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ERIC Number: ED416559
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Dealing with Students' Personal Issues: Advice for the Basic Course Instructor.
Waldeck, Jennifer H.
Concerned basic communication course instructors are in a position to help students avoid personal tragedy by providing them with knowledge of communication theory, research, and skills. However, teachers' roles in helping students who are in the midst of crisis are less direct and should involve referring students to experts trained to advise them. Exposing students to the research on the role of communication in relationship dysfunction and decay is a direct way of influencing students; it provides them with strategies for avoiding or coping effectively with negative relationship experiences. Whatever framework an instructor uses to discuss relational break-ups, students should exit the basic course with a greater awareness of what a deteriorating relationship looks and feels like, and whether or not it is salvageable. However, instructors must realize their limitations as advocates and advisors when approached by students who are not coping effectively--who have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic violence, rape, and resulting depression, substance abuse, or suicidal feelings. The first step instructors can take to help students is to establish a climate of trust both in and out of the classroom. Instructors should avoid using "pop psych" techniques touted in trade books and on talk shows unless they know of sound research that validates their use. When approached by a distressed student, teachers should listen empathetically and nonjudgmentally. Instructors should keep a list of campus and community resources for assisting with students who may have a range of problems. (Contains 39 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A