Big distance between foreign teachers and their students?

Well, I don’t know why foreign teachers always don’t like to share themselves to their students? I often go out with my Chinese teacher for lunch or snack. We are really close. And often share us about her family or her love story… But foreign teachers often just talk anything about our studies. Seems like nothing more…?? Once I asked my female foreign teacher for a hug. For I didn’t see her for a month. I told her I missed her a lot. Then she answered “It’s not for a teacher and a student. But alright. Only once.” I was confused and discussed with some classmates. Maybe students should take foreign teacher as friends…Is that right…?? :loco: But I really like my teachers!! :frowning: Is that because of culture shock? :loco:

Teachers should be friendly towards their students but never friends.

I don’t know if I agree with Dur.B. about friends, but you can’t have an equal relationship. Teacher-Student does need to be a formal relationship. Students must respect the teacher and follow instructions.

It’s also a bad idea for teachers to be in the habit of giving what would be considered intimate touches to students. More than one teacher has been fired over things like that. So it’s best to avoid it.

I married one of my students. Can’t get much closer than that.

the sage opined society is based upon five relationships:
king to subject
father to son
older brother to younger brother
friend to friend
husband to wife.

when everyone is aware of their duties and obligations required in each of their interpersonal relataionships then the result is a stable society.

based upon the above listings, which category does “teacher to student” most closely track? how one answers this question’ll serve as an indicator of how they’ll also answer “why can’t teachers and students be friends?”.

Hi humor,

No, it isn’t crazy. Yes, part of it is cultural. In short, many Western cultures expect teachers to be “professionals”. Part of that definition is that teachers do not do or do not say things that are inappropriate for a student. Part of that definition is the maintenance of healthy boundaries between teacher and student. What’s healthy? Whatever the school says it is, whatever preserves the learning environment, and whatever keeps the relationship from being confused. If those boundaries are crossed, often the “learning” is negatively affected, and the teacher may lose his/her job for poor judgment. There are more detailed explanations, but this is the simple version.

I wholeheartedly agree that in nearly all cases, a teacher and student should be friendly with one another, but not friends.


It’s partly cultural, I think–women seem to be more affectionate as friends in Taiwan than they are in the US, holding hands as they walk down the street (though I don’t see that as often as I used to). For a teacher who’s the same sex as you, it could be awkward since she’s not used to expressing friendship that way–and for a teacher of the opposite sex, of course, he could be afraid of causing some misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

But I think hugs is okay for same sex teacher… There’s some healthy distance between teacher and student. Maybe our relationship always not friendship. Yet I think sometimes hugs or some touches can show teacher’s concern. Just like my Chinese teacher. If it’s just for encouraging students…Why not? :loco:

Imagine that you are an English teacher humor and you depend on that job to make a living. Now imagine that a lot of your students are trying to be “friends” with you. Actually what this means is that 1) They want to sleep with you. 2) They are hoping for a bunch of extra time to practice their English. In the first case things you can believe that things could become awkward for all kinds of reasons. In the second case you need to try and imagine what it is like to try and speak to second language learners for hours every day. It is exhausting. I have a lot of students who I like very much but unless I got a new job where I was talking to native speakers of English all the time I don’t think I would want to hang around my students very often. It is just too much work.

honestly, how many taiwanese students hug etc. their senior highschool teachers?

Honestly, I’ve never hugged my teachers, except one who I said break up and he forced to french-kiss me.

I hope he lost his job and went to jail!!! :fume:

You would.

He didn’t, and till now he still thinks that it’s ME who hurt him. :fume: :fume: :fume:

Very simple rule to follow…don’t touch the students.

Very simple rule to follow…don’t touch the students.[/quote]

To a ceratin extent, I agree. There is no need for teenage or adult students to hug. TEA-cher, not therapist. :slight_smile:

I disagree that it is necessary to keep a profesional distance between teacher and students. That’s one teaching style, but not mine. I treat my elementary school students as friends. Same with touching. If the kids want to give me a hug, I let them.


This doesn’t necessarily apply to humor, but to students I’ve had in the past whom I’m kind of reminded of in this thread:

Sometimes, I think a starry-eyed wish to be a foreign teacher’s “friend” could be a bit racist. If I was back home in the US (well, actually I am) and made a point of wanting to be special friends with (say) Asian teachers, when I don’t have the same impulse for my non-Asian teachers, then I’m not looking at them as quite the same as “regular” people.

And guess what? No matter how friendly I am, they’re going to think I’m a bit of a racist, and not like it. I’ve found people understand quite clearly when they’re not being treated as “people”.

Even though you’re being friendly, you could be doing so in a way that communicates that they’re different, not part of your group, and that’s not a good feeling. Even if you’re treated as the foreign rock star, after a while you get tired of being labeled as the “foreigner” and wish you could communicate with people with them looking at you as a person.

I married my Sanskrit teacher who I met when I was still in high school. How disturbing is that? :slight_smile:

Thanks you guys. I got it. :sunglasses: