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Ethical Dilemma. Should I Do This As A Good Teacher?

1185 words - 5 pages


During my four years of being a teacher, one question that I frequently ask myself is "should I do this as a good teacher?" I ask this question not to be regarded as a good teacher by my students or colleagues or superiors; I ask this question because as a teacher, I want to make sure that everything I do is worthy of my students' trust. Most of the times I can get the answer easily because many things we do are easily justifiable as being good or not good for students. However, there was once that I could not answer this question to myself.

Every end of semester, I need to give conduct grades to my students for their behaviour in school over the semester. It is a very routine task ...view middle of the document...

I gave him an alarm clock and asked him to set two alarms. I had also asked several of his friends to take turns to call him in the morning but he often refused to answer the call. His house is not too far away from the school, so it was very clear that the problem is his attitude he did not take it seriously and make the effort to come to school on time. However, if I give him a "fair", he would lose his financial aid for one whole semester or even longer (if he fails to regain a "good" grade in next semester). How is the family going to pay for his school fees? There were three children in his family but only his father was working. It would be a hard time for the family without the financial aid. Am I being too harsh to him? Aren't teachers supposed to be compassionate? Will the family complain to school management that I am not a caring teacher? Probably such things had happen before and what the counsellor suggested to me was the usual solution which seemed to be good for everyone. On the other hand, what if I change the "fair" to a "good"? Should I feel happy because I saved his financial aid? I might be happy for his family because they don't have to worry about the school fees, but other than that, I would have a lot of worries. First of all, I don't think a responsible teacher should give a student a "good" grade which he does not deserve. If I can freely change the grade, the whole grading system will lose its meaning and I am not being fair to other students who put in their effort in behaving well in school. Secondly, by giving him a "good" and letting him to continue receiving financial aid, I fear that he will take many things for granted. The purpose of financial aid is to encourage students from low-income families to behave well and work hard so that they can be rewarded in such a way. If this student gets the financial aid despites his unsatisfactory behaviour, he would think that the financial aid is a right with no obligation. It is very likely that he will continue to come to school late frequently in the subsequent semesters and years without realizing...

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