I love great teachers! They are some of the hardest working, kind-hearted people I know. I'm proud to be one! If you are one of the amazing teachers in this country, who would do anything to protect your students, make sure you are taking the proper precautions to create an atmosphere of trust...not only in your classroom, but in all classrooms your students will ever be in.
You see one of your favorite students walking home alone in a horrible blizzard with no jacket. What do you do? Your instinct may be to stop and offer them a ride home. After all, it's on your way home, and you know their family won't mind. But DON'T DO IT. You will not be the only teacher that child will ever have. And though you may be trustworthy and have worthy intentions, you can't guarantee that everyone will. Teach your students to place safe barriers in their relationships with others, including their teachers. Teach them not to accept rides home from teachers...even you.
What about the countless students who have to come into your classroom before or after school to make up assignments or get extra study help? It's easy.
- When possible, prop your door open before and after school. Create an atmosphere of transparency.
- Make sure that anyone can step into your class at any time for any reason and see that you have nothing to hide.
- Keep doors unlocked while you are at school.
- Take the papers off of the windows in your classroom.
- in short, be an open book.
One of the challenges of today's classroom is the regular use of technology to communicate with students. Personally, I love technology and I used it often.
- When creating social media pages for your classes, make sure to make them public pages and place a school official as an administrator of the page. Invite parents and students to join the page. Not only will this make sure parents are comfortable with the content of what you are sharing with their children, it will also help get those vital messages home!
- If using email or text messaging, make sure to include parents on the distribution list so that they get the same information as your students.
- Keep all communications between you and your students professional and there will be no reason to think your relationships are anything but appropriate.