8 Ways to Maintain Boundaries While Teaching

Decorative: A picture of "boundary" as a headword in a dictionary with part of the related definition showing


"Tips for Maintaining Emotional Boundaries While Teaching" (post) "share[s] some ... concrete strategies ... to establish and enforce emotional boundaries when teaching."

  • Each tip is developed more fully in the post.

1. "Schedule Email Time."

  • "[D]edicate specific time to checking and answering emails, and limit [yourself] to these times."
  • "[D]o not check [your] work email on the evenings or weekends."

2. "Allow for cool-down periods."

  • "[P]lace a 24-hour embargo on student email on days when [you] return graded assignments as a cool-down period."
  • "It makes space for people to feel angry or upset about the grade they received, but also enough space for them to calm down." 

3. "Recognize that your time is precious."

  • "[S]tick to [your] office hours pretty closely."
  • "[S]chedule administrative tasks for specific blocks of time, setting aside the time you need to complete them without letting them take over your day."

4. "Create a buffer."

  • "[P]rovide a list of resources for students in need of assistance right on the syllabus."
  • "[I]nclud[e] such resources as the writing centre and advising, information on counselling services, Indigenous student resources, disability accommodation, sexual assault centres, and crisis lines."
  • This allows you to "defer to the support systems outlined in the syllabus ... [so] students can get the help that they need from experts."

5. "Establish clear expectations."

  • "[B]e clear about ... [your] boundaries ... right from the beginning of each course."
  • "[L]et your students know about your email, office hours, and other policies." 

6. "Set a defined endpoint of the day/week."

  • "[S]e[t] a limit on how late [you] keep working."
  • "[T]Iry to take off at least one full day on the weekend."

7." Maintain a life outside of work."

  • "[O]utside pursuits ... are essential when it comes to maintaining strong emotional boundaries."
  • "[I]f you have trouble finding time for these activities, try scheduling them!"

8. "Lean on your support network."

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