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Flirting with students
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Robert Russell



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 44
Location: Suwon, Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:22 am    Post subject: Flirting with students Reply with quote

I have seen teachers flirting with students and speaking in ways that suggest how the students could be gratifying. I have seen this a lot, especially at camps. I find this very unethical. This locker room talk saddens my heart. I don't think we need to be talking about students in this way. I have thoughts about students, as I am human, but I keep those thoughts under wrap. Am I being a self righteous prude?? Any thoughts on this?

Last edited by Robert Russell on Mon Jan 20, 2003 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 10:27 am    Post subject: Ethics Reply with quote

You are 100 percent right. Alas this "profession" is full of people who have no concept of ethical or professional behaviour. Stick with your ethics and let them get it wrong.
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stgeorge



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're being a self-righteous prude. In Korea my female adult students flirted with me and a lot of banter went on. We were about the same age and I suspect social rather than professional or educational reasons were why most of them came to my class.

One of my students became my girlfriend.

The same is probably true of many teacher-student relationships in this business, mainly due to the mutual interest that young Asian women and young European men seem to have in each other.

What's the problem?
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Hank



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 4:45 am    Post subject: Flirting with students Reply with quote

From a N. American standpoint, flirting with one's students is an absolute No No. It can cost a teacher his (usually) job and reputation. It just ain't worth it. I think in an Eastern European country, it's more tolerated just as long as it doesn't disrupt the student body (no pun intended) as a whole. That's at least been my experience in the Baltics. I simply don't think there's the taboo that exists in N. America that forces that wedge between the students and their teachers. At the college where I'm teaching, flirting is common and considered innocent. I also know that some of the female students regularly give sex for grades - kind of the barter system. Idea
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 12:01 pm    Post subject: Teachers dating students Reply with quote

At the university in Mexico where I teach, there's no policy against teachers dating students, although it doesn't happen very frequently. I can think of at least 5 teachers who have dated students during the 7 years I've been there, and they weren't all foreign teachers either.
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markle



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 1316
Location: Out of Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's usually a question of appropriateness and having a balanced approach. The fact is that there are many healthy relationships that start off in the classroom and there are some people that use the classroom as a pickup joint.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:41 am    Post subject: Doing "IT" with Students Reply with quote

In Britain, the US and many other countries this is traditionally GROSS MORAL TURPITUDE and warrants instant dismissal !!
Are your standards different when you cross the water ?
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stgeorge



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:58 pm    Post subject: Let's see... Reply with quote

If I was back in Britain and wanted to learn Japanese and went to a private Japanese school in my spare time where there was a pretty Japanese teacher and we started going out, would that be "GROSS MORAL TURPITUDE"? And on whose part?
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John



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand people getting upset if you are talking about dating schoolchildren since this would get you dismissed in just about any country in the world. However we are not talking about hitting on kiddies here. An awful lot of TEFL teaching takes place in an environment with adult students where the teacher is about the same age as the students or maybe even younger. What is the problem since both parties should be able to make up their own decisions.

With regard to this being a sackable offence in the UK I can assure the earlier that British Universities have guidelines in place for when a lecturer gets into a relationship with a student and dismissal doesn't come into it. They are mainly trying to ensure that in such a case their assessment systems are not and do not appear to be compromised.
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 2:27 pm    Post subject: Standards Reply with quote

Scot47,

It's been my experience based on living in the U.S. for 40+ years before moving abroad that even though some systems of education have specific policies regarding student-teacher relationships, there are also many schools that don't -- participants being of legal age, of course. I don't think it's so terribly uncommon for students to date teachers in many U.S. university settings as well as in other adult-education situations. Granted, many Americans would view it as unethical or immoral, but I think "gross moral turpitude" is a bit heavy.

As for changing one's standards when crossing the water, I believe a person needs to observe the accepted standards of the host country/culture if it means raising one's own standards. If it means lowering one's standards, that's for the individual to decide. To thine own self be true.

Best wishes!
Smile
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Lucy Snow



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 218
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it's a matter of "gross moral turpitude" when you're working in a language school, but it does involve matters of fairness and professionalism.

So, you meet your girlfriend in a class that you're teaching. When you start dating, does she remain in your class, or does she move to another? If she doesn't, do you treat her the same as other members of the class--both male and female--or does she get special treatment? Are you able to keep your professional and personal selves separate in the classroom?

