Tue, Apr 20, 2010
New Straits Times
Teachers' pets

EYE contact, smiling, joking and making your students feel comfortable are all part of being a good educator. But what happens when the relationship becomes romantic?

Crushes and relationships turned sour, have, at times, ended really badly. And yet, some romances have turned into great love stories.

Related link:
»Some do live happily ever after
» Are female students a perk of the job?
Dangers of such controversial relationships heightened after a former United States middle school Mathematics teacher, Stephanie Ragusa, was accused of repeated sexual encounters with students aged 14 and 16.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty, this month, to three counts of lewd and lascivious battery and two counts of unlawful sex with a minor.

SEGi College Subang Jaya's head of the school of psychology and student counsellor Marian Arumugam, who has noticed a rise in such incidents, says it's fairly common for female students to idolise their male teachers.

"As a professional teacher, it is important that they remember and are aware of the proximity within a relationship when trying to support individual students with their learning. These days, it may be a bigger issue as the age gap between the teacher and student can be narrow.

"Some students choose to postpone their studies while many teachers are just starting out in their profession. This is when testosterone and hormone levels are running high."

Next: Students can be just as controlling >>

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