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Love my Teacher of 24

Hi Sam, I know you must get a lot of letters on this topic but I really am feeling at a loss of what to do. I'm 16, not far off 17, and preparing to leave school to go to Sixth Form. I have had the same english teacher for almost 2 years and I can't help but like him. I know this is difficult and I would never try anything whilst still at school because I wouldn't want to get him into trouble, but I'm sure there is something between us. I'm the top of my class and we've become close, I'm able to go and see him about anything that might be bothering me and we talk about our interests. We have a lot in common and we lend each other books and he just makes me feel incredibly comfortable with myself, but recently, it's really been getting me down because I know I can't do anything about it. My friends just take the mickey and there's a few rumours going around that I'm sleeping with him, which are definitely not true, but I'm terrifyed that they'll get him into trouble, and these problems have meant that I can no longer talk to my friends about my feelings, so I'm getting increasingly upset and frustrated. What can I do? Even though it might be frowned upon, when I leave school and hit 18, could I go out with him? Its becoming incredibly hard and I'm worried I'm becoming a nuisance for him because I go to see him, but I like him so much that I feel horrible if I haven't seen him in a day. He's only 24 and he makes me so happy. S x
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Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter explaining what things are like at school with your teacher. I can hear how much you like him and you’ve thought about how things could be in the future. You feel close to him but at the same time you’re worried that you might be becoming a nuisance to him. You’re aware that if something was to happen between the two of you while you’re at school that he would get into a lot of trouble.

It's normal for someone to feel attracted to a person they respect and admire or share interests with but it's important that each teacher maintains strong boundaries within each pupil / teacher relationship. Lots of young people can develop feelings for their teachers but any relationship between a teacher and pupil that goes beyond their role as a teacher is wrong. Your teacher is in a position of trust and it’s against the law for him to have any kind of personal relationship with a young person he works with under the age of 18.

I can hear how you're getting more and more frustrated with the situation. You can no longer talk to your friends about how you’re feeling because there are now rumours at school that you’re sleeping with him. Maybe you could think about whether you could change how much time you spend talking to him if it's making things difficult for you both at school.

If you were not at the school where he works there could still be some questions and concerns from other members of staff about his professionalism and appropriate behaviour. This could be difficult for him. Most teachers don't have that kind of relationship with people they used to teach because it can be seen as unprofessional.

It might be helpful to look at our message boards. Here’s a thread where young people offer support around having feelings towards their teachers.

It sounds important that you have the space to talk things through and this is exactly what ChildLine counsellors are here for – to talk about things that might be difficult to share with others. There are different ways to talk to a counsellor – you can ring our free phone number 0800 1111 which doesn’t show on a telephone bill. You can also have a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

I hope we hear from you again when you’re ready.

Take care,

Sam

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