Woodleigh School Professional Teaching Code

1. Positive Attitude Toward Teaching: a 'vocation'

  • a belief in the value of teaching & education
  • committed to high quality, excellence, & innovation
  • supportive of the development of the profession.

2. Supportive of Woodleigh School:

  • Staff at Woodleigh understand and embrace the organisation’s key values (e.g. total education, balance, independence, personal responsibility, etc.)
  • In particular, staff subscribe to the “3R’s”: respect for self, respect for others, & respect for the environment
  • Woodleigh staff are well informed on key school policies, especially the School’s Teaching and Learning Philosophies
  • Woodleigh staff are supportive of the school in public (i.e. outside the School). While active and free debate between staff on educational and organisational matters is encouraged, staff keep confidential business or criticisms to appropriate forums within the School
  • Staff are prepared to contribute to the general life of the School and are interested in the achievements, challenges, and issues of the wider School community.

3. Professional Skills

3.1 Committed to knowing subject(s) (or area of expertise)

3.2 Committed to knowing and implementing the craft of teaching (pedagogy):

  • Woodleigh teachers strive to teach well, understand how students learn, engage students, and maintain a safe, appropriate, & challenging learning environment

3.3 Up to date on relevant developments/and prepared to continually extend/improve/upgrade

  • believe in life long learning for self as well as students
  • committed to personal pursuit of learning & excellence
  • committed to ongoing professional development
  • prepared to embrace new learning technologies as appropriate (intranet, internet, email, key software, etc.)

3.4 Committed to knowing students and to aiming to cater for the individual

  • know students well/treat as individuals/respect individual differences
  • interested in students’ welfare as well as their learning
  • empathetic/flexible/caring
  • embrace social/total learning as well as subject
  • up-to-date on available information on students.

3.5 Able to communicate appropriately and in a timely manner (with students, parents, staff)

4. Key Professional Qualities of Teachers

4.1 Understands “professional distance”

  • Maintains proper relationships with students
  • Friendly – but a teacher, not a friend
  • Keeps professional/private boundaries clear
  • Able to avoid becoming unduly emotionally involved in stressful situations – able to keep objectivity

4.2 Focused on providing for the educational needs of our students

  • As professionals, avoid personal feelings and private agendas getting in the way of providing for our students
  • Committed to a high quality educational product and prepared to work effectively and diligently to this end

4.3 Balanced

  • While focused on providing the best possible outcome for students while at work, Woodleigh staff nevertheless strive to maintain a healthy balance in their lives: between work and private life, between serious endeavour and relaxation and fun. Balance in one’s life is a valid objective in itself; it also enables staff to remain fit and objective and thus able to function well at work.

4.4 Open to feedback and constructive criticism

  • Keen to improve and open to suggestions
  • Admits when wrong/doesn’t know something/could do better and not defensive
  • Reflective, self analytical

4.5 Committed to work collaboratively with others

  • Woodleigh staff are team players (when appropriate)
  • prepared to share/collaborate/cooperate/trust
  • treat colleagues with respect and value their input
  • prepared to facilitate team work by putting in/being on time/meeting deadlines/valuing others’ opinions/adopting a courteous and appropriate manner
  • doesn’t interrupt colleagues’ classes/programs without adequate warning/justification/due process or add to colleagues’ workloads unnecessarily
  • only absent with due cause
  • support one another professionally and personally – celebrating achievements and big events and helping out when colleagues face professional or personal challenges

4.6 Committed to working in partnership with parents

  • Woodleigh teachers work cooperatively and respectfully with parents as partners in the educational process and are committed to appropriate communication, feedback and consultation with parents as required
  • At the same time, teachers have professional skills and insights which they bring to any given situation which they expect to be respected and valued by parents
  • Teachers are in a professional relationship with parents, which should be respectful & where possible friendly – but their role is not one of personal friend.

4.7 Prepared to do the hard things when necessary

  • The real mark of a professional teacher is how he or she reacts in difficult situations – e.g. difficult disciplinary situations, situations where there is conflict with others (students/colleagues/parents), situations where doing the right thing isn’t necessarily going to be easy/popular/well received.

4.8 As a professional, expect a degree of latitude/personal responsibility

  • Professionals are personally responsible for monitoring their own performance and should not require too much supervision if meeting standards

5. Personal Qualities of Teachers

5.1 Approaches other staff and students with respect

5.2 Demonstrates personal integrity (honesty, fairness, consistency, trustworthiness, operate according to a moral codes, try to be objective & unbiased)

5.3 Empathetic

5.4 Generally positive (in manner and attitude to challenges)

5.5 Has an acceptable personal manner when dealing with others

  • as a minimum : courteous/polite/not rude/controls temper and mood
  • hopefully also : approachable, pleasant, friendly, supportive
  • understands and uses appropriate methods to resolve disputes

5.6 Flexible/adaptable

5.7 Responsible

5.8 Has a positive attitude towards young people generally and able to work with students that he/she may not personally like.

6. Professional Conduct: Specifics

6.1 Punctual for classes, meetings, functions, etc.
(on a regular basis; not late without good reason)

6.2 Prepared and organised
plans and prepares well

6.3 Gets the core routine tasks done well/in timely manner/without drama

  • returns homework in a reasonable time frame for the task
  • meets deadlines – esp. assessment & reporting
  • returns calls, letters, etc promptly
  • attends meetings as required
  • leaves work for extras wherever possible
  • keeps adequate records
6.4 Pays particular attention to fulfilling specific legal duties


  • duty of care
  • supervision
  • attendance records

6.5 Committed to the School’s organisational procedures

  • knows what is required and implements as appropriate
  • if aware of deficiencies, works to remedy them or to provide
    constructive advice.

6.6 Discreet

  • maintains students’/other staff members’ confidences
  • reveals private information about students/staff only on a “need to know” basis.

6.7 Models appropriate language and material

(and avoids language and material inappropriate to the situation)

6.8 Presents him/herself appropriately for the situation

(acknowledging that Woodleigh generally embraces a more casual style in its day-to-day activities than traditional independent schools)

  • in particular, avoids clothing that is overly sexual/revealing/provocative.

7. Sets Appropriate Priorities Under Pressure

  • Teachers are human and will not always be able to achieve all the above, but they will aim to. When pressed, they will set priorities which reflect the core values of the profession and of the School.
  • When they have made an error of judgement, they will take responsibility and try to rectify the situation in an appropriate way.
  • In doing so, they can expect the good will and support of their colleagues and the School whenever they are acting in good faith.