“Do you have any kids?”
It’s finally happened. I was warned that it would, and it finally did. You know that feeling you get when you realize you’re getting checked out? By a group? Yeah. Four students, talking amongst themselves during group-work, but very clearly not focused on the relation of Gage’s famous Sojourner Truth transcription to Emerson’s definition of non-conformity.
Students aren’t supposed to check out their teachers. At least, not that blatantly. As a group. Students are supposed to put up with their instructors, talk to them as appropriate, and then run like hell to get away from the classroom and back to real life. Anything else is unusual behavior. No, seriously, think about it. Why do students interact with teachers? Pretty much because they have to — the number of students in any given class who actually want to be there is always a tiny minority of the people who are there because the school or state said that they needed to be in order to graduate.
It’s weird, and it’s bad-weird, because, as any other flirt on the planet will tell you, the initial realization that you’re getting checked-out, assuming you’re not simply being “creepily leered at,” is a pleasant one. It’s the whipsaw following realization that “whoa, WAYYYY out of bounds here!” that gets real disturbing, real fast. Especially in this day and age, where guys don’t dare so much as smile at somebody funny, let alone make physical contact with any student, in any way, period. Every allegation is not only taken seriously, but men are essentially considered guilty-unless-proven-innocent if accused of anything even vaguely smacking of harassment, and there are plenty of students who will attempt to game their teachers by threatening various complaints. Gals don’t have that problem, though they do have others.
I think I need to regrow my beard. This never happened when I had the beard. Yeah, that’s the ticket.