Do you support the intervention of the teacher in "the special problems of students?"Do you support the intervention of the teacher in "the special problems of students?" As a student, I refuse...
Do you support the intervention of the teacher in "the special problems of students?"
As a student, I refuse to enter any teacher "in my problems."
As a teacher, do you get into trouble "because you intervened in a student's problems"?
How was your experience?
High school teachers are probably less involved than elementary teachers, simply because high school students are thought of as slightly more independent and self-sufficient. That said, like many have posted, we are legally bound to report suspicion of things like abuse or neglect.
Otherwise, no, as a HS teacher, I try to stay out of the personal affairs of my students as much as possible. For the few students I build close personal connections with, I am always an open-door and a listening ear, but even then, I wait until a student seeks ME, rather than the other way around.
On the other hand, I will confront a sudden change in attitude if it is grossly affecting school work in MY CLASS. This, I've found, often results positively. Pulling a student aside at the end of class to say, "Hey, what's up? You look angry..." has usually ended up in a brief, but noteworthy conversation that allows my students to know I both notice, and care.
I agree with the post of #7. I too, am a high school teacher and try to let the students become independent, responsible adults. Of course, if something is blatantly obvious, then I would ask them if everything is okay. As a Language Arts teacher, we find out a lot about the students through their journal writing. With the new bullying laws, we are obligated to report anything that occurs, or anything we hear about that has happened, in or outside of school. Although I understand the reasons behind it, I think it is placing a huge responsibility on a teacher. It is a fine line between helping students and letting them spread their wings to learn the coping skills so necessary for life.
Beyond the obvious stipulation that we are mandatory reporters, as others have pointed out, it depends on the situation.
I have taught in small-town environments where frankly you couldn't avoid getting involved in students' personal lives, because you knew their parents, older brothers and sisters, etc.
When students have approached me for advice, personal or otherwise, I have never turned them down, even if I wanted to. It's all part of the process of building relationships. There would be lines I wouldn't cross, but in general, if students have problems, I try to make it known that they can come to me.
I definitely don't intervene unless a student asks me to. Even then, I like to keep personal boundaries because students tend not to understand professional boundaries. It is my job to know those boundaries and to keep them in place. That, of course, all changes if the student is in some kind of danger or may be putting others in danger. In that case, as above posters mentioned, I am a mandatory reporter.
I do think it's important to listen. I think teachers can be good listeners without getting too involved students' personal matters.
There is no one "right" answer to this question. There are too many variables and considerations that could come into play.
Teachers are mandatory reporters, so there are some situations in which they are legally required to contact the authorities and report signs of potential problems in a student. In other situations, it may depend upon the relationship between the teacher and the student, the availability of support from administration and school system personnel, and even the type of situation.
I find myself less likely to get involved than I used to be. When I was a younger teacher, my wife and I tried to help students in as many ways as we could. We bailed a student out of jail, paid for a place for a student to stay whose husband had abused her, and even gave a sizeable sum of money once to a student who seemed to be almost suicidally desperate. There are risks, though, in trying to help students, especially if the students are unstable or are involved with unstable persons.
I don't intervene unless a student asks me to or my job requires me to. For example, as a mandatory reporter I have had to report instances where I had reason to believe abuse was going on. But when troubled students talk to me, I don't try to get involved outside of simply talking to them, sympathizing with them and answering questions if they ask.
I have to agree that there is no universal answer for this question. For me, it depends upon the situation and the student. If a student comes to me with a problem, they are allowing me the right to help. If I see something happening, which I may find concerning, all I can do is ask. The student has the power in this situation.