Nothing Personal: Teachers Must Keep Views to Themselves


As a general idea, higher education professors or post-secondary faculty members have leniences on what they can and cannot say or share with students in a classroom setting. Conversely, primary and secondary instructors do not have the same privilege and must adhere to a certain code of ethics. The code of ethics limits an educator’s moral contributions by regulating how he or she interacts with students and what he or she can express in class.

An educator’s commitment and adherence to the code of ethics directly impacts the education profession and ultimately how and what a student learns, which can greatly influence his or her own beliefs.

Educators of all levels of academia are expected to perform at high professional standards. The code of ethics makes it socially unacceptable for primary and secondary instructors to share their personal beliefs with students. So what exempts college professors from obeying this social expectation?

Many college professors risk violating the code of ethics when certain controversial topics are openly discussed in the classroom.

While college is a place for social awakening and academic enlightenment, a professor’s religious affiliations and political views should never be shared with his or her students for the sake of maintaining an unwavering student-teacher relationship.

College students are often curious about the cultural, political and religious facets of a professor’s life. While such information can lead to an informative class-based discussion, it can also offend students who contest the professor’s spiritual beliefs and practices or political views.  

A college classroom, full of young and engaging students, can lead to open discussions that violate the code of ethics that educators are expected to follow. If a professor says too much, his or her personal views and bias on conflicting values can be revealed. Such behavior can make students feel angry, self-conscious or uneasy in the classroom. This can then jeopardize the educator’s professionalism and job.

A class discussion on controversial issues can also affect students. A professor who cannot adhere to the code of ethics can become influenced-negatively or positively-about students based on their religious and political affiliations. Inadvertently, the professor’s predisposition can reflect on the teacher-student interaction and the awarded grades.

Students who dispute the professor’s views can very well receive lower grades than those who support them.

Cultural, religious and political diversity are components that make up the United States of America’s citizens. However, one must always remember that professors are educators and not the ultimate authority. Professors’ personal views should be kept to themselves in order to keep from imposing them onto students during class. Education and personal values are separate components of one’s life and should not be infringed upon.