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I understand what you are saying, and yes, you have to maintain that professional boundary. It can really affect your level of teaching otherwise.

But on the other hand, students do want you to just listen, sometimes, and so I agree with you, Erica, on this point. Lots of times, I really don't know what the situation is they are talking about, but just being the ear to hear and allow them a chance to just air it out to someone really not connected to the situation was what they wanted most--often I find they come back and say thank you for listening--you helped me through it... when all I did was listen. And tried to accomodate any backlog of assignments that may have faltered...


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