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Although college students are considered adults, a greater disparity of power exists between a student and the professor he or she is dependent on for future success, with such relationships often resulting in a clear abuse of power. But should teachers follow their feelings of attraction? Before going further, I should say that I’m talking about the relationships which happen in EFL language classes between adult instructors and adult students – not teacher-student relationships in a university context.Anytime the teacher-student relationship is not operating in the best interests of the student, something is seriously wrong. In this second type of improper relationship teachers may flirt with students and engage in dubious conversation with them, in which too much information of a deeply personal or sexual nature is shared unnecessarily.This type of negative and inappropriate teacher-student relationship is often facilitated by computers, mobile devices and the social media, which are all very prevalent today.If the student has reached the age of sexual consent, the teacher will, at the very least, be fired from the job for sexual misconduct and breach of professional ethics and trust. Schools must do everything in their power to make sure that the teacher-student boundaries do not become blurred.Only a small minority of teachers have been prosecuted for carrying on sexual relationships with students but the numbers seem to be growing. Negative teacher-student relationships must be discouraged in the strongest possible way for the protection and well-being of students.
They are too lenient with the students and fail to support the professional standards set by more experienced and skilled teachers.The penalties for these breaches of trust should be attached.During recruitment interviews, prospective teachers should be screened for any tendency to encourage negative or improper relationships with students. The vast majority of teachers are trustworthy and are governed by a moral compass.They may even adopt some forms of student behaviour.
This approach to teacher-student relationships does not work.Many emails, text messages and instant messages go back and forth among students and teachers every day.The vast majority of these communications are appropriate and curriculum based.The fourth type of negative and improper teacher-student relationship emerges when teachers get involved in sexual relationships with students.