The Educator’s Profession is the oath of the professional teacher.
As we welcome our third year students each September, we invite these students—and other alumni of the Bachelor of Education program of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan in attendance who have not already participated—to attend and engage a ritual marking the transition in the career of an educator from the point at which he or she was a student of teaching (having engaged in course work undergirding the profession) to candidacy as a teacher.
Before the ceremony, students assemble with the Collegium (members of the faculty of the College of Education and the University of Saskatchewan who hold academic authority over the Bachelor of Education program), ministers of the Government of Saskatchewan, officials from the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers' Regulatory Board, members of the senior leadership of Saskatchewan's provincial school boards, First Nations leaders, dignitary alumni, and other members of the public.
During the ceremony, students are asked to profess their intention to uphold the values and commitments embedded within the Profession, join their colleagues in receiving a pin representing this oath, and sign a banner upon which the Profession is written.
Following this, a student becomes a teacher candidate.
I am a teacher.
I profess to work collaboratively with students, colleagues, and the community towards learning and discovery in inclusive, ethical, fair, just, respectful, and mutually supportive ways.
I am a reflective inquirer and a lifelong learner. I endeavor to advance and adapt my knowledge, skills, and instructional styles to meet the needs of all learners. I take into consideration the diversity of values, orientations, history, rights, freedoms, responsibilities, and perspectives of all peoples in Saskatchewan, in Canada, on First Nations, and throughout the world.
I continuously aspire to develop proficiency in the historical, working, and lived curriculum and in the language of instruction; to learn and use meaningful, equitable, and holistic teaching strategies for instruction, assessment, and evaluation; and to create learning environments that encourage and support the lifetime growth of the whole student.
I am committed to using my skills, knowledge, and judgement wisely. My dedication to the profession will significantly contribute to the well-being of students, families, and communities.
I understand the power of education.
Assembled dignitaries and students are welcomed by Associate Dean, Dr Dawn Wallin (above).
The signed Profession (left).
Collegium entry (right).
Students are called to profess (above).
Alumni receive pins (left).
Students receive pins (left).
Teacher candidates and alumni recipients (above).
The act of receiving the pin, and signing the banner is an agreement to, and an acknowledgement of, the work of the profession.
The words of Dr Michelle Prytula, Dean of the College of Education, during her remarks to those attending the first ceremony provide an explanation of the pin's design:
"The words, of course, identify who we are; the crest and book represent the University of Saskatchewan—the book also represents learning. Further, we’ve added a unique element, different from all symbols and marks used at the U of S: the tree.
As we considered the tree and thought about all that it symbolizes, it was clear that it was appropriate for this pin.
The tree represents the work of an educator. It depicts gentleness and sacrifice, while, at the same time, immense and enduring strength. It has historically symbolized wisdom, life, and unending learning. Purposefully designed with its roots in the earth and its crown dancing in the sky, it is a function of stability, shelter, and security—and the tree on this pin has particular resemblance to two trees which we know well: the Oak, which is a symbol of courage, standing strong through all things; and the Elm, with its inner strength and intuition.
... And let me remind you that the pin is hard to get. It can only be acquired by current students and alumni from our Bachelor of Education program, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. Nowhere else and for no other reason. We are a distinct group, working toward a vision for provincial and First Nations schools that will serve current pupils and the future in ways that no other teachers can. We are a distinct group, united in vision and dedicated in purpose."
Professional Accountability: Supporting College of Education Positive Relationships
Students, staff, faculty, and instructors in the College of Education aspire to the high standards of professionalism associated with the teaching profession.
As members of the College of Education community, our activities demonstrate professionalism in the manner in which we:
- develop knowledge and skills to the best of our abilities;
- recognize and work toward the betterment of our communities through our professional work;
- cooperate and work collaboratively with our professional colleagues for the betterment of our professions;
- fully participate and engage in our continued education and development as professionals;
- exercise positive judgment and decision making with respect to our professional roles; and
- work toward high standards of professional practice and ethical conduct guided by the College’s core principles of respect, inclusivity, integrity and responsibility.
Given our College’s responsibility to the teaching profession, we encourage:
- Sustained positive engagement;
- Dedication and follow-through in all responsibilities; and
- Awareness of the impact of personal actions (positive and negative) within a community of learners.
To aid in the actualization of professional standards, clear, direct, and continuing communication among all parties is critical.
For further information on professional codes for teachers, please consult Bylaw 7 of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation Governance Handbook (2010): Teacher Codes in Saskatchewan
Students with Academic Program Concerns
Supporting College of Education Professional Relationships
Students in the College of Education aspire to high standards of professional practice and ethical conduct. Procedures for students with academic program concerns are designed to honour core principles of respect, inclusivity, integrity, and responsibility. When concerns arise, the following procedures exemplify professional practice in lines of communication:
For further information:
Supporting College of Education Professional Relationships
- Canadian Teachers’ Federation: Cybertips for Teachers
supports collegiality through professional online communication
- Research Ethics
outlines procedures when human participants are involved in research
- Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation: Code of Professional Ethics
- Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation: Teachers as Professionals
- Student Research Assistant Guidelines
guidelines related to student employment as research assistants
- University of Saskatchewan Academic Conduct
- University of Saskatchewan Learning Charter
emphasizes prudent application of knowledge, intellectual integrity, ethical behavior, recognition of moral and ethical issues, taking appropriate actions, and ethical/legal use of information
- University of Saskatchewan Mission Statement
identifies values that include the University as a place of human dignity and fairness as well as the importance of ethical standards and environmental responsibility