Monday, July 7

The Professional Divide

A student from one of my classes found me on friendster...
Last Friday, she sent me a friend request...
Last Saturday, she gave me a cute testimonial asking if we could be friends...
Should I approve her friendster add request or should I not?
What are the consequences of approving & of rejecting this request?
How do I divide between personal acquaintance & professional acquaintance?
What is the professional divide?

To put things into perspective:
I don't treat my friendster friends' list as a meaningless pool of names...
Each individual in the list has had a good conversation with me & those who could not be bothered to catch up with me are deleted.
That's why I dont have thousands & thousands of friends & multiple accounts.

Also:
In this school full of adolescent girls & only 5 male teachers to feed their testosterone hunger...
I want to be considered a teacher first; friend second.
I am willing to be friends with the students I teach but I still want to keep the relationship near professional.
I don't want to get too involved lest I spark unnecessary emotion.
Both in myself & in the students I come into contact with.
I want good rapport with my students but not so much that it makes them complacent.

If I approve her request, I will have to approve the future requests from other students who have heard of her success...
Either that or I will have the displeasure of rejecting many requests.
On the other hand, if I reject her request, she may not be mature about it & this may affect my rapport with her & her friends...

I will need to tread carefully here...
So far she is the only one who has stepped up to make a friend request, but I have reason to believe that there are many more waiting in the shadows for a window of opportunity...
So how do I pass off as professional and yet not aloof?

Today I did something that I hope was the best in such a situation...
I decided to go up to her & talk to her about it...
Personally...
man to girl...
teacher to student...
I treated her as a mature individual & expressed my concerns & my struggles with this issue.
I wanted her to understand my predicament.
Thankfully, she expressed an understanding & was not offended.
However, she was disappointed.

Thank you, dear...
You have made what I had to do, easier for me to do.
Thanks for being wonderfully understanding...
Perhaps after I leave your school, I'll press the "approve" button...

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