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Students getting too attached

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by tezs10, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. I've got a real problem on my hands. I'm a first year and I've ended up with a couple of 14 yr old boys who have become very attached to me and I'm worried that they see me as more than just their teacher. One in particular comes to me with his problems and I feel like I can't just send him away because I know he doesn't have any other teachers he trusts (though he is seeing a councilor).
    I really don't know what to do and I feel like I'm just making things worse [​IMG]
  2. I am quite an approachable guy who has had many year 7 and 8 students want to talk to me about issues. I don't know why but I do consider it a compliment in a way.

    What I make sure I do is listen to them first (after telling them that I WILL have to tell another teacher we chatted), then get in another friendly teacher. Often, it will be the teacher in my neighbouring classroom. I will say something like 'Listen, Jeremiah, I need to go and grab some food because I haven't eaten all day! Do you mind if I leave you in Mr E's capable hands for the next ten minutes?'

    I will then run off to grab food, tell the head of year or a member of SMT that I have a child in my room talking through some problems. If the problems are significant enough then that member of SMT or whoever will want to be involved immediately. Often I just send a follow up email. I always tell the student that I had to get another teacher to HELP me because I care about their problems and want to make sure it is dealt with the right way. This way, I displace the students trust from me to the other member of staff involved.

    Thing is, are the problems silly things like who they fancy? If this was the case I would be very stern and say that I had bigger problems to deal with. The only time you should 'listen' to a child's problems, I believe, is when you might need to do so in order to protect from something.

    Just my quick
  3. Good idea getting another teacher in - though I'm not sure how he will deal with it, with his general lack of trust for teachers.
    The problems with this one kid are BIG - drug abuse and running away from home big. I speak to his RTLB after he tells me the big problems (like that he's huffing or smoking weed etc) to make sure she can pass this on to his councillor who is from an outside organisation.
    It really became a big worry to me when he popped in the other day during school holidays to chat to me about his problems. At best I think he sees me as another councillor but I'm worried he sees me as a friend or worse.
    If he wasn't so at risk I could just tell him he needs to speak to someone else, but I worry about what will happen for him if he loses another safe adult influence.
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It 's a good idea to meet the child in a more public area that still gives the opportunity for talking without being overheard. Failing that, let another teacher know about the session (HOD or HOY if possible) and keep your door open. You could even sit near the doorway where you can be seen at all times by other staff.
    You mustt always advise pupils that you cannot guarantee to keep issues that they disclose to yourself.
    By the way, you're confusing councillor with counsellor. The former is an elected representative on the Council.

  5. Haha so I did! Good spotting [​IMG]

  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Some good advice on a similar topic on this thread.


    Sounds like exactly the same problem you are having. You do need to distance yourself a little from him. He needs to see you as his teacher only and you need to see him as your pupil only. By allowing this degree of communication you are blurring the lines which is not at all good for him, however much it might appear so in the short term.

    You also need to protect yourself. Having a child in your classroom in the holidays is a recipe for disaster. Especially a troubled child. You absolutely need to be firm about saying no and asking him to go and come back at a more appropriate time. You also need to let a senior teacher know every time he comes to you in case of allegations later.

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