Respecting Personal Limits

As teachers, we often have information about students’ histories and personal lives. Students sometimes openly share this information in class. Some students may have experiences that are extremely relevant to a topic we are discussing. This may be the case when we are emphasizing the importance of recognizing and respecting diversity in our school and community.

We can strive to create a safe, respectful atmosphere in which students feel at ease to share their personal experiences; however, this needs to remain a personal choice. In order to respect the privacy and personal limits of students, it is important to avoid singling out any individual. You can approach the topic using open-ended questions, comments and activities that do not target specific students or compel students to confide or talk about their own experiences.