Emailing a teacher too much?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Justastudent, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Justastudent

    Justastudent Rookie

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    Teachers, are you flattered or annoyed if a student emails you a lot? I email this one teacher almost every other day and I'm wondering if I'm bothering her. It's mostly about personal stuff, not school related things.
     
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  3. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Frequent e-mails from a student about personal things would make me uncomfortable. I don't mind giving advice to students about personal things, but I do think there should be boundaries between teachers and students to keep things professional.
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    As an educator, we are professionals and we learn while in college that we are not your friend and where to draw the line. Please see us as mentors, not personal bff's.

    If you are struggling academically, feel free to share that with us.

    Don't keep us up to date with the latest gossip around school- if its something dangerous, tell a gudiance counselor.

    If you are seriously depressed or thinking about suicide, have an addiction of any sort, or have a health problem, please know that you can share that with ANY of your teachers and we will do what we can to get you help.

    I love my students with all of my heart- I pray for them most evenings and throughout the school day. But it is not okay for me to be your friend- I am your teacher, your mentor, contact me if you have academic questions, and stuff like that.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This.

    If you have concerns that you may be emailing the teacher too much, you probably are.
     
  6. Justastudent

    Justastudent Rookie

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    I've been going through some hard things like suicidal thoughts and depression, and it really helped to tell my teacher. By personal stuff I don't mean what I had for dinner last night, but more of, "I'm going through a rough time. Can you help?"
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It sounds like you need some professional help, that we, as teachers, are not always trained to deal with.

    Are you comfortable enough to ask your teacher to recommend a counselor?
     
  8. Justastudent

    Justastudent Rookie

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    I have a therapist, but I'm just not comfortable talking to her. This teacher is the one person I've ever felt comfortable to talk about these things with :/
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that you should visit with your counselor at school.
     
  10. Justastudent

    Justastudent Rookie

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    We don't have one :( It's a small private school.
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It may be time to find a new therapist that you are more comfortable with. Have you discussed your issues with your parents? Maybe insurance would allow you to find someone you would feel better about?

    Also, do you think you may be putting too much pressure on your teacher to be a therapist?
     
  12. Justastudent

    Justastudent Rookie

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    No, I don't think I put any pressure at all. I thought teachers were supposed to be there for you academically and emotionally. I see my teachers every day so it makes sense for me to want to confide in them more than a therapist that I only see once a month.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Teachers are not therapists.
     
  14. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Your teacher may not mind you confiding in them. They care about you and want to make sure you are okay. Teachers are not, however, qualified to make sure you get the help you seem to need for the long term. So continue to share with your teacher if they are comfortable with it, but also try to find a new therapist that you're comfortable with and can help you where your teacher can't.
     
  15. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I have a very needy student this year. She is going through some HUGE personal issues and it started out with her telling me certain things that was my professional obligation to forward on to other agencies. She obviously felt more comfortable talking to me than to the guidance counselor, but it put ENORMOUS pressure on me. I know she didn't do it on purpose. She probably didn't know she was doing it. But, I'm trained to teach, not to counsel. A lot of the time I didn't know what to do with the information she was giving me, other than to pass it on to the counselor. It got so bad that we had to ask her to stop emailing me and we had to put her on a schedule as to when she could come and talk to me about anything other than academics.

    I know that you don't mean to pressure your teacher, but that doesn't mean that you aren't. Teachers ARE supposed to be there academically and emotionally. If you're having a rough time, your teachers need to know so they can support you through it. But they aren't counselors or therapists. They may not have the training to effectively help you.

    Please consider finding a new therapist if you aren't comfortable talking to the one you now see.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Absolutely agree!


    This type of conversation would be outside my boundaries. Suicidal thoughts should be referred to the school guidance counselors and psychologist. Given that you dont have these in your school, you should seek a mental crisis center and get more than once a month therapy from your current provider.:2cents:Regular classroom teachers are generally not equipped for taking on this level of responsibility. You may not feel that you are putting pressure on the techer, but this situation is problematic on so many levels.
     
  17. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    I am sorry you are going through a hard time, but you are putting way too much responsibility on your teacher. She is not trained to deal with these sort of issues. You need to find somebody you can trust that IS.
     
