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Essay – Ellen Norton

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    Ellen is a 25 yrs old teacher who is in her 3rd year of teaching, she is very involved in extra curricular activities, to both impress the principle and for her own enjoyment. Even though Ellen spends many hours away from home, she feels justified in the aspect her boy friend is a lawyer and spends many hours away from home as well. Ellen has a student in her class that seems to have a hard time with her math skills, and Ellen assists her after school, with tutoring her with math.

    Ellen at first enjoys this, and knows that Abbey is new to the area and has no friends, so she engages personal information with Abbey, which causes a relationship that has passed the guidelines of teacher and student. Ellen also has another student Becky who is the Lead cheerleader, and talk about school is she is abused at home, Ellen doesn’t know how to deal with this information, or if it even has any creditability. But one day Becky has a bruise on herself, and Ellen comments on it, but Becky tells her that she fell off of the bike last week, Ellen still feels uncomfortable about this, but pushes it aside for the time being.

    Ellen’s other student Abbey has started to follow her around, and even drives by her house periodically, and is everywhere. Ellen also had an altercation with Becky who stated her step-father lost his job, and then was drinking and afraid to go home, and asked Ellen if she could spend the night with her teacher. Ellen’s first problem is she crossed the line with student and teacher guidelines, she befriended Abbey, and gave out personal information which also crossed the guidelines, and continued to do so, even when Ellen knew there was a problem.

    Ellen’s second problem is Becky, when she suspected she was abused it was her ethical and lawful right to report any suspicions to the social worker, but dismissed it. Ellen may suffer some consequences for not reporting abuse, Ellen should of investigated into the bruise more the first time she seen it, since Becky has much respect for Ellen, a few simple words may of helped Becky to open up more. Ellen got herself into this predicament by allowing a personal relationship with student, and not allowing Abbey to find new friends, what I would of one was assign a mentor to Abbey, this way she would engage into conversation with others, and perhaps even befriend someone. Another thing I would of done was contact her parents and discuss her behavior to see how things were at home, if she made any friends and what they could do to engage her into other interactions with others. Ellen got herself into another predicament, by not digging further into Becky’s bruise, and not asking important information which could of helped with identifying abuse by Becky’s step father.

    Another thing was Becky even thinking that it was appropriate to ask if she could spend the night, crossing barriers again between teacher and student. Ellen could be in jeopardy of losing her teaching license because of not reporting suspicion of abuse to the authorities, when she even thought of Becky being abused. According to the law, this is unlawful, also she crossed ethical standards of teachers, parents standards which are acceptable.

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