Personal Values, Personal Statement Example

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Personal Statement

As an ethics teacher determined to remain neutral, the first strategy I would try to employ would be to deliberately bear in mind my responsibilities in this area. Whether the subject is ethics or anything else, I believe I would be tempted to sometimes express a personal viewpoint, even as I did not consciously want to sway any students. The strategy, then, would be to maintain an awareness of this potential problem. It would be a kind of discipline I would impose on myself, so that I would not lose sight of the goal and “drop my guard”.

The second strategy, which may seem to contradict the first, would require me to not mistake discussion for instruction. If I am teaching ethics, it is inevitable that different points of view be expressed by me, if only as versions of accepted ideas and concepts. I cannot allow my determination to keep my own values to myself  block what must be a healthy, and broad, discussion of the subject. To that end, my strategy would be to encourage as wide a range of thinking as possible among the students, because I think that such an expansive approach would lessen any student interest in what I personally believe. By opening up the floor to many thinkers and ideologies, I reduce my own, personal presence in the classroom as a holder of ethics.

Lastly, and also related to the first strategy, would be my commitment to not being tempted by actual feedback from my students. I may determine to keep my values to myself, but being asked directly about them would present an opportunity seemingly “ethical”;  that is, anything I then say is acknowledged as being a personal belief, so I might think this allows me to do so. That would be a mistake, because my influence as a teacher would still be present, and I have no right to exploit that, even if I am so requested to reveal my feelings. Should this situation occur, my strategy then would be to make the students understand that respect for them prevents my speaking out.

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