Personal history of development of this Teacher Oath

by Eugene Matusov

Once Stephanie Drye, my Ph. D. graduate student in education, came to me and told about about educational abuse of students by one of professors for whom she was a Teaching Assistant. She ended her story with request, "Eugene, in future when I become a professor, please, slap me hard if I do similar abuse to my students that this professor did!" I replied Stephanie why don't you pledge your teacher loyalty to your students like doctors do with their Hippocratic Oath. Stephanie asked me, "Where can I find such Teacher Oath?" I suggested looking on the Internet. To her and my surprise she could not find any Teacher Oath that pledge loyalty to the teacher's students. All she could find were Teacher Oath pledging loyalty to their authority:

Whereas, in order to perpetuate the principles of free government and preserve the high ideals upon which this Nation was founded and upon which our Constitutions rest, it is necessary that the fundamental principles of patriotism and the ideals of Americanism be inculcated into and cultivated in the minds of our children; and whereas the public-school teaches and other employees of this State wield an influence upon the lives and minds of Georgia children second only to that of their parents; and whereas the State has been and is being flooded with propaganda and literature which seek the destruction of the high principles of government which ought to be perpetuated:

Thereof, be it resolved by the General Assembly of Georgia (the Senate and House of Representatives concurring), that every teacher in the public schools of this State, whether elementary, high school, college or university, and all other employees, of this State or subdivision thereof drawing a weekly, monthly, or yearly salary, shall before entering upon the discharge of their duties, take and subscribe a solemn oath to uphold, support, and defend the Constitution and laws of this State and of the United States, and to refrain from directly or indirectly subscribing to or teaching any theory of government or economics or of social relations which is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of patriotism and high ideals of Americanism. TEACHER'S OATH OF ALLEGIANCE. Georgia, 1935

As a prospective teacher, I acknowledge that academic honesty is as vital to learning as is integrity to teaching. Therefore, I pledge not to cheat or plagiarize at Elmira College, and not to tolerate such academic dishonesty by others during my teaching career, which begins today. The Elmira College, Teacherís Oath, 2002.

Taking the Hippocratic Oath as a model, Stephanie wrote her own Teacher Oath.