation BranchEg BCTF (union of public school teachers only) - membership is mandatory, BCPVPA (principals and vice-principals in the public system- voluntary), BCSSA (school superintendents in the public system - voluntary), Catholic Teachers Union, Christian Teachers Association Law Society of BC, College of Pharmacists of BC, College of Registered Nurses of BC BC Bar Association, BC Pharmacists Association, Registered Nurses Union Understanding Regulation and Advocacy

17 RegulationEmployment Issues certificate (license)to teachInvolves hiring teachers in the K-12 system, public or independent Sets Standards for awarding (cancelling) a certificate In the public system, teachers and employers agree on employment rules through a collective agreement, employment contracts and the School Act Provides ability to gain employment in BC and may be used to gain certification in other jurisdictions Salary, pension (if any), hours of work are set in this context Understanding Employment and Regulation

18 What questions do you have?

19 Describe a desired and achievable level of performance by which actual performance can be measured. Measurable expectations of performance Degree of excellence Standards are considered to be the hallmark of a profession. Standards

20 Eight statements of principle, along with brief descriptors, that describe what certificate holders in BC should know and be able to do as well as the conduct they must adhere to. Standards for the Education, Competence and Professional Conduct of Educators in BC

21 This session will attempt to help you answer the questions: What do the Standards mean – how can I interpret them? What should I understand about the Standards that will help you in your everyday work and life? How will these tools help me to be a better teacher? Standards in Practice

22 Relationships with others Appropriateness of the actions Professional autonomy, responsibility and accountability Standard(s) involved Appropriate consequences Prevention Case Studies Considerations

23 Friday afternoon. Sunny. Hot. The school was slow and lethargic. One of those desultory days in May when the thermometer suggested August and the bodies in the building were drooping with the need to be out of the furnace-blasted hallways and classrooms. Ten minutes to the bell. Anton Marshall left his office – well maybe not an office but a small room with a desk, and soccer balls, and grass hockey sticks, and baseball bases and brightly coloured though faded pinneys – and walked past the boys changing room. Ahah! The unmistakable smell of cigarette smoke hit his nostrils. In one smooth motion the ex-wrestler with 15 years experience under his belt, turned to the custodian’s closet, unlocked it, grabbed the largest bucket he could find and filled it with cold water from the industrial sink. Mr. Marshall

24 He marched back to the entrance of the changing room and, yelling “FIIIIRRRRRRE” at the top of his lungs, ran into the room and with a mighty swing, emptied the contents of the bucket on the 16 young men who were in the process of dressing after their showers. Not all of them had been smoking but many had their clothes soaked. Their books and back packs, with cell phones and iPADs were soaked. Anton Marshall laughed and said that they all had to be in the principal’s office within five minutes. He then left the room. Mr. Marshall

25 Educators value and care for all students and act in their best interests. Educators are responsible for fostering the emotional, esthetic, intellectual, physical, social and vocational development of students. They are responsible for the emotional and physical safety of students. Educators treat students with respect and dignity. Educators respect the diversity in their classrooms, schools and communities. Educators have a privileged position of power and trust. They respect confidentiality unless disclosure is required by law. Educators do not abuse or exploit students or minors for personal, sexual, ideological, material or other advantage. Standard 1

26 Educators are role models who act ethically and honestly. Educators act with integrity, maintaining the dignity and credibility of the profession. They understand that their individual conduct contributes to the perception of the profession as a whole. Educators are accountable for their conduct while on duty, as well as off duty, where that conduct has an effect on the education system. Educators have an understanding of the education system in BC and the law as it relates to their duties. Standard 2

27 Marlene Shai had been teaching at South Hilltop Middle School for just over a year. She was not having fun. A normally self-effacing person, Ms. Shai found the students in this middle school intimidating. She struggled with management issues and seemed to be just able to keep the “lid on” as her principal characterized it. A number of students in Ms. Shai’s Humanities classes had not been coming to class regularly and she was afraid that they were skipping her classes. When she asked a colleague if she had trouble with attendance with the students she learned that there were no problems with other classes. Ms. Shai

28 Ms. Shai knew she had to phone the parents but she was afraid of what they might say. What if they berated her and told her she was a bad teacher? How would she respond? Her fears kept her silent. The students kept skipping and their marks dropped. On parents’ night, Ms. Shai had a long list of parents who wished to see her. In desperation that afternoon she posted a sign on her classroom door saying that she was sick and left the building. Ms. Shai

29 Relationships with others Appropriateness of the actions Professional autonomy, responsibility and accountability Standard(s) involved Appropriate consequences Prevention Case Studies Considerations

30 Educators value and care for all students and act in their best interests. Educators are responsible for fostering the emotional, esthetic, intellectual, physical, social and vocational development of students. They are responsible for the emotional and physical safety of students. Educators treat students with respect and dignity. Educators respect the diversity in their classrooms, schools and communities. Educators have a privileged position of power and trust. They respect confidentiality unless disclosure is required by law. Educators do not abuse or exploit students or minors for personal, sexual, ideological, material or other advantage. Standard 1

