Teacher Oath

Personal history of development of this oath


In remembrance and respect of great educators like Lev Vygotsky, John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Janusz Korczak, Vivian Paley, and Paulo Freire, I take to witness of all my teachers, colleagues and students, to keep according to my ability and my judgment the following Oath:


To consider dear to me as my loved ones, those who taught me this art; to live in common with them and if necessary share my goods with them; to look upon their children as my own brothers and sisters, to teach them this art if they so desire without fee or written promise; to impart to my sons and daughters and the sons and daughters of the master who taught me and the disciples who have enrolled themselves and have agreed to the rules of the profession, but to these alone, the precepts and the instruction. I will strive to facilitate learning and implement a curriculum for the good of my students according to my ability and my judgment and never knowingly do harm to anyone. I will keep an open ear to hear those who I may unknowingly cause pain to and try my best to see the error of my ways and turn from them. To please no one (e.g., state, school administration, parents, taxpayers, myself) will I prescribe a "one size fits all" curriculum and assessment techniques, but rather I will be aware that students learn in different ways, in different timelines and may exhibit that which they have in a multitude of styles. Nor will I become so stagnant or complacent with that which I know that I will cease seeking further education for myself; and if such a time occurs, I will reconsider my involvement in this profession. Also, in my zeal to help every student I encounter I will still realize my limitations and if necessary call upon the assistance and guidance of another. In every school where I come I will enter only for the good of all students, keeping myself far from all intentional or unintentional ill‑doing and all seduction, and especially from the human tendencies to stereotype those who are the same or different from me and to place blame within the student when it appears that learning has not occurred. Whatever, a problem I perceived as a teacher, I promise to consider my own teaching first and foremost in search of a solution. I will also be sensitive to the needs and other obligations of those that work with or for me and remain open to their suggestions by prioritizing learning needs and well‑being of my students over other concerns and goals. Above all these things, I will never forget that I was once a student in my students' position, keeping in mind the obstacles that I once faced. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or outside my profession or in daily interaction with the public, I will not keep secret but will reveal to anyone with an open ear. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.


Designed and signed first by Stephanie of Drye, June 16th of 2000, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware U.S.A.

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