California Educator

June 2013

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What boundaries do you set for yourself with your students? Carol Peek Campus security supervisor, Buena High School Ventura Classified Education Association How do you nurture your students? How do you support students who are struggling academically and personally? It can be tricky, educators say. Sometimes there are worries about boundaries. Here's how CTA colleagues describe their personal and professional standards when it comes to student relations. I'm an authority figure. But if I find a student crying, I'm a sounding board and an adult figure they can trust. If I can't help them, I point them in the right direction. I give them a little hug and tell them it's going to be OK in the big scheme of things. It's not the end of the world. If a child makes a bad choice, I can be a positive person who says, "You messed up. Let's deal with the consequences and move on." No, I don't ever worry about it. My kids know that even though I'm nurturing I can be tough, and I mean business. Best advice you have for positive student-educator relationships? 26 It gives students a more positive outlook on school. I had a kid who was sitting in the quad one day. He was supposed to be doing homework, but he wasn't. I helped him and said, "See how easy it is?" He asked me why I was helping him, and I told him that it was because he was important. He graduated, is working and stays out of trouble. He still remembers that I took the time to help him because I cared. Do you worry about false allegations? If so, how do you prevent that? PHOTOS BY SCOTT BUSCHMAN How does a personal teacher-student relationship enhance learning? Be real with them. Explain that if they don't go to class because they can't stand the Spanish teacher, they are not hurting the Spanish teacher — they are hurting themselves. Maybe someday they will get a job and not care for the boss, but it's no reason to quit the job. I tell students I'm not their "friend," which could be misconstrued as borderline inappropriate. I tell them that instead of a friend, they should think of me as a role model. California Educator June/July 2013 Educator 06 June 2013 v2.0.indd 26 6/14/13 9:30 PM

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