31 Educators are role models who act ethically and honestly. Educators act with integrity, maintaining the dignity and credibility of the profession. They understand that their individual conduct contributes to the perception of the profession as a whole. Educators are accountable for their conduct while on duty, as well as off duty, where that conduct has an effect on the education system. Educators have an understanding of the education system in BC and the law as it relates to their duties. Standard 2

32 Educators understand and apply knowledge of student growth and development. Educators are knowledgeable about how children develop as learners and as social beings, and demonstrate an understanding of individual learning differences and special needs. This knowledge is used to assist educators in making decisions about curriculum, instruction, assessment and classroom management. Standard 3

33 Educators value the involvement and support of parents, guardians, families and communities in schools. Educators understand, respect and support the role of parents and the community in the education of students. Educators communicate effectively and in a timely manner with parents and consider their advice on matters pertaining to their children. Standard 4

34 Educators implement effective practices in areas of classroom management, planning, instruction, assessment, evaluation and reporting. Educators have the knowledge and skills to facilitate learning for all students and know when to seek additional support for their practice. Educators thoughtfully consider all aspects of teaching, from planning through reporting, and understand the relationships among them. Educators employ a variety of instructional and assessment strategies. Standard 5

35 Educators engage in career-long learning. Educators engage in professional development and reflective practice, understanding that a hallmark of professionalism is the concept of professional growth over time. Educators develop and refine personal philosophies of education, teaching and learning that are informed by theory and practice. Educators identify their professional needs and work to meet those needs individually and collaboratively. Standard 7

36 Douglas Hotte taught in a mid-sized town in central BC. He spent two years as a TOC and was hired on a continuing contract to teach grade ¾ at a school that served the local population and surrounding ranching communities. Mr. Hotte was an average teacher, neither well-loved nor hated. He was quiet and had a few good friends within the school. He helped coach the girls volleyball team and volunteered regularly to supervise extracurricular events such as band concerts and drama productions. Mr. Hotte

37 At the end of one school year, the staff and students were horrified to hear that Mr. Hotte’s wife had been hospitalized with sever injuries to her head and upper body. Mr. Hotte had been arrested for assault. At trial, Mr. Hotte pled guilty to the charge and was given a conditional sentence including 200 hours of community service and keeping a clean record. Mr. Hotte

38 Relationships with others Appropriateness of the actions Professional autonomy, responsibility and accountability Standard(s) involved Appropriate consequences Prevention Case Studies Considerations

39 Educators are role models who act ethically and honestly. Educators act with integrity, maintaining the dignity and credibility of the profession. They understand that their individual conduct contributes to the perception of the profession as a whole. Educators are accountable for their conduct while on duty, as well as off duty, where that conduct has an effect on the education system. Educators have an understanding of the education system in BC and the law as it relates to their duties. Standard 2

40 Balancing autonomy with responsibility and accountability Understanding the importance of the work of teachers as relational Establishing boundaries in those relationships that keep children/students safe Living up to the Standards

41 Competence refers to the ability to successfully carry out the duties of an educator For example, keep accurate records, manage a classroom and students, plan engaging, thought-provoking learning experiences, assessing, evaluating and reporting on learning Incompetence is the inability to perform the duties of an educator appropriately Example Ms. Shai Competence or Incompetence

42 Conduct refers to the particular behaviours that educators exhibit in the course of their work but that are not directly related to the skills of teaching. Include inappropriate touching of students within the school or on a field trip. Misconduct is often a result of misunderstanding the nature of appropriate relationships with students and others but may also be more pathological. Example Mr. Marshall Conduct or Misconduct

43 Conduct unbecoming a professional is conduct that occurs outside of the employment situation but that does not reflect well upon the educator and the profession. This may include criminal activity or other situations that could bring disrepute on the education system. Examples are speaking publicly about anti- Semitic views or having sexual relations with an underage non-student. Example Mr. Hotte Conduct Becoming or Unbecoming a Professional

44 Multiple Jeopardy Civil charges on behalf of the victim Employment consequences on behalf of local students Professional consequences on behalf of the public and the profession Criminal charges on behalf of society Educator Conduct

45 The reason why off-the-job conduct may amount to misconduct is that a teacher holds a position of trust, confidence, and responsibility. If he or she acts in an improper way, on or off the job, there may be a loss of public confidence in the teacher and in the public school system, a loss of respect by students for the teacher involved, and other teachers generally, and there may be controversy within the school and within the community which disrupts the proper carrying on of the educational system…. The question in this case is not whether the photograph is obscene, but whether the publication of such a photograph of a teacher in such a magazine will have an adverse effect upon the educational system to which the teacher owes a duty to act responsibly…. Schewan and Schewan v Abbotsford School District

