a boundary

Aside from all the other teacher-student boundaries in my life -- you know, the normal ones, like stay clothed at all times -- there's one that's a little different. Besides just being a teacher, I'm also a educational researcher. I work with UPenn and the Center forstudent's Lives. Right now, we're analyzing data from a set of interviews conducted last year. The information we have in these interviews is even more confidential than the data we have on grades and test scores. It's right up there with the results of testing for learning disabilities. Which means that even when we're really proud of something a student said in an interview, we can't share it with their parents or anyone outside the research process. I teach some of the students who were interviewed, and in those cases I don't even want to let the students know that I've read their transcripts. But sometimes it's hard to treat them as though you didn't know the things they revealed in the interviews.
What's even harder is not allowing the student I see on a daily basis affect how I interpret the data in the transcripts. When I analyze that data I do my very best to try to remove what I know about the student from what I have in front of me. It can be tough to keep up sometimes, but I love continuing to do qualitative research after grad school.

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