We, professional educators of New Mexico, affirm our belief in the worth and dignity of humanity. We recognize the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, the encouragement of scholarship, and the promotion of democratic citizenship. We regard as essential to these goals the protection of freedom to learn and to teach with the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. We affirm and accept our responsibility to practice our profession according to the highest ethical standards. We acknowledge the magnitude of the profession we have chosen, and engage ourselves, individually and collectively, to judge our colleagues and to be judged by them in accordance with the applicable provisions of this code.

A. Principle I: Commitment to the student. We measure success by the progress of each student toward achievement of his/her maximum potential. We therefore work to stimulate the spirit of inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the thoughtful formulation of worthy goals. We recognize the importance of cooperative relationships with other community institutions, especially the home. In fulfilling our obligation to the student, we:
(1) deal justly and considerately with each student;
(2) encourage the student to study and express varying points of view and respect his/her right to form his/her own judgment;
(3) conduct conferences with or concerning students in an appropriate place and manner;
(4) seek constantly to improve learning facilities and opportunities.
B. Principle II: Commitment to the community. We believe that patriotism in its highest form requires dedication to the principles of our democratic heritage. We share with all other citizens the responsibility for the development of sound public policy. As educators, we are particularly accountable for participating in the development of educational programs and policies and for interpreting them to the public. In fulfilling our obligations to the community, we:
(1) share the responsibility for improving the educational opportunities for all;
(2) recognize that each educational institution has a person authorized to interpret its official policies;
(3) acknowledge the right and responsibility of the public to participate in the formulation of educational policy;
(4) evaluate through appropriate professional procedures conditions within a district or institution of learning, make known serious deficiencies, and take action deemed necessary and proper;
(5) assume full political and citizenship responsibilities, but refrain from exploiting the institutional privileges of our professional positions to promote political candidates of partisan activities;
(6) protect the educational program against undesirable infringement, and promote academic freedom.
C. Principle III: Commitment to the profession. We believe that the quality of the services of the education profession directly influence the future of the nation and its citizens. We therefore exert every effort to raise educational standards, to improve our service, to promote a climate in which the exercise of professional judgment is encouraged, to demonstrate integrity in all work-related activities and interactions in the school setting, and to achieve conditions which attract persons worthy of the trust to careers in education. Aware of the value of united effort, we contribute actively to the support, planning, and programs of our professional organizations. In fulfilling our obligations to the profession, we:
(1) recognize that a profession must accept responsibility for the conduct of its members and understand that our own conduct may be regarded as representative of our profession;
(2) participate and conduct ourselves in a responsible manner in the development and implementation of policies affecting education;
(3) cooperate in the selective recruitment of prospective teachers and in the orientation of student teachers, interns, and those colleagues new to their positions;
(4) accord just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession in the exercise of their professional rights and responsibilities;
(5) refrain from assigning professional duties to nonprofessional personnel when such assignment is not in the best interest of the student;
(6) refrain from exerting undue influence based on the authority of our positions in the determination of professional decisions by colleagues;
(7) keep the trust under which confidential information is exchanged;
(8) make appropriate use of the time granted for professional purposes;
(9) interpret and use the writings of others and the findings of educational research with intellectual honesty;
(10) maintain our integrity when dissenting by basing our public criticism of education on valid assumptions as established by careful evaluation of facts;
(11) respond accurately to requests for evaluation of colleagues seeking professional positions;
(12) provide applicants seeking information about a position with an honest description of the assignment, the conditions of work and related matters.
D. Principle IV: Commitment to professional employment practices. We regard the employment agreement as a solemn pledge to be executed both in spirit and in fact in a manner consistent with the highest ideals of professional service. Sound professional personnel relationships with governing boards are built upon integrity, dignity, and mutual respect between employees, administrators, and local school boards. In fulfilling our obligations to professional employment practices, we:
(1) apply for or offer a position on the basis of professional and legal qualifications;
(2) apply for a specific position only when it is known to be vacant and refrain from such practices as underbidding or commenting adversely about other candidates;
(3) fill no vacancy except where the terms, conditions, and policies are known;
(4) adhere to and respect the conditions of a contract or to the terms of an appointment until either has been terminated legally or by mutual consent;
(5) give prompt notice of any change in availability of service, in status of applications, or in change in position;
(6) conduct professional business through recognized educational and professional channels.


N.M. Code R. § NMAC - N, 04-30-01

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