In the times that we live, the boundaries between teacher and learner have never been more important. A teacher has a duty of care and must follow all procedures policies and regulations as laid down by our company or institution. These are there for our own protection as well as that of our students. Making telephone calls and chasing up students keeps them up-to-date and interested in their learning, but they must not feel harassed or intruded upon. A teacher must be approachable, caring and understanding, but not overfriendly. Whilst I hold a position of authority and should be committed and engaged, I must remain professional, with a degree of detachment, must show compassion but must not get emotionally involved. I should be aware of situations that could be misinterpreted or manipulated and preferably never be left alone with a single learner in a classroom, especially of the opposite sex. Also, I should avoid touching students unless this is a specific requirement of the course, and refrain from giving out my personal contact details such as e-mail address, which might be misused on social networks like Facebook. Equality and diversity is a key consideration, and my personal views on very delicate subjects like politics or religion should never be expressed. A tutor is a mentor, a supporter and an educator. I must also be constantly aware, when dealing with a diverse population of learners, of my own limitations. None of us possess the skills, experience or resources to address every learner need, so I should recognise when I am not qualified to help and be ready to refer to external agencies when appropriate.
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