George Lucas Educational Foundation

Respecting Students' Personal Space

Respecting Students' Personal Space

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I've written a post about a recent understanding I've come to about student "personal space," and wondered if others might have had similar experiences. To summarize my post, I had some classroom management issues with students who felt like I would get too physically close to them, and it turned out that in their lives the only time adult males would get that close would be to beat them. After asking them how close I could get without them feeling threatened, we now work well together. Have you had similar experiences?

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Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

I've had similar experiences with students. I, too, teacher in an inner-city, high-poverty school (6th-8th grades). Even as a woman, students would tell me to "get out of my face". I don't think it's just adult males; it may be any adult or authority figure who gets close to them, especially with some type of consequence.

Thankfully, as I build relationships with students, I find that I can get close to them without any problems. Perhaps, that is the advantage I have as a woman!


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