Fear of accusers

31st October 2003 at 00:00
In order to keep up with my students' needs, I have an open door policy for coursework. This means that on average I get four or five students a week visiting me in my office for help with coursework, exam preparation and such like. One particular student who is struggling comes every week.

Although my office has been fitted with a clear window, I have been made aware of risks involved in dealing with students alone. I have as much as been asked to cease these sessions and find another way of advising students outside lessons. How have we got ourselves into this depressing situation, where teachers have to guard their every move for fear of spurious allegations?

I can only give you the 'real world' answer. Which is to say you must guard yourself because allegations against teachers are on the increase. Having a witness or dealing with pupils in pairs is a solution even if it is not ideal. I applaud your efforts but you must protect yourself. An accusation could result in you never teaching again - is it worth that?

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