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Educators Face More Exposure

Educators Face More Exposure Than Other Professionals


Due to the unique role of educators they must exercise a higher duty of care than most professionals. Teachers also face much greater exposure to liability than the average citizen. Teachers must deal with diverse laws related to issues such as child abuse, student discipline, negligence, defamation, student records and copyright infringement nearly every day. Below are a few issues that are frequently of concern.



Tennessee Internal School Uniform Accounting Policy Manual

State law mandates that the principal is directly responsible for the financial management of the local school. Section 49-2-110(d)(1), Tennessee Code Annotated, states, "The principal shall be liable to account for the safekeeping and handling of all funds of every character raised by student activities, school services and school events, irrespective of the sources of such funds, or the purpose for which they were raised.” The principal is also responsible for ensuring that school staff understands the proper handling of school collections. 

The Tennessee Internal School Uniform Accounting Policy Manual, page 5-3, states: Teachers, assistants, volunteers, and support staff who handle money should be made aware of the requirement for maintaining accurate and systematic records of all cash collected.… At the beginning of each school year, the principal should ensure that all individuals responsible for school collections are informed of the required procedures and forms and the consequences for noncompliance with the required procedures.



Copyright Basics 


Many educators and librarians ask about the fair use and photocopying provisions of the copyright law. Emerging technologies bring new challenges for today's teachers. The Internet and availability of computers and digitizing equipment provide ready access to great reservoirs of information and knowledge. Newer technologies also allow teachers to transfer, copy, and digitize learning materials faster and easier than ever. Digital images may travel great distances quickly, leaving no trail. Text and images can be copied instantly, then easily saved in computer files. It is no wonder that in this environment teachers often do not understand just how much leeway they have in using other people's work. The law may seem confusing, ambiguous, and unclear. The issue of copyright law enforcement, however, receives little public attention. While education institutions have begun to protect themselves from liability, some teachers, either from a false sense of security or lack of awareness, engage in illegal use or retention of materials.

Read more from the US Copyright Office: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators & Librarians



Proper Preparation, Organization, and Attitude


We all know teaching can be one of the most challenging professions out there, but with proper preparation, organization, and attitude teaching can also be an extremely rewarding career. It is important that you know that Professional Educators of Tennessee will be here to help. In order to maximize your effectiveness in the classroom, you will need to enlist the support of the parents of your students. Together, you will form a powerful team with the students' best interests at heart. Teaching is not a profession that can ever be mastered. However, there are some basic skills that every teacher must bring to the job, forming the foundation for teaching success. As a teacher, your classroom is your kingdom. With a little foresight and organization, your classroom can support all of your teaching goals in style, making the most of limited resources.You can't teach if your students aren't organized, quiet, and ready to learn.

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