1. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Crush on a teacher

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ToeKneeBlack, Sep 28, 2015.

    I'm planning ahead for my main series, and one of the issues to be tackled will be my main character having a crush on her teacher.

    She sees all the boys her age as immature jerks, weather they are or not, but there's this one man in his late twenties she's got her eye on. He seems to always have time to listen to her problems, but she doesn't dare say anything to him in case he says "no".

    The teacher isn't sure what she's up to - she likes to ask him for advice and always listens to him in class. At first he thinks she's an attentive pupil, but then he hears some of the other teachers saying she's a lazy day-dreamer. When she starts talking to him at break times, he likes the attention and doesn't want to send her away in case he hurts her feelings, but he thinks he might get into trouble if anyone suspects them of having a relationship - which hasn't happened up to this point.

    In the end she doesn't ask him to start a relationship, but I'm wondering what would go through the teacher's mind in the meantime?
    Would it be realistic for him to play the role matchmaker just to get her off his back?
     
  2. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How old is she? If she's under 18 and the story takes place in the US, maybe:
    "Oh shit, oh shit, I'm so fucked. I'm fucked six ways to Sunday. What if someone finds out? They'll think I'm a child molester! I'll lose my job. Fuck, fuck fuck, it's gonna be her word against mine. Please don't look at me all doe-eyed, someone's gonna suspect something and report me!"

    Maybe. I think I'd be pretty desperate in his shoes. More realistically, he might sit her down and explain to her why this is not ok, be it because she's underage or because he doesn't want to date students because complications.

    Or maybe he's a creep like in this crappy novel I read years ago called Taming the Beast. It was about a super smart, super mature 14yo who started sleeping with her 30+ yo English teacher. It was a bizarre S&M fantasy, which, to this day, weirds me out more than American Psycho. I guess so as to avoid jailtime, he would resort to anything to keep the girl uninterested. Match-make, tell her he's gay, expel her, have her assassinated by ninjas...
     
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  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You mean, try to set her up with a boy her own age? Hugely inappropriate.

    His reaction depends on what he's like as a character. I would imagine his thoughts would be a combination of:
    • Flattery that a young, attractive (?) girl has a crush on him.
    • Guilt at feeling flattered and maybe even having inappropriate thoughts about her (even if he wouldn't act on them).
    • Fear of her propositioning him, including trying to decide how to react in that situation.
    • Fear of other teachers noticing and reporting him.
    • Fear that if he rejects her, she will make up something about him behaving inappropriately for revenge.
    • Obsessing over everything he's ever said to her in case it could be construed as inappropriate.
     
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  4. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Following @KaTrian and @Tenderiser 's great suggestions (KaTrian's initial comments not limited to the US, by the way; not that she said they were), I'll add 'Looking for a new job'.

    Depending on his relationships with other teachers and the school principal, he might discuss it with colleagues first. But it's also pretty likely that drawing attention to the problem would be undesirable, so he might just run. It's hard enough dealing with unwanted attention when there's no legal problem with it.

    I also think you need to consider that if her behaviour in his class contrasts that much with other classes, third parties will notice. Particularly all the immature jerks her own age, who will probably love an excuse to tease/harass/bully her (+/- him). I know you said that no-one actually suspects a relationship, but just the fact that she's got a crush will spread around a school very quickly, even if it just a rumour. Including to the staff, including the teacher himself, who might feel compelled to investigate.

    ETA: I'd also find the teacher-as-matchmaker thing completely inappropriate; also this really reminded me of that old Mr Bergstrom episode of The Simpsons, back when that show was remotely relevant.
     
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  5. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the feedback on this - I can safely cross out the idea of him acting as a matchmaker, though it might cross his mind once. I'll make other adjustments too, to make it less obvious to the other people around them.

    The girl is 14 years old, but by the end of the story she does find someone closer to her own age whom she can rely on. The story takes place in the UK, but I think this sort of thing happens in lots of countries, between people with a wide spectrum of personalities. Some teachers would take advantage of this situation, but I imagine the vast majority would like to keep their jobs and not become social pariahs, regardless of their feelings towards their pupils.
     
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  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    If I were the teacher, the first thing I'd do after the initial "I'm fucked! Everything is properly fucked up the Potomac! My job, my reputation, my life! COMPLETELY FUCKED!!" freak-out would be to immediately talk to my colleagues about this, let them know what's going on and hope they have the answer for this. I probably wouldn't even approach the girl out of fear that she would overreact and start spewing lies to the general public and the internet. I would probably also seek another job to get myself away from the whole thing in case some other student decided to go doe-eyed on me again.
     
  7. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    He's not sure if she is interested in him or if he's just imagining it, but he is worried. He is relieved by the end of the book when he sees her daydreaming in his class though.

    It's not the main issue that the book deals with, but it's in there.
     
  8. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Put me down as another vote for "completely freaked out". Even if the girl was of the age of consent or older, ethical concerns about such a relationship could easily see him losing his job. And with that sort of reasoning behind his firing, he probably wouldn't be able to get another teaching job in his life. But with the age you're talking about, there could be criminal charges involved, too. So there's definitely reasons to be worried about her getting upset at a rejection and making stuff up.

    I'd say that playing matchmaker would be really inappropriate.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    In the medical field, male doctors are careful not to be alone in an exam room with a female patient getting a pelvic exam. There are standards like that for teachers as well.

    Any intelligent teacher with a flirtatious student, especially a 14 yr old, would avoid being alone with her for any length of time. If she came in the room after class too often or stayed too long he'd likely avoid being available there.

