Stress in teacher-student communication


I have been a teacher trainer for 30 years. I have worked at all levels of teacher education, but for a long time I have been involved only in secondary teacher education.


During distance learning, I gave students the opportunity for individual consultations. I provided consultations for students on teaching practice, as they were in a particularly difficult situation with online teaching. However, only a few students took advantage of the individual consultations, most of them only attended the online classes.

However, there was one student who logged in regularly and started to talk in full detail about his private life. Our conversations were very long. I felt very uncomfortable because I sensed that he had serious problems, but I wanted to draw the line because I felt that he was touching on several issues that were beyond my competence. However, I also knew that it was not easy to find a psychologist in this situation and I did not want to leave him alone with his problems. I think part of the reason for the situation was that I wasn't as confident in the online consultation and didn't feel I had the right points to guide the conversation.

In what ways did you respond to this dilemma/difficulty?

Once I realised the situation, I thought carefully and prepared for the next conversation. I also contacted the student's psychological support service and spoke to them to get a clear idea of what they could offer the student. I then made a detailed outline for the next interview, wrote down for myself what points I would definitely like to touch on in this conversation, what my goals were, etc. In the end, I did indeed get the next consultation and from then on my relationship with the student started to settle down. It also helped that I myself consciously guided the conversations that followed.

What are the implications for teaching, learning and my understanding of the role of a teacher?

I consider teacher awareness to be of paramount importance in all pedagogical situations. For me, it was a very interesting experience to see how such an unusual situation (the online medium) transforms the dynamics of conversations that have been lived through hundreds of times. For me, this situation showed the importance of conscious presence.

Keywords: interaction with students, well-being, teacher exposure, consultation, teacher-student relationship, communication with others, stress

Erasmus+ Eotvos Lorand University Fontys University of Applied Sciences Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen Leeds Becket University Plato Seminar Tubingen Zavod Republike Slovenije za solstvo University of Aberdeen Universidade Aberta