Highschool: The Land of Indecent Proposals
“No, I’m not willing to be your Wifey”
“No, I don’t want to go back to your crib and smoke hella bud.”
“Sorry, I only date boys with diplomas” (I know that might get me in trouble if the student actually graduates)
“You wouldn’t want to date me, I give too much homework.”
Being flippant usually works with the majority of the students who are merely playing, and I like to keep a no harm/no foul attitude…not wanting to become that teacher who freaks out and starts throwing around words like “inappropriate behavior.”
However, among the salacious offers there’s one student who seems particularly earnest in his pick-up attempts and I’m finding it hard to shake him. This boy is a student a few classes down, and when I started teaching his was the first name I memorized of students who weren’t in my class. (The school where I teach is small enough that I can say hi to 60% of the students in the hallway by name. And I like that. The students like it too, I think. Who wouldn’t feel good when someone says hi to you by name and wishes you a good morning?)
So this kid is 16, and pretty decent by nature, never particularly rude or nasty like the population tends to be and almost every day he stops by to ask me to “chill in his hood with him.” I’m not willing to be mean to this kid because he’s not being dirty or awful, just asking me to do things a teacher absolutely can’t. The only problem is everything I say ends up sounding like a weak excuse.
Earnest student: “C’mon Ms. C, come to my hood this Friday night, there’s a hot party.”
Ms. C: “I’m flattered, ducky, but it’s past my bedtime.”
Earnest Student: “What about dinner in your hood?”
Ms. C: “It’s inappropriate for a teacher to go out with a student, I could lose my job” (At this point I’m sensing that the student isn’t just playing around, and yeah I’m hiding behind protocol as to not injure the poor lad’s feelings.)
Earnest Student: “C’mon Miss, no one’s gonna know.”
Ms. C: “I’d know and I wouldn’t feel comfortable.”
At this point I busied myself with writing on the board because the whole scenario was making me uncomfortable. The student was incredibly sincere and everything I said sounded like a weak excuse next to the boy’s persistence. I guess I could have gone ahead and mentioned that I had a live-in boyfriend…but that’s classified info, and I’m not sure it would have helped. It seems like all I can keep doing is saying no, as lame as it is. But I feel bad, knowing how often these kids get rejected in life.
Has this ever happened to you?