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Dreams65 Dreams65 is offline
 
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Would you accept or decline? A mother asked...
Old 04-14-2019, 01:00 PM
 
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Hello..I work in a large urban public K-5 as a special services provider and I am mostly in the classroom for my sessions and groups. There are two teachers, one regular ed and one special ed, and one para. Anyway, most of us are a group of staff/teachers 30 and 40 somethings, just like the parents. With the exception of the pushy competitive types that are more common in these affluent areas, many are actually quite nice.

There is one mother, who I talk to and we do get along well. Her one son is the same age as my son, so we chat about such things. So we got to talking further and discovered we both like to do a particular sport for hobby. She got an excited look on her face and asked me to be her guest at her beach club to work out and practice the sport. I've known her for a while because this is her second child in this particular class. She's cool, has a good sense of humor, and easy going. She said we should grab coffee soon and we can plan it for when she starts going up there, which isn't until after Memorial Day- early June.

I am ambivalent. In truth, of course I want to go. But I am remembering when another mother asked one of the teacher's to go to a spinning class with her a few months ago, and I heard her decline by saying, "I'd love to, but 6:00 a.m. is way too early for me." It was probably because the kid is currently in her class and it was only early December at that point. Otherwise, the mother and that teacher do get along well.

In my case, the student will be out of the current class as well as off of my caseload as of June. She has no other children that could possibly be in the classes I treat or on my caseload moving forward. My answer would definitely be "no" if I knew there was another child coming, or if she asked at the beginning of the school year, because in my book staff/teachers socializing with the parents of current students is a no-no. But once the child is out, is it fair game to accept the invitation?


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Old 04-14-2019, 01:15 PM
 
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Iím my area, nobody would have a problem with it. As you said, by the time this rolls around, the kid will be out of your class and there wonít be any more of her kids moving up.

It sounds like she could become a friend and the activity is something you enjoy. My vote is to go for it. Lifeís too short.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:17 PM
 
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In my school, many teachers become friends with the parents of their students. It's not unusual. If the kid is not in your class, then there is no problem at all.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:10 PM
 
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Not a problem here. Just as long as she doesnt ask you to share confidential info about students or teachers.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:32 PM
 
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I met my best friend when her middle child was in my class and I also had her youngest in my class for two consecutive years. So many people feel lonely and isolated--why reject a friendship?


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Old 04-14-2019, 02:40 PM
 
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No more dual relationship by the time this new situation would start, if I'm reading your post correctly. So I think that would be fine. The thing to be careful about is if you are privy to other information that may impact her and/or her children (if they are still in the same school or district). Sometimes that line is a little tricky to navigate, ime.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:00 PM
 
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It should be okay when he is no longer one of your students. You may want to have a response in mind in case, at some point, she asks questions about any students.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:00 PM
 
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I think it's A-OK! I have several friends that were parents of my students last year. We go to concerts together, get coffee, etc. I think there are some teachers who frown on it, but they are in a really different situation friend wise than I am (meaning...they have tons of friends ~ other teachers and outside of school...and I don't). So I really don't care what they think.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:24 PM
 
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I live in a small town. Iím friends with many people who have had children in my class. It has never been an issue. Everyone knows everybody else, so itís hard to avoid. Nobody even thinks anything about it.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:35 PM
 
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I don't think it's as big of a deal when the student is no longer in your class. I do think you will have to be careful if she ever tries to talk to you about other students or teachers at the school. I'm sure it's common for parents to vent to their friends about their kids teachers or school/decisions made by the school and that's something you're not going to be able to participate in with her.


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What to Do
Old 04-15-2019, 01:25 AM
 
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I would socialize after the kid leaves your class. And don't talk about other students, parents, or the administration when you get together. Information can travel when you least expect it.

Last edited by travelingfar; 04-15-2019 at 05:01 AM..
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I agree w/ Travelingfar
Old 04-15-2019, 04:01 AM
 
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In my school the neighborhood that surrounds it has lots of parents getting quite friendly with staff and admin, which has some positives and negatives. In my old school, that was rare and I appreciated that.

I would not share any sensitive information (really, anything about the other kids). I would tread carefully about divulging anything about work until her child is out of the class, but otherwise enjoy a new friend.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:32 PM
 
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You are so right. In this day and age, especially once you pass age 35, it seems to get harder to make new friends, so why reject a possible friendship? Question...How long have you been friends and who initiated the socializing outside of school, if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:35 PM
 
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That's encouraging to hear. I'm going to accept, but out of curiosity, are any of these friendships acted on while the student is still in the class, and if so, how has that worked out? Just curious!
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:40 PM
 
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Yes, absolutely. It will be June by the time this materializes. Also, many people who answered had the same opinion and also the same caution, which was to make sure about not discussing confidential matters about other students and teachers. I should mention that I highly doubt she'd even go there, because she is a school employee herself. She's a Speech Therapist at another school, so I'm sure she knows that that would be inappropriate.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:13 PM
 
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Wow! I guess it's because I'm so old, or maybe because I've spent a fair amount of my life in smaller communities, but I'm shocked that anyone would think that it was inappropriate for a teacher to become friends with the parent of a student. Yes, you need to be discreet about talking about school issues, but you should do that anyway because gossip can travel in all kinds of unexpected ways. Yes, you might need to draw a clear line if she ever began to expect special treatment for her child because of your friendship, but there are many other situations where you might need to discern whether someone has an ulterior motive in wanting to be your friend. For sure, if you know that you will never teach one of her children again, I don't see any reason why you would pass on a potentially rewarding friendship.
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