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Secret Teacher: I Feel More Like a Social Worker Than a Teacher

Secret Teacher: I Feel More Like a Social Worker Than a Teacher

Being an educator means more than just teaching students about subjects like social studies and mathematics, it can be much more than that. Some teachers can find themselves dealing with other issues besides missed homework assignments or bad test grades.

Teachers can sometimes feel like social workers, according to a recent Secret Teacher article on TheGuardian.com. In the article, the Secret Teacher had two experiences that made them realize they had three roles in their classroom: "teacher, parents, and social worker."

While the teaching standards are great at telling us how to teach good lessons, make accurate assessments and differentiate effectively, when it comes to addressing the emotional needs of children, they’re no help whatsoever. I have three roles in my classroom: teacher, parent and social worker. Sometimes, the actual teaching part is the least important of all. Part two of the teacher standards states that teachers must 'at all times observe boundaries appropriate to a teacher’s profession'. This is suitably vague to ensure that many teachers live in fear of overstepping these boundaries. Why would you even go close when it could finish your career?

The biggest obstacle to learning, Secret Teacher said, "is not what’s going on in the classroom, but what’s going on outside it."

"Teachers across the nation face the baggage that children bring to lessons every single day and unless they feel supported to really become in loco parentis, effective teaching and learning is compromised," said Secret Teacher.

Children spend six hours in my classroom every day, 30 hours a week. They spend more waking hours with me during the week than they spend with their own parents. I know everything about them. Sometimes, I think I know them better than their family. There is little space to hide anything in the classroom environment. Family problems, issues and secrets are shared with me. Children need to be assured that they’ll be treated in a compassionate, human way – not ignored by their teacher who is so anxious about crossing boundaries that they can’t offer emotional support.

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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