Student-Teacher Relationship – The Boundaries

Teachers who are passionate about molding the future of their students normally form a strong student-teacher relationship. The teacher serves as a mentor and brings out the best from the student. He has the power to expand a student’s capacity for growth. A genuinely caring mentor can exponentially transform a mediocre-performing student to a straight A student. A healthy relationship between a teacher and a student can inspire, motivate and positively influence the growth of the student. The teacher serves as a role model for the student. On the other hand, any relationship between a teacher and student that is perceived inappropriate can have a bad effect on the student’s progress.


Healthy inspiring level to a romantic


There’s a cliché that says love can move mountains. A lot of people will agree that love can truly bring out the best in people, but it can also bring out the worst in them. When student teacher relationships move from the healthy inspiring level to a romantic or sexual mode, complications start to arise and both the student and teacher will suffer in the long run.


While it is true that at the initial stage of the newfound relationship, things may seem to be rosy and dreamy, the pressure from the society will take a heavy toll on a romantic student teacher relationship, no matter how pure it may seem.


So what is categorized as a healthy student-teacher relationship? What makes the relationship inappropriate?


Gains wisdom from a wise mentor


A healthy student-teacher relationship is one where the teacher helps the student to believe in himself, build his self-esteem, embraces more challenges and gains wisdom from a wise mentor.


Position of power


An inappropriate student-teacher relationship is one where the teacher, whether consciously or unconsciously, gets intimately involved with the student and romance ensues between them. This is branded inappropriate because the teacher is believed to be in the position of power. There is a big possibility that some pressure was applied on the student as far as the grades are concerned. Or it may also be possible that the teacher utilized some form of falsity or treachery to take advantage of the student’s level of immaturity. The teacher can claim that it was the student who first came on to him, or the student started moving too close to him. But the fact still remains that the teacher is expected to possess a higher level of knowledge, understanding and discipline over everything including emotions. He should be able to recognize the danger of getting romantically involved with the student and be able to put a stop to it even before it starts.


Avoid certain behavior or conditions


How can the student and teacher avoid being misconstrued as getting into an inappropriate teacher-student relationship? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The teacher should avoid certain behavior or conditions if he wants the relationship to help the student and to last. There are no laws that prevent the teacher from driving the student or having lunch with him. But subjecting two individuals of the opposite sex who admire one another to opportunities of being alone too often is taking the risk of the possibility for one to be attracted to the other or at the very least, be misinterpreted by other people and cause public outrage.


Being branded as inappropriate


There is certainly nothing inappropriate about true love. If it is really love that a teacher feels for his student, he knows that true love can wait. After the student has moved on from being his student, then both parties can seriously pursue the relationship. The maintained healthy student-teacher relationship can now shift to a more meaningful romantic relationship, this time without the danger of being branded as inappropriate.

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