TutaPoint Online Education Blog


What New Teachers Need to Know About Education Law and Teaching

Posted By Ryan Duques

New Teacher Survival Guide Series Installment Six TutaPoint’s New Teacher Survival Guide series is produced to help teachers new to the classroom navigate their first few months on the job.
A teacher’s first year is often the most challenging. Learning how to manage a classroom, design lesson plans that work for students, cooperate with faculty and administrators, and manage the time to perform all of these tasks and more is difficult for entering teachers. This new teacher guide offers tips for new teachers and strategies for new teachers to help your first year be successful in seven critical areas.


New Teacher Tips: Education Laws

Teacher preparation courses are conscientious about acquainting future teachers with the laws that govern teacher interaction with students, parents and administrators. However, it’s difficult to be over-educated on this topic. Knowing the regulations will prevent misunderstandings and possible legal actions that can impact an entire career. Review these important laws and tips for new teachers to learn more.


§  IDEA, Sec 504, and the Individual Education Plan (IEP). Schools that integrate special needs students with the general student body will have an IEP for each special needs student. Teachers are required by law to follow the IEP for each student that has one. Teachers also cannot test IDEA protected students without parental permission. Learn more on the IDEA page of the US Department of Education.


§  Privacy laws. The US Supreme Court has generally ruled that students and property can be searched on school grounds, but teachers should never search without an administrator or another teacher present unless there is the possibility of immediate danger. This is regulated under FERPA from the US Department of Education.


§  The Civil Rights Act. The CRA governs student-teacher contact, harassment, and discrimination. Learn more from the EEOC.


§  Copyright law. Most copyrighted materials cannot be copied for student use without the owner’s permission, though some make exceptions. Learn more from US Copyright Office.

§  Local laws. Localities must follow federal law but may institute additional laws at the state and local levels. Check with state and local departments of education for additional laws where you are teaching.


§  Administrative guidelines. Administrators cannot make a law but they can institute terms, conditions, and guidelines for faculty conduct. Ask the administration for copies of all policies if you haven’t yet received them.


§  Education Law Association. Consider joining this association to stay informed on the changing legal landscape in education.


This information is meant to provide an introduction to the basic types of laws that educators should be aware of. It is informational only and does not take the place of a more comprehensive understanding of all of the laws and how they impact teaching. 

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