    See page 32: Teacher's Code of Professional Practice
     
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  10. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    As a very young man I had crush's on several of my female teachers but I kept my feelings to myself because if I said something they might have gotten in trouble and I might have gotten in trouble. As for the teacher character in the book I run away! as fast as possible.
     
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Exactly. There's no reason for him to freak the fuck out. She's a child and she'll move on in a month. There is no reason for him to be scared of her, he just needs to act like an adult.
     
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  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I agree. It's probably a very common occurrence for any young good looking teacher. Surely they have training about how to handle it without freaking out.
     
  13. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks again for the feedback. His reaction will probably come through in phases, starting with him dismissing her actions as her talking to all the teachers like that.

    When he overhears the other staff members talking about how distracted she is (though she isn't thinking of him, but of the main events of the story - her crush on him is more of an escape from the other pressures in her life), he realises there might be more to it, but thinks it's his imagination.

    Later on he overhears some pupils talking about the MC and the teacher. At that point he starts to think of ways out, but dismisses some of them as unrealistic or inappropriate - this is the first time it's happened to him, and he's not sure how to handle it. He keeps quiet, since freaking out would only draw attention to it, and that's the last thing he needs. He is a bit jumpy by this point, which COULD be played to comic effect, since he isn't actively encouraging the attraction.

    After the main events in the plot, the teacher overhears the MC talking about someone she's met from another school, and is finally relieved that his nightmare is over. It's more of a side-story to the main plot, but I wanted to put some thought into it, rather than just having it in there and making it awkward to read.
     
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  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would the girl ever actually approach him in a romantic way? I had my share of crushes on various people, but my enthusiasm never triggered me to release my grip on reality and make an approach to someone that I knew was totally inappropriate. I've always assumed that most crushes work the same way.
     
  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There have been many real-life cases of teachers and students having romantic (if you can call it that) relationships. Most girls wouldn't try and act on their crushes but it's not implausible.
     
  16. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    I'm not sure why all the reaction to matchmaker if not in the formal sense, but chances are someone twice the age of a 14y/o will likely pick up on the body language and signals of an otherwise dreamer. If he hints to her that there are more sensitive boys around, who's going to know? And yes, he could be motivated to do so out of empathy, regardless of nationality.
     
  17. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    It gets to the point where she's about to act on her feelings, when suddenly she's interrupted. She didn't want to approach him directly, but you know how kids sometimes dare each other to do things. Something from the main plot grabs her attention and she intends to finish what she's doing later.
    She forgets all about following it up after her adventure is over, due to finding somebody else before she returns.

    The teacher is quite relieved when her behaviour towards him changes. He realises it was just a phase.
     
  18. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    As a teacher whose encounter a student who had a crush . . . ABSOLTLY NOT!!!!
    There would be no matchmaking, get real. Teachers do not interact with students until about grad school, then yes, we can have a beer together. Mostly we try to avoid said student and just make in through the semester w/o incident. The secretary is used as a gate keeper, lights off, and door closed during office hours in a d@mn good imitation of "I'm not here." It's like Indian Jones and the Last Crusade, only the diligent student can pass! Never, ever alone with the student.
     
  19. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Same thing different job - A 14 year old soccer player had a crush on her 47 year old coach. The sick bastard just finished 5 years prison for a 6 month relationship they shared here in Sacramento.

    If I were that teacher I'd reveal my fears to my head and monitor the situation very carefully. If things escalated I'd ask for a transfer - simples.
     
  20. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    As someone who's been there (not as a teacher, but with a kid who got hired on at our company), it's awkward and uncomfortable, and the freakout is always prepped and ready. But, panic wouldn't necessarily kick in until she made an actual advance.
     
  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think whether he freaks out inside/outside his head or not depends on how the OP writes the character, not on him being a teacher, as if that automatically made you act according to some personality parameters for teachers. There's a difference between "I know there's no reason to freak out" and "I know there's no reason to freak out, but I still do." Don't get me wrong, I agree, usually there's no reason for a teacher in that situation to freak out because s/he's an adult and should know how to deal with the situation, but it doesn't mean this character wouldn't or it'd be any less believable if he did. I don't believe every person completely trusts the system or can go like "nah, it's a phase," especially 'cause it's not always an it's-gonna-be-over-in-a-month thing. You won't know in advance how it will play out, although you can do your damnest to keep things from escalating. ETA: I was reminded of a male teacher who did his teacher training at the same time with me. High school girls sure showed their appreciation whenever he taught them, but he just laughed it all off. There are definitely harmless crushes and then there are crushes that can get you in trouble.

    Based on the answers given here, the OP has a better idea of all the directions he can go. Of course, I don't know how American teachers handle these situations in real life, what they talk about in teachers' rooms, and so on, so I'm merely pointing out what I've learned from having worked as an elementary and high school teacher in my country (and while both are Western socities, there are distinct differences. E.g. for a man, it's not unethical to be alone with a teenager girl after class if you need to discuss, say, homework or whatever school-related and also it's not uncommon for especially young teachers to have their pupils as FB friends, as weird as that sounds to me). The amount of inner turmoil he'll experience may be proportional to the amount and type of attention he gets from the girl. The character could worry about rumors starting to circulate, the worst possible scenarios etc. if it's in accordance with his personality. Or he can be all professional and adult-like about it, depending on his age, experience, and, again, personality.

    Based on what the OP has written here, this doesn't sound like it's anything that will completely fling the teacher off his orbit because the girl isn't aggressive. I can see him staying cool or freaking out, both seem realistic. Kind of also depends on the general atmosphere in the school. There's "pedo paranoia" over here, not sure how common it's elsewhere.
     
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