Teachers are the backbone to our education systems. Without teachers, there would be no one to pass necessary information onto adolescents that will help them to succeed in their future. In a classroom setting, the teachers get closely acquainted with their students and have to deal with a myriad of issues that may affect a student’s behavior and learning methods. If you teach for long enough, teenage substance abuse could become apparent with a student who is in your classroom. Do not panic because you could have an influential role in their recovery.
Get some guidance
Talk to your supervisor, guidance counselor, or school nurse to get direction on how to approach the student in manner that is conducive to the parents, the school, the student, and the rest of the class. By finding the appropriate manner to deal with the student that is in line with your school’s policies and procedures, you can protect everyone’s rights who are involved.
Show your compassion
There is usually a lot going on with teen substance abuse that you are not privy to, so your best bet is to stay as impartial as you can in the situation and come from a place of compassion. Rather than feel sorry for them, you can root for their recovery by lending them a ear when appropriate and not allowing judgement for them in your classroom.
Stick to the task at hand
You are supposed to teach them the subjects you are studying, so do just that. Unless for some reason they display behavioral issues that require disciplinary measures, you should stick to your class schedule to allow them to be as comfortable as possible to get the education they are there for. Your professionalism while shine through and you could be an integral part of their journey that continues to instruct them in their future endeavors.
Above all protect their privacy concerning this very grave matter. Even if your coworkers are speaking of the situation, you should stay tight lipped. The best interest of the student is what your primary concern should be while staying professional and remaining supportive of their recovery efforts. Teachers continue play a huge part in the accomplishments that our future generations will achieve. Sometimes you will have to navigate through uncharted territories such as substance abuse in the classroom, but with your guidance and knowledge you can stay on course and be of service to a vulnerable student along the way.
Stonewater leads the way with progressive, evidence-based programming to most effectively treat each individual adolescent while focusing on the uniqueness of each client. Healing the mind, the body, and the spirit as one in the same can make the biggest difference in staying sober.
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