When You Ask a Student a Question

Included in a post from a blog that I follow:

[A mentor advised me that] when you ask a student a personal question, you need to be aware of your own stake in the answer. What he meant, roughly, was that when you ask a student a personal question, you need to be aware of your own reasons: are you asking because talking will help the student, or for the emotional buzz of reinforcing your relationship with the student, or to validate your own self-image as “the teacher who cares.” It’s easy, he warned, to think of yourself as asking for the student’s benefit, when really it’s about you, which is problematic: as an authority figure, you’re in a position to demand a response, even when you shouldn’t.