Guideposts for Teachers to Maintain Healthy Relationships with Students

April 2014 | 0 Comments  Average 5 out of 5

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About This Resource

All schools have rules prohibiting various categories of misconduct by adults to protect students. However, because so much depends on context, it is impossible for rules and policies to cover every situation in which a teacher interacts with a student. Practical guideposts for preventing misconduct can help teachers avoid misconduct in ways that strict rules may not address.

This document focuses on four guideposts for teachers to avoid misconduct and maintain healthy relationships with students:

  • Roles – Because they often function in multiple roles with students, such as classroom instructor, coach, or advisor, teachers should avoid sending mixed signals or behavior in one role that undermines another.
  • Boundaries – Teachers should establish clear limits at the beginning of relationships with students and maintain them consistently.
  • Power – Despite the inherent power imbalance between teachers and students, it is the responsibility of teachers to assist students with developing into autonomous individuals.
  • Accountability – When sending electronic communications or meeting alone with students, teachers should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. All interactions with students should be transparent as if they are subject to review.

When teachers are alert to roles, boundaries, power, and accountability in their relationships with students, self-correction is possible before serious transgressions occur. In addition, the guideposts assist teachers with identifying early warning signs in their colleagues and early intervention.  

Read the guide for more tips and information on healthy relationships between teachers and students.


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