1) Show up on time, even if it means having to wake up stupidly early (you will).
2) Don't cancel classes; even if you are half eat-up with the small pox, go to class.
3) Take attendance, even though it's a pain in the ass and waste of time.
4) Grade stuff, even when it means surreptitiously circling verb errors during important, relationship critical discussions with your significant other.
5) Teach the material, even if it means unorthodox methods (or explaining 4358 times that "frikkin'" is not an acceptable adjective).
6) Never, ever, ever, ever, ever even consider dating a student. EVER. (It goes without saying that you should not do it).
I think we all know what kind of trouble I ran into the other day, so I will just explain without expressing additional self-hatred that, much to my horror, I am (was) ... goddamit.... attracted to one of my students.*
Nothing happened except it was the last day of class and he was the last one to leave and he shook my hand and held onto it for just that tiniest little fraction of an amount of time that is too long. And I didn't hate it.
That's it. I'll never see this kid again, so it doesn't matter. No harm has been done to anyone's learning environment or anyone's professional integrity, but, people, in my entire eight year teaching career, I have never once so much as noticed a student in any way other than a professional one. When I look at students, I see nothing by letters, numbers, handwriting and badly conjugated verbs. I do not "see" anything other than a teaching target. I have never understood college professors who think this or that student is "hot" or "cute" or whatever, and I am such a self-critical and judgmental bitch that I won't have anything to do with professors who date students, because even on the college level, I think it's unfair to both the targeted student and the other students in the class, not to say the student's parents and the student's future spouse (because you know good and damn well that it isn't you).
I should have realized, of course, long before the last day of classes that this kid was flirting with me. I should have noticed it, but because of the"personal" invisibility of my students, I never noticed a thing. He cracked a lot of jokes and I made fun of him some because he seemed to take it as a sign of esteem (a lot of students do, oddly enough) but I didn't notice that he was noticing me. Duh.
And if you don't think that it's grotesque that I had a strange moment of heart fluttering (give me a moment to hate myself a little bit more and I'll finish my sentence... .... ....) you should definitely think it's gross that I had a student flirting with me in one of my classes for an entire 13 weeks AND I NEVER NOTICED BECAUSE OF MY PRINCIPLES.
Because isn't that also a little unfair to the student(s)? Doesn't that also harm the learning environment?
I think I'll go sharpen my knives now. Have a "nice" afternoon.
*He is of age, before anyone REALLY freaks out, here. He is 24 and though incredibly immature, legally grown up.