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Can a Teacher and Student Really Fall in Love ?

The bond between teacher and students is a very special one. There is a lot of admiration, trust and fondness.  However, there are times when a student starts feeling attracted to a particular instructor or professor in a physical way. This attraction can also be the other way around. There are also situations when the feelings might even be mutual.  Whatever might be the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship, if there is even the slightest amount of physical interest and attraction involved, it can get pretty complex and troublesome. Most of us have experienced this feeling at some point in our lives, and it can be very confusing and frustrating. If you examined the dynamics of this subject from a broader perspective, you would understand why a teacher-student love relationship is a taboo.

Why Do Students Feel Attracted To their Teacher?

In high school and college, students start feeling attracted to someone in their class. During the course of the study, some of you may even develop strong feelings about your teacher. A student’s attraction for a mentor is quite natural because the teacher is more knowledgeable than the students, passionate about the subject, about learning itself, self-assured but also friendly. Above all, the teacher shows a lot of care and concern for the students’ well being. All these traits make the person very attractive.

Student-Teacher Attraction: Perceived, Real, even Mutual?

Teachers’ interest and care take several forms: they may give a student extra time and attention in class or after. There might be a warm smile, a comment, a pat on the back, some additional feedback on one’s writing; personalized comments on one’s graded essays; a note to see them after the class for remedial feedback.

Whatever form this extra attention may take, the apparent intent is the same, i.e., to acknowledge the student’s efforts and good work in class, or to encourage them to come out of the shell, go beyond their shortcoming and do better academically.  But the student may misinterpret the intent and end up thinking that there is something else going on there. They want the feelings reciprocated and feel pained and rejected when this doesn’t happen. There is another side of the story… The teacher is not immune to attraction either and may end up feeling something more for a particular student. This is also something natural. However, the problem starts where either of them decides to act on the instinct and follow the feeling.

 

Student-Teacher Attraction: What’s Wrong?

A positive bonding with the teacher positevely impacts students and enriches the learning experience through essays online by Samples-Edusson. However, there is a certain point beyond which a close relationship between teacher and student turns into something else. Teachers who interact with students on a one-to-one basis, spend time with them after class or school hours, such as, guidance counselors, tutors, coaches, teachers leading music, drama, writing, sports classes, are more likely to fall into this trap. More importantly, today’s digitized age weblink has blurred many boundaries. It is not unusual for teachers and students to connect and interact online through social media and let their guard down.

A student falling for the teacher or a teacher falling for the student, either way, is unethical, illegal and immoral. Here is why:

  • Teachers are senior to their students both in age and in status, so naturally, they are expected to act in a responsible manner towards their students who happen to be impressionable.   
  • Since teachers are in a position of authority, they hold power over the pupils, making the latter vulnerable to a teacher’s unusual attention and advances.
  • By law, this kind of a relationship is illegal and leads to imprisonment (if the pupil is underage) and dismissal from service.  
  • A teacher is like a guardian, a parent figure, so there is a sanctity that exists in this relationship, and a romantic or sexual connection the two is highly inappropriate.

I feel attracted to my student or my teacher…What should I do?

If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you feel infatuated with your teachers, this you can do:  

  • If you feel attracted towards your instructor or tutor, dig deeper and try to understand the true nature of your feeling. You might be attracted to your teacher’s intelligence, charisma, confidence and may be misinterpreting your feelings or misreading their care and attention as love.
  • Seek advice from a student counselor, or anyone who is elder than you, regarding the situation.  You can confide in a friend too but don’t expect to get sound advice from that person because a peer, who happened to be in the same age group, might not know any better than you and may encourage you to do something bold but foolish.   

We have some advice for teachers too:  

  • If you are a teacher and a student comes out in the open and professes feelings for you, don’t try to make that person feel ashamed. Don’t rebuff the person harshly; otherwise, the resultant rejection and emotional turmoil may make the student lash back. Be gentle but firm; create a polite distance from the person and the situation.  
  • If you happen to be a teacher and have developed feelings for a student of yours, feeling like a pervert won’t help. Try to talk to a trustworthy colleague, another professional or a therapist about what you are feeling. They would be in a position to offer you advice and strategies to deal with the situation.  

A certain restraint and decorum should be maintained in all kinds of professional relationships. A feeling or impulse might feel natural, but it shouldn’t be acted upon. There are moral and professional boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed anyone at any cost, be it the teachers or the students.

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