  18. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I just wanted to plead with you to please tell your parents what you said here. Matters such as this might not be your teacher's responsibility, but it certainly is the responsibility of your parents. I'm very concerned about someone who says they are having suicidal thoughts, and I sincerely hope that you seek out help.

    I will tell you that if I were your teacher and you confided this in me, I would immediately seek out the school therapist. If, as you said, the school did not have a therapist, I would immediately contact your parents. They are the ones who you need to talk to - immediately.
     
  19. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Legally speaking your teacher must tell an administrator about how you're feeling if its leading into depression or suicide. I don't say this to scare you, but instead encourage you if you are truly seeking help.

    Otherwise, please call one of these hotlines if you need to really talk to someone about how you're feeling and what you are going through:

    United States Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

    Deaf hotline - 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    We are not trained to be able to help you properly like a therapist can. I'm sure that your teacher(s) would be heart broken if they knew what you were going through but you did not get the proper help for yourself.

    You said you go to a small private school- I'm sure they must have someone like a student service/guidance counselor staff member to help you. Please reach out to them. If you don't feel comfortable, please reach out to the teacher- I'm sure they would be very happy to go with you to talk to a guidance counselor about what is going on.

    Please don't quietly suffer- there's no need for that. (As a person who tried committing suicide in high school and was saved because I spoke up- GET HELP- REACH OUT- please don't suffer)
     
  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    We have a rule against students and teachers e-mailing each other. I am not sure I completely agree with it, but I do understand it.

    While your intentions are most likely good, I don't think it is good to e-mail your teacher a lot. I think less e-mails to him would be a good thing.
     
  22. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    I agree with what everyone has said here, and I wanted to just give an additional perspective.

    I know that you mentioned that you don't feel comfortable confiding in a therapist who you only see once a month. I don't know if there are insurance limitations here, but is there any way you can see them more frequently, perhaps once a week? Once a month really isn't that much time to build rapport with a therapist.

    Also, if you feel as though you're not comfortable confiding in your therapist...find a new one! I know this seems silly, but therapy is like a friendship. Sometimes, a therapist isn't the best match for a client. It's important that you trust your therapist, and feel comfortable seeking their help/sharing your innermost thoughts. I think that perhaps if you changed therapists, you would discover that you will receive more help and comfort than your teacher is able to provide.
     
  23. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    I'm sorry you're going through a tough time. It sounds like your teacher has been a wonderful help to you, and I'm sure they want what is best for you.

    Maybe this teacher would be willing to help you expand your support team a little more. I know it might seem like this teacher is the only one who understands, and they may be really great at responding to you, but they are not the only one who cares. You need more than just a single person to share your struggles with. Maybe the teacher could help you prepare to talk to your parents or even meet with them with you. Maybe your teacher does know of access to a good counselor. (I know at some small private schools, a counselor can be contacted if needed through the school district, even if there isn't a counselor that you see on campus. The teacher may know about this.) Teacher or not, it's important that you don't place all your dependence on one individual.

    I would suggest telling the teacher that you realize you've shared a lot, and thanking them for their help. Then explain that you recognize that you need more help than you are currently getting from your therapist. Then see if you can work on a way to get the help and support you need. It doesn't mean you can never talk with your teacher again, but it might mean that you will get some of your needs taken care of by professionals and family. I'm sure your teacher will still be a huge encouragement to you, even if they are no longer your #1 contact.

    It's hard to talk about personal things in uncomfortable situations, and I agree that asking for help in seeking out another therapist might be a good idea. You might also need to recognize, though, that going through therapy and really working towards healing might come with some discomfort. It takes some courage to confront the dark places in your life with someone, be it parents or counselors, and I applaud you for having the courage to share with your teacher and with us. Because of the coruage you have shown, I am confident that you can find the courage to talk to someone who can professionally walk with you to a healthier, happier life.
     
  24. Justastudent

    Justastudent Rookie

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    Thanks for the responses!
     
  25. itsGrape

    itsGrape Rookie

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    :hugs:
    Hang in there. Life gets better. You will be okay.
     
  26. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Just want to second what itsGrape says. Things get better. High school sucks for a lot of people, and I know it did for me. Life is so much better when you're done with it. For now, I would definitely see if you can switch therapists if you're not comfortable with yours. It's normal to switch around until you find someone you click with. Best of luck. :)
     
  27. Justastudent

    Justastudent Rookie

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    Thank you guys :)
     

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