46 [44] …The integrity of the education system also depends to a great extent upon the perceived integrity of teachers. It is to this extent that expression outside the classroom becomes relevant. While the activities of teachers outside the classroom do not seem to impact directly on their ability to teach, they may conflict with the values which the education system perpetuates. [43] …teachers are a significant part of the unofficial curriculum because of their status as “medium.” In a very significant way the transmission of prescribed “messages” (values, beliefs, knowledge) depends on the fitness of the “medium” (the teacher). Attis v New Brunswick School Board

47 [41] In my view, no evidence is required to prove that teachers play a key role in our society that places them in a direct position of trust and authority towards their students. Parents delegate their parental authority to teachers and entrust them with the responsibility of instilling in their children a large part of the store of learning they will acquire during their development. [43] In short, I am of the view that in the vast majority of cases teachers will indeed by in a position of trust and authority towards their students.… it cannot be concluded that a teacher is not in a position of trust and authority towards his or her students without going against common sense. R v Audet Supreme Court of Canada

48 Situational abusers – likely Audet Preferential or serial abusers – cases in the media such as Sandusky at Penn State or hockey coach Graham James Many serial abusers are not caught until they have abused many times The abused children or youth are scarred for life and may even commit suicide Grooming and Sexual Abuse

49 Any behavior that tends to focus on developing an improper relationship with a person who has less power Prepares the person with less power - student or child - to do things s/he normally would not do –engage in a sexual act The relationship may at first seem caring but will slide into inappropriate actions Grooming

50 The relationship may seem to benefit the student or child but is focused on the needs of the groomer/abuser The groomer seldom uses coercion or violence to achieve his goals, preferring to use charm and manipulation Both men and women engage in grooming and abuse but the overwhelming majority are men Grooming

51 Knowledge is power Most common professions for pedophiles to enter – teaching, coaching and the clergy Historically, cases have been covered up – Sandusky – Graham James – Robert Noyes – Tom Ellison Why talk about this?

52 Section 38 of the Teachers Act (1)A [certificate holder] must promptly provide to the commissioner a written report if the [certificate holder] has reason to believe that another [certificate holder] has engaged in conduct that involves any of the following: (a) physical harm to a student (b) sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a student or (c) significant emotional harm to a student Duty to Report Professional Misconduct

53 This duty is in force even if the information reached the certificate holder through a privileged source (except solicitor-client) or if it is considered confidential under another act Any certificate holder who knowingly reports false information commits an offence No action can be taken against a certificate holder for reporting information under this section unless the certificate holder knowingly reported false information Duty to Report

54 Never be “friends” with your students on personal sites Keep your privacy settings at the highest levels The Grandma Rule: Use common sense in posting pictures or commentary – if you wouldn’t want it on the front page of the paper or you wouldn’t want your grandma or own grandchildren to see it one day, don’t post it! Personal Social Networking

55 Everything you do online is public and you have no control over it Whatever you put online will last all your life and beyond Take steps to ensure your safety and privacy Personal Social Networking

56 Use only professional sites to communicate with your students and parents Do not communicate one-on-one with students. Instead, post messages on the professional site which the whole class and parents can access There is safety for your students and for you in ensuring your communications are open and transparent Social Networking and Your Work: Suggestions to Stay Safe

57 A student teacher was accused of sexually touching and luring a child after allegedly contacting a 15-year-old girl over the Internet. In a second case, a student teacher was accused of befriending a high school student and developing a relationship with her outside of school, using a social networking website and text messages. He was arrested and charged with sexual interference. Student Teachers Luring Online

58 Know what the Standards are telling you. Understand other codes of conduct you may be obliged to follow: Employment contracts BCTF Code of Ethics Standards for the Education, Competence & Professional Conduct of Educators in BC Make sense of these in the context in which you work. Setting Boundaries

59 Educators have the ethical and legal responsibility to establish and maintain the boundaries of a professional relationship and this responsibility lies entirely with the educator, no matter what the circumstances. Educators must accept responsibility for managing the power imbalance and apply an ethos of care. Boundary Violations

60 An educator must act “in loco parentis” but is not the parent. An educator must establish rapport with students but cannot be their friend An educator must care for students but cannot be their lovers Dilemmas in Defining the Boundaries

61 Consider the bigger picture – look beyond the moment. Ask yourself: How will my actions affect the student, other students, other teachers, the school and the parents? Would I want my actions pictured on the front page of the paper or to go viral on the internet? Is the action safe? Does it put anyone in danger? Would my actions breach the Standards? Making Good Decisions

62 An individual described as a “professional” has been ascribed these characteristics: …those who are willing to accept the honour, status and other benefits of the designation [of professional] in exchange for which they agree to place the welfare of those whom they serve foremost and to avoid any conflicting biases of confounding relationships. [Emphasis added.] Michael Doherty, Privacy and Access to Information Issues: Self-Governing Professions, B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre Being a Professional

63 Educators must act in ways that consider the best interest of their students and not their own needs or interests. Educators must act to uphold the integrity of the profession as a whole and the public interest. Understanding this makes your job easier and joyful The Answer

64 What questions or comments do you have?

65


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