Is it wrong for a graduate assistant to hang out with former students?

I teach at the area university as a Graduate assistant. While I don't seek them out, some former students of mine have since become friends. Some of my co-workers don't like this and see it as inappropriate. I see no problem with it as they've already received a grade. Now, it HAS gone as far as one of them liking me and some intense feelings having been developed, but they're no longer students. Am I crazy? Am I wrong? What do you think?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I've been friends with tons of my profs and the TA's at my school. Now that I'm a grad student, possibly getting to teach soon, I'm not going to cut those relationships off. And my school actually encourages friendships between the faculty and students, saying that it promotes maturity, bonding, and gives a better university experience. I've learned a lot from them, just like they thought I would then.

    As long as you're school is ok with it, why not? Perhaps the others don't like it because they weren't befriended by their students, or the students didn't accept them as easily as they did you.

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What Girls Said 0

The only opinion from girls was selected the Most Helpful Opinion!

What Guys Said 7

  • You have t worry about people trying to use you for a grade. It happens all the time as you must know, and hanging out all the time with them is a potential problem because people will think, wrongly or not, that they can hit on you and then hit you up for a grade.

    And if you're not careful you'll have that reputation, whether you deserve it or not.

    It's fine to be friendly, but I wouldn't hang out with them all the time. Once in a while, maybe, but as with any work position you have to really be careful of what people THINK about you as well as what you actually DO.

    I've also been a graduate assistant, by the way.and I've seen a lot of them get into trouble with their bosses over relationships with students, former or not.

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  • If they're no longer students and you're no longer their teacher, then there shouldn't be anything wrong with it. I think it's sorta like a teacher ethics code not to get "involved" with their students. But many teachers have favorites, and form friendships with many students, it's normal. It may just been seen as unacceptable because you were her superior, but now that you are not there is no reason why you should not be able to form friendships or more with them.

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  • This is a grey area, primarily because you are dealing with adults in an educational institution.

    Consider; if this were a high school then you, as a teacher, would be ill advised to have any relationship outside of a professional one with any student in the school. Even if they weren't in your class or even if they had been in your class and are now moved on. This is an obvious no-no because of the age difference and the teacher-student relationship would be violated.

    However, you are in a postsecondaey institution and dealing with adults who are expected to make their own good decisions. It would be advisable for you to check with your institution's guidelines for appropriate interaction with students and employment with them. Your frowning co-workers may be aware of something that you're not.

    Arm yourself with some information before you continue with your interactions; you may be doing something that can get you fired.

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    • Thanks, My particular one has no regulations on any such fmr. teacher/student relationship. The president of the Univ. married a fmr. student. I'm pretty sure it's just my coworkers who are territorial and think that Grad assist. should stick with Grad. Assist. Other depts encourage undergrads to spend time with fmr. GAs and stuff.

    • Well, the University president is usually above the law in these matters. As a mere GA you are NOT above the informal territorial 'rules' of the work culture. If you get a reputation for this you can lose your position. I've seen it happen, if when nothing sexual was going on in reality

  • I would say you fine man. I’m in collage and some of my teachers come to our parties and one even hangs out pretty regularly. People are just people. As for the one having feelings for you, as long as you are both clear about you intensions and there isn’t some huge age difference with her a minor or something I see nothing wrong there either.

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    • Yea, there's only a two-year difference between us. She could be my sister's friend.

  • The university will not care. There is no real conflict of interest because you have already graded their coursework and they are not in your class anymore. The university knows that the undergraduate students and graduate students are adults and can make their own mature decisions. If class is over then go for it.

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  • As long as you know you won't have another class with them it's ok

    the course is over

    you gave out the grades

    no big deal, in my opinion

    just make sure you don't have them in another class (happens sometimes)

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  • I don't see anything wrong with it as long as they are former students and they are not currently students of yours.

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