What if you and your girlfriend break up, and she's still in your class? What if she's a closet psycho and reports you to the school owners for some kind of gross sexual misconduct? Or continues to come to your class and acts disruptive?
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xiaoyu



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: China & Montana, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:06 am    Post subject: true to yourself and your ethics Reply with quote

this is a very interesting topic.... but the truth is... many countries have a laws that regulate this type of situation.... then there are those that don't.... there are situations where the feelings are mutual and situations where it is one-sided and someone is hurt or abused... the thing is... when you are in a situation where there are not laws governing your behavior (be it laws regarding minors or teacher-student relations).... you need to make the decision for yourself... i have seen both situations... and been placed in one of them... however, it doesn't matter about the rest... make your own decision as an adult and stick to it if you feel it is the right decision... everyone is given their opinions... don't make your decisions based on their opinions but on your own beliefs... and dont feel that you need to judge others because their beliefs are different than yours.... take the high road... it makes it easier to work with your associates and with your students... and in the long run they will respect you and your choices!
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overall work ethics in all professions throughout the world are a continuing problem. Look at the Enron president. What he did (I am sure he had is justifications) hurt many people. Look at President Clinton, and all the problems he gave to the US.
I'm not sure where Bindair has taught. I am from the, in the Northeast, flirting and relations was seen as wholly unethical (also in the government office between boss and subordinate, and in the Military.. we always had seminars on this, people wouldn't listen, and many bitter feelings and fall out.
I think those teachers that engage in flirting in the class, and worse behaviour are a disgrace for several reasons.
It's not professional. In China, it is to difficult for them to punish us laowai/foreigners, so instead they create stricter rules the next year.
But the reality is the damage is does to the students. Lets face it. An example is some men love looking at a young girls *beep*, being in close contact, saying flitatatious things. What is this person teaching the girl...that this is the way to get satisfaction and recognition in society. Not good for the girl.
A real man, a real teacher, teaches through his words and actions that developing what is on the inside is more important than wearing something revealing. Unfortunately, if you go to Mardi gras, all you see are many yelling, "Show tit, show tit" Forgive my crudity, but there are enough men (and some women) or are basically doing the same thing. The other students notice this and comment on the favortism. They sound just like people in America when they say ,"You know how she got her marks"
The boys in class often think the boy teachers only want to talk to girls you ever notice this? The girls think that it doesn't matter how well I do in class, this teacher just cares if I wear the right make-up, and laugh at his sick jokes...and unfortunately this is often true.
Teacher has no business dating his student. If he is a man, he will teach properly, and part of that is when to wait. If he loves her, and not himself, that is.
From a fellow prude, I guess, who believes a teacher should be a teacher, and treat all equally, and reward people based on clasroom ability, not bedroom ability
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:09 am    Post subject: my 2 cents for ya! Reply with quote

Well, it seems that everyone has interesting opinions on this hot little topic. And the thread is growing by the minute! I think this may have something to do with that "unspoken temptation" we all face as teachers when we are in the classroom as the authority figure.

I'm human. I would be kidding myself if I were to say that I haven't felt this temptation to take a classroom relationship to the "next" level.

However, based on many years of experience, and having seen many a good teacher go down the drain because of this move to the "next" level, I have adopted a pragmatic solution to the issue. For me, it's simple: NEVER NEVER NEVER date a student. Period. For any reason, regardless of age or mutual consent, NEVER NEVER NEVER date a student.

It's a simple matter of being professional. Others will disagree, and that's fine. I accept different opinions on this matter. After all, I am human. Very Happy

TakingColdShowersInRussia,

Kent F. Kruhoeffer
Linguamir
Samara, Russia
24 January 2003
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stgeorge



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teacher-student relationships in typical language institutes in Asia are no different to a relationship with a guitar tutor or work colleague. The idea of teachers as some great authority figure just doesn't apply. Most of us are conversation teachers, so it's not surprising that if there is a physical attraction, and we enjoy conversing with each other, it will move on to the next level.

I get the feeling that those prudes who claim to so opposed to teacher-student relationships are perhaps a bit jealous because (unlike most of us apparently) they've never been asked out by attractive, flirtatious students so common around here.

Is anyone really saying a relationship between two 20-somethings is in any way damaging just because one is a teacher and the other a student?
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