With the shockingly increasing number of student-teacher relationships being reported in the news in recent times, are Singaporeans and students more cautious about being too close to an educator?

From the students’ perspective, I’d say that not a huge amount of effort has been put into making sure that such instances do not happen. You see, students being close to their teachers can sometimes be a good thing. A closer bond between pupil and educator can help to make learning more interesting and more productive, but how close is too close?

Even though there hasn’t been any teacher-student relationships reported in my school, I sometimes see how some girls in my school talk to the male teachers and it makes me feel sick on the inside. This is especially so in the Confessions trend that has been going on, where students can post “confessions” anonymously. With their covered identity, expressing their views becomes so much easier. I don’t know about the credibility of some of these confessions, but many sound really dodgey, and can only make one wonder if the pupil really means it that way. 

Throughout school, I’ve had the personal contact numbers of many teachers – both male and female. Most teachers only do so because they think it will help with our learning, for example, to arrange for consultations or clarify doubts when studying at night. I admit that having their numbers have helped me a lot, and has definitely made questions easier to ask, and answers easier to give.

In all, I feel that both students and teachers should be responsible about the things they do and say, and be sure to carry themselves in the right light. I honestly do not think that there is an instant problem-solver to this problem of student-teacher relationships, but responsibility is the first step to prevention.