Love. It may seem too cheesy for anyone who already gave up on it, but remember that it is also what fate has pulled together to make you feel butterflies in your stomach. The feeling of knowing your soul mate would be so unforgettable. It’s like the world doesn’t seem to matter at all. But what if you fall in love with the person you’re not supposed to be with? How would you know if he/she is the wrong one? Would you base something you deem so special from the views of other people’s opinions? One of the many cases such as this is the student-teacher relationship. We believe that it should be acceptable if and only if both parties know how to respect the differences of their occupation. When looking through this subject carefully, we are able to prove that, indeed, love conquers all.
The stand suggests that such relationships are acceptable if professionalism between both parties is shown. Well, how about we flip the coin and know more about what lies beyond? We could see a vivid picture that even until now, our society still sees this relationship questionable. In Article VIII Section VII of the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers in the Philippines, it is stated that mutual attraction and subsequent love between a teacher and a student is punishable by law. Furthermore, “every teacher shall exercise utmost professional discretion to avoid scandal, gossip, and preferential treatment of the learner.” Even without the knowledge of such, it would not be a casual issue for us to see a man or woman having an intimate relationship with someone not having the same status in life. For example, we have a classmate having a relationship with our professor, what would be the first thing that would come up in our minds? Honestly, since we are not accustomed to accept this kind of relationship, we tend to think negative things not only to the educator, but also to the student. But the bottom line is, the other side of the coin could either just become an ornament on how we see things or the main design that could capture and affect the way we think.
A student-teacher relationship in the romantic aspect is something that possesses unequal conditions bearing with the fact that a teacher is superior to a student and such attachments may abuse one’s superiority or inferiority over the other and that it can be unethical to both parties, which could destroy their respective careers. As Paul Lennon, a Boston educational lawyer, said to a local news network: “The student-teacher relationship is inherently an uneven one and fraught with peril.”
Students’ and teachers’ worlds are totally different from one another. In a student’s life, studies and grades are what matters. His life basically revolves around his academics – undergoing the progress that will lead him to his future career; while in a teacher’s life, they only need to maintain their professionalism, because they have already gone through experiences that has trained them to be an educator. The teacher may have already gone through what the student is still experiencing at the moment, but he still has more to learn, which he can also get from the student. Therefore, what the student gains, one way or another, it has its effect on the teacher. The two being together is a rare, unique sight especially in the judgmental world today. It is easy to be discriminated just by little things or mistakes, so how much more a relationship with someone you are forbidden to be with? Many relationships have had their happily-ever-afters because of their determination to keep the special bond, regardless of their background differences, age, occupation, or whatever the excuses the world is trying to reason out to keep them apart. Unlike the many wasted relationships that have been broken merely because of their insecurity and lack of confidence to face the odds, the case of the student-teacher love can also have a happy ending if only they are willing to be together no matter what, even if it means going against society’s standards.
The start of this brewing romance begins within school grounds. It is because this is the place where their meeting takes place. Usually, teachers who fall in these situations are the fresh, young ones. Still young as they are, they can be very good-looking, and of course we can’t miss out their physical features: the fully-developed face, body, height and also, their sense of fashion. Students tend to like their teacher by basing on their attitude and the way the teacher approaches them. On the other hand, in the teacher’s situation, they can like a student if they are attracted either by their looks or intellect when they see them during or outside class hours. The effect in the society can be both positive and negative; for example, the positive part of this is the maturity of the teenager will increase and grow, because they will be challenged by the advanced, experienced minds of their loved ones. Having a teacher as a boyfriend or girlfriend will make the student focus more and aim to get high grades and increase his/her hopes if having a good future but this relationship.
Despite the fact that the student’s social life may be affected by his/her romantic relationship with the teacher, it still has its positive side effects. The teacher’s way of thinking affects that of the student’s which makes his/her maturity level rise along with the tides. But what keeps both parties endure the criticisms? It is the fuel-like love of the teacher for the student which has the capacity to keep the car’s engine alive and running. It may actually be a ‘drug’ for the student to get high and pursue with his/her studies and vice versa. It’s as if a student is like a little bird still learning to fly while a teacher already has its wings full-grown.
One of the inspiring stories of true love that has conquered all is the story of Merilyn Bapilar and Sergio Lad from Mati, Davao Oriental. They started their relationship when Merilyn was still a student and her teacher, by fate, was Sergio. The woman was motivated and inspired by her teacher that she also continued her college degree in the field of teaching, which is the same as Sergio’s. They pursued both their career and relationship for six years and then decided to get married and start a family. They are now sharing the same profession and teaching in the same school. Also, they are blessed with two children. Their relationship has landed to a great a life together, and now they have a family of their own. All this started just by their determination to be with each other. Their age gap is fifteen years. Quite far, isn’t it? But to them, who cares? Age is just a number and it does not matter to them. As long as they can be with each other, the rest, for them, is history.
Everything we hear about this kind of relationship is speculated by many. But why not try to consider this: two beings different from one another are tied together by fate are struggling because of opinionated people. Let us not just base our views on facts and judge them immediately. Let them handle their business. Let us not neglect the fact that when professionalism is forgotten, then it would be our responsibility to correct and/or have a mature way of handling the situation. But in the end, having a happy ever after or the other way around is just a matter of being able to do everything without prejudice. No matter who you will be and what you will become when you’re in love doesn’t immediately make you a villain or a hero. As long as you know how to handle things appropriately, there’s nothing wrong. What is the mistake in falling in love?
Source for ¶#2: eduphil.org/code-of-ethics-for-teachers-in-the-philippines.html