Healthy Boundaries for Teachers

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HEALTHY BOUNDARIES FOR TEACHERS

1. Professional behavior is a priority: Your personal/professional values, rights, and responsibilities are more important than any sense of needing to be liked by others, needing to please others, or needing to make a "good impression."

2. Use caution with self-disclosure: As a teacher/professional, discretion is required regarding what, where, and to whom you disclose personal information. Your role as a teacher and the setting are important considerations.

3. Beware of boundary violations; take time to respond: When other people,(colleagues, students, friends) illustrate inappropriate boundaries by asking questions or making remarks about which you feel ncomfortable, look to your own boundaries, values, and responsibilities for support and guidance. Remember that it is okay to be silent and to take time to evaluate the situation. Responses such as "I'm thinking about how to respond," "I need time to think a minute," "I haven't really thought much about it," or "Please put that into other words" are appropriate.

4. Be observant: Observe the effect boundary violations have on others. Observe how you feel when your boundaries are invaded. This increased awareness will assist you to recognize, establish, and maintain comfortable and healthy boundaries.

5. Don't be afraid to correct inappropriate behavior: Your responsibility as a professional is to model and teach appropriate boundaries.

6. Use extreme caution with physical contact or touching: Your teaching environment will influence whether or not touching is appropriate; for example, preschool teaching vs. middle school teaching. In short, you are responsible for eliminating any possible misunderstanding. Discuss this issue with your cooperating teacher.

7. Be prepared: Becoming a professional is an ongoing process. Allow time each day for self-examination and reflection. We need to continually assess our personal behavior, learn from our experiences, and...
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