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When have you reached your limit?

Brittany Oxley

When reading a piece from On Being a Teacher The Human Dimension by Jeffery Kottler, Stanley Zehm, and Ellen Kottler, a passage made me think about my own life. Kottler, Zehm, and Kottler (2005) mention a lot about creating helping relationships with your students. You can create such relationships by caring for your students through empathy, advocating for them, and creating and maintaining boundaries. Caring and compassion are important components of being an effective teacher, but we must not forget the boundaries. We are teachers and there is a limit to what we can do. After reading the quote "Helping relations also have their limits. There is only so much you can do; the rest is up to others. If you do not learn this lesson relatively quickly, you will burn yourself out in no time or, even worse, never have much of a life outside your job" (p. 51). I am so guilty of this. This made me stop and think, what is worrying really going to do for these kids? I even had to read the passage to my husband, as he is always telling me this very thing. He commented by telling me that it would take an education book to get this through my head. Is anybody else guilty of this?

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Kottler, J. A., Zehm, S. J., & Kottler, E. (2005). On being a teacher: The human dimension (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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