Historically, when aspiring physicians become doctors, they have taken the Hippocratic Oath (or something akin to it).
I think we need a Hippocratic Oath for educators. Call it the Socratic Oath.
Humbly submitted, The Socratic Oath (draft):
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won educational gains of those teachers in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the student, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of standardization and educational nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh pedagogy or discipline.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a student’s learning.
I will respect the privacy of my students, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of educational success and failure. If it is given to me to inspire a student to greatness, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to crush a student’s dreams; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not teach a gradebook, an IEP, but a human being, whose education may affect the person’s family and future. My responsibility includes these related concerns, if I am to educate adequately a whole person.
I will prevent dropouts whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, including students, families, and fellow educators.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of success educating those who I have the opportunity to teach.
Source for Hippocratic Oath: Wikipedia
Please contribute your suggested changes, additions, etc!