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...

Comments

  1. wow~ wat a story~ sigh.. i wish i could have more guys approach me that way.. wahahahaha~~

    ReplyDelete
  2. i dont get it...
    you want more guys to approach you & reject you?
    haha~~

    ReplyDelete
  3. it was the right thing you did.

    i still remember that i send facebook invitation to all people in my email address book and one of it was my welfare officer in marjon. she saw me in marjon office and apologized saying that "im really sorry. it's not that i dont want bla3 but i out my silly pictures with my sister in it bla3 i only share it with my family bla3 so i cant approve you".

    so yeah, good thing you drew a line.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jarod, I think it is rather clear-cut! No no no. If they are male students perhaps things could be different...(but what would be they doing checking your Friendster out....haha) but to open such a private part of your life to them young girls is just inviting scandals! Hehe.

    I keep my private life very very private, even from my colleagues. Apart from the usual how-many-siblings-you-have and where-did-you-get-your-degree-from sort of questions, they dont know much about me. It is not that I dont want to reveal, but I just feel that it is good to keep the non-teacher part of my life away from school.

    All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  5. yup. good decision.. school girls with raging hormones tend to have the 'unnecessary emotions' u were talking about with their young male teachers (especially the caring ones), even though they are not that good-looking.

    So, if you, who have the package, approve ur student's friend request, the consequence will be clear.

    You might even end up knowing that your students are checking ur page every 2 minutes. or printing out your photos frm there, and distributing them around d school (this has happened b4 to one of cohort 1s)

    so, yes, you may press the 'approve' button after the prac ends. it will be a good way of communication, post-practicum.

    and after a while, u may realise that most of them might not be too excited about u anymore..i may be wrong, coz i'm a female who taught in a girls' school b4 during prac..heheh..

    gud luck nway..

    ReplyDelete
  6. a student also asked for my myspace account email.. to avoid dissapointing her i've lied by telling her that i dun have one..

    bcos i dislike my students knowing too much about my life

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ainee:
    hahaha~~
    I guess I'm not alone when I think that it would be professional to set a boundary!

    Sawi:
    oooo~~
    Sawi is a very private citizen!
    You're right although I am tempted to approve requests from the "hot" students or the "hot-to-be" students...
    hehe~~

    Azrin:
    wow!
    i never knew that girls would do that!
    Now, I'm really glad I did not approve!

    p/s: well... so far the hype has yet to die!

    Farah:
    My students asked me if I had friendster...
    I smiled, shrugged and walked away...
    I couldn't lie. So I choose not to say anything.
    haha~~

    ReplyDelete
  8. hey..mr yong..
    know who am i??
    ^^haa..i think i know who is the one dat you saying about..
    [[wakaka XD]]
    aiyo..teacher..no need take it so serious la..just for fun mar..
    if you feel wana approve then u just approve lor..
    if you don't want approve then no need approve lor..
    actually some of us already know you got friendster and also blog lar..
    just we wana keep our 'good' image..so that others won't think the other way..
    and that's why me and my friend didn't 'disturb' you for this..
    don't think too much for this kay..
    i know you are so 'professional'..

    ^^ now..are you thinking??

    "hmm..you are a good student..so good girl..not bad not bad.."

    hee..am i too talkactive??
    haa..i'm ALWAYS!!!
    [[wakaka XD]]
    haa..i'm just kidding la..
    kay..see you in school..
    happy go school~~~

    # HAPPY GO LUCKY!!!
    yipee~~~life for fun~~~
    gambateh!!!gayao!!!
    go go go~~ n_n

    ReplyDelete
  9. haha~~
    welcome to my blog!

    Well, you are still young..
    At 13 years old you are allowed to take it easy & make mistakes..
    I am almost 23 YO, I am your teacher & I am MALE.
    So you have to understand that some things are not that simple for me.
    I have a lot to consider before I do anything with you guys.

    You are a good girl indeed...
    Thank you for being understanding.

    You and your friends are allowed to read & post comments on my blog but please don't tell people about my blog, k?
    Let it be our little secret.

    =)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Okay..okay..
    i will keep posting comment to you..
    bad comments and also good comments..
    which one you prefer??
    haa..kay..i won't tell other..
    keep quiet..[[shhh~~]]

    Erm..ok..
    i know..i am a good girl..
    sure~~me study in 1 maju..
    always go bilik sal..
    always go staffroom..
    so i got a good image..
    [[ wakaka XD ]]
    i'm joking~~
    but anyway,welcome for your thanks..
    all students in 1 maju are:

    nice+cool+best..and always understand other's situation..

    don't worry about this..
    okay..good idea!
    let's be our SECRET~~
    haa..=D

    ReplyDelete
  11. haha~~
    any kind of comment will do...
    good, bad or neutral.
    =)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mr. yong, i'm a form 5 student! i think you know who am i but you didn't know my name! is ok actually i have a question want to ask you. why you want to become a teacher?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey, thanks for asking, Wen!
    I guess I never really answered this question properly whenever ppl ask me this question.
    Just for you & anyone out there who is curious, I will publish a post in the next few days to answer this question!
    =)

    ReplyDelete
  14. ok thaks! actullly i have many question want to ask you but don't know how starting to ask! n scare u will feel annoying for my question! if teacher feel any not comfortable n hard to answer my question can teacher, please told me!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I dont mind answering questions.
    If I am uncomfortable, I will inform you.

    Why dont you send me an email with your questions?
    I try to answer them as best as I can.

    ReplyDelete
  16. erm... sorry teacher actually which email is using now? i found that teacher have many email.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Use the one i created for the blog.
    You can find it at the sidebar.

    I wanted to post my answer to your question on my blog but I got internet problem so you may have to wait for your answer...
    hehe~~

    ReplyDelete
  18. ok sure i will wait anyway thanks teacher for answering me first la.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just wondering, how long have u been teaching in Katibas then? Since this post is about girls' school. Well, I agree with u that it should be kept near professional. I started adding my students after being a form teacher to monitor my class students. I do realize their achievements in school had a lot to do with their emotions outside. And for club activities since I was the Leo Club faculty adviser. But then again, I'm a female teacher, n u r the male teacher who might break the heart of those swooning mooneyed high schoolers. ha ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my 5th year in SMK Katibas.
      I'm glad my students do not have internet so I can have peace online.
      I will, however, only accept friend requests of students I'm close with. Otherwise, there's my professional account they can like.

      Delete
    2. Haha. Peace online until I stumbled into your blog, right? LOL. Generally, unless we're close to the students, they wouldn't even bother to send a friend request. The random ones are the ones who probably try to add every single teacher in the school. And WE WOULD know who they are! Teenagers, nowadays! You did a good job starting the professional page which is very informative. Kudos to that! Even my teacher friend is following it, so I guess they must have found it useful.

      Delete
    3. Good to know other teachers find my sites useful.

      Delete
    4. Yeah.. or maybe they found it a good read too! And hope in teaching :) U probably can imagine how many tchrs bcm disillusioned after a while...

      Delete
    5. I was disillusioned too at one point. Rising up from it made me even stronger. Invincible.

      Delete

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