AP NEWS

Not uncommon to have friend’s parent as teacher

September 25, 2018

In the last few years, there have been stories of improper communication between students and teachers outside of the classroom. This is a very serious issue that leads to bad reputations and teachers getting fired.

To prevent situations like these, some school districts have banned all communication outside of school between teachers and students.

Luckily, I have never heard of incidents like these in my own home town. In fact, a few classmates and I have three or so of the faculty members’ numbers at my school. This is because sometimes communication outside of school is necessary. Instead of prohibiting all communication, there should be strict guidelines.

In a small school like mine, there are many kids who have parents as teachers. This makes it common to see a teacher simply at a friend’s house. Casual conversations are common in those types of situations — just like any other teenager talking to a friend’s parent. My previous cheer coach’s phone number was needed, for example, for me to have as a captain of the cheer squad. Contacting her outside of talking on school grounds was important when practice times were uncertain. It was more efficient to shoot her a text for a group reminder.

Also, because rumors can start with a huge group of girls, it’s nice to settle them with communication from one reliable adult. Departure times sometimes changed later in the day, so it was easy for her to send out a group text the night before to let the girls know.

Another example of acceptable communication would be having the sponsor of a club or organization’s number. At my school, the sponsor of the National Honors Society is also one of my English teachers. Having her number was nice when she needed to send a reminder text about meetings she changed that the group president didn’t know about yet. She also wanted to see if everyone who was needed went to the service activities at our community theater. To be honest, teenagers can be forgetful, so this kind of communication between students and a coach or sponsor can be very unavoidable.

More schools lately have been giving students a school email address. Countless class assignments are given to me through my email in Google Classroom. Questions about homework should only be asked through a pass-a-note or email.

Improper communication between teachers and students is wrong on so many levels. A teacher is there for students to learn or to seek adult advice from — nothing else. Therefore, guidelines should be set for only appropriate and necessary communication between students and teachers.

AP RADIO
Update hourly