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Teachers here, how would these potential conflict of interest scenarios be handled


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Posted (edited)

My apologizes for the lousy title, couldn't think of a better one for this topic. Anyways, here are two questions of mine that I will ask in the form of hypothetical scenarios:

1.A 23 year old middle school teacher is looking for a new relationship on Tinder. She matches up with a 22 year old man who lives in the her same town as her. After going on a few dates, the pair really hit it off. However, she soon discovers that her potential boyfriend is the older brother of one of her students.

2.A 31 year old high school teacher is having her own 17 year old brother as one of her students. The school she is employed at is located at a rural town with a very small population. As you might expect, the school has a low budget, a limited amount of staff, and only offers the required courses. She is the only educator in the school one teaching a certain essential course. Thus her brother ending up in her class was unavoidable.

What would be the official policy for those situations? Would the teacher be technically allowed to carry on with the relationship in situation 1, or are there too many conflicts of interest at play for it to work out? In situation 2, would there be anything done to ensure that nepotism doesn't arise between the teacher and her younger sibling? If so, what such actions would the school take?

Furthermore, teachers here, have any of you been in similar situations to my scenarios? If so, how did you handle them?

Edited by Mysecondaccount
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Mysecondaccount said:

My apologizes for the lousy title, couldn't think of a better one for this topic.

Haven't read the rest of the post yet. 
 

But potential is spelled wrong. (Potetional) 

So is interest (intrest)

No worries, but you may want to correct the title at least since that’s the first thing people see. 

Edited by A True Kaniggit
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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, A True Kaniggit said:

Haven't read the rest of the post yet. 
 

But potential is spelled wrong. (Potetional) 

So is interest (intrest)

Thanks for pointing those typos in the title out, I have fixed them.

Edited by Mysecondaccount
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My dad had my brother for freshman English.  Wasn’t a big deal at all.

Long before that he also had his niece.  Also no issue.  Other than the fact his name is Tom... so since my cousin always called him Uncle Tom, he let the whole class do the same.  :lol: 

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1 hour ago, Mysecondaccount said:

My apologizes for the lousy title, couldn't think of a better one for this topic. Anyways, here are two questions of mine that I will ask in the form of hypothetical scenarios:

1.A 23 year old middle school teacher is looking for a new relationship on Tinder. She matches up with a 22 year old man who lives in the her same town as her. After going on a few dates, the pair really hit it off. However, she soon discovers that her potential boyfriend is the older brother of one of her students.

2.A 31 year old high school teacher is having her own 17 year old brother as one of her students. The school she is employed at is located at a rural town with a very small population. As you might expect, the school has a low budget, a limited amount of staff, and only offers the required courses. She is the only educator in the school one teaching a certain essential course. Thus her brother ending up in her class was unavoidable.

What would be the official policy for those situations? Would the teacher be technically allowed to carry on with the relationship in situation 1, or are there too many conflicts of interest at play for it to work out? In situation 2, would there be anything done to ensure that nepotism doesn't arise between the teacher and her younger sibling? If so, what such actions would the school take?

Furthermore, teachers here, have any of you been in similar situations to my scenarios? If so, how did you handle them?

My next door neighbour of the first house I grew up in (small village) ended up teaching her daughter for two years in primary school (ages 5-11 for those unfamilir with UK schools).

My mother-in-law taught my wife for certain subjects in primary school. Apparently my wife threw a piece of chalk at her once.

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My wife was our daughter's teacher in two different years of school.  My wife teaches AP classes, and my daughter needed AP classes, so that was how the schedule worked out.  I also know several other teachers' offspring at the Academy who have been in their respective parents' classes.  It was never a problem, so I don't see how either of these situations would necessarily be an issue.

Now in these situations there COULD be problems, but it would have to be because the people involved made bad decisions and caused bad blood between the participants by some of their actions.

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I’m not a teacher but neither scenario is a big deal.  There isn’t much at stake.

For #1, it might be smart for the teacher to defer the relationship until the end of the school year when the student moves on to another grade, or at least avoid personal visits to the home of her current student while they are her student.  And that’s only so that a teacher very early in her career doesn’t get drawn into any unhelpful gossip by immature middle-schoolers, and to allow boundaries for the student.  There’s no professional ethical concern, just that it may be better to maintain some boundaries as she is getting established in a new role early in her career.

#2 is not uncommon.  Many teachers in small communities end up with their children or nieces/nephew in their class at some point.  There’s no problem with it.  One minor concern is that a 17yr old is getting close to college applications, so the teacher should recuse themselves from writing any references or anything like that. 

Teachers have lots of scope to show favoritism toward students or bias in grading.  That consideration is not specific to situations like this.  Race, class, gender, personal affinity, brown-nosing, and many others factors could apply.  Teachers need to be fair and unbiased in general, and schools need to support and monitor this in general.

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8 hours ago, Mysecondaccount said:

My apologizes for the lousy title, couldn't think of a better one for this topic. Anyways, here are two questions of mine that I will ask in the form of hypothetical scenarios:

1.A 23 year old middle school teacher is looking for a new relationship on Tinder. She matches up with a 22 year old man who lives in the her same town as her. After going on a few dates, the pair really hit it off. However, she soon discovers that her potential boyfriend is the older brother of one of her students.

2.A 31 year old high school teacher is having her own 17 year old brother as one of her students. The school she is employed at is located at a rural town with a very small population. As you might expect, the school has a low budget, a limited amount of staff, and only offers the required courses. She is the only educator in the school one teaching a certain essential course. Thus her brother ending up in her class was unavoidable.

What would be the official policy for those situations? Would the teacher be technically allowed to carry on with the relationship in situation 1, or are there too many conflicts of interest at play for it to work out? In situation 2, would there be anything done to ensure that nepotism doesn't arise between the teacher and her younger sibling? If so, what such actions would the school take?

Furthermore, teachers here, have any of you been in similar situations to my scenarios? If so, how did you handle them?

When I was a student I saw parents who had their own kids in class and teachers date the parents of students. There was nothing done in any of those cases and no reason for anything to be done. Teachers are just people, and they get to have lives.

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Posted (edited)

I teach in a high school in a smallish town and such situations do appear (several children of the school's employees went or currently go to this school because it is the only one with this program in the region). But I am probably in another country than where you are, so my answer might or might not be relevant to you.

1. This situation isn't a conflict of interest at all. I don't see it as problematic. I find it odd that a 23-year-old works as a teacher though. In my country, you need a MA for a position in a public school, and hardly anybody finishes that by the time they are 23, let alone get a job at a school.

2. This one is trickier. A parent generally shouldn't teach their children - I never thought about a sibling situation, but I think it should be the same. If there is another teacher who teaches the same subject, the younger sibling/child of the teacher should be assigned to the class taught by another teacher. If this is really unavoidable ... maybe any oral testing and grading should be overseen by another member of the staff. And for any important tests (such as final exam at the end of high school), either a staff member from another school would be "borrowed", or the student would go take it at another school - I think our school did something like that for a student from another school who could otherwise be only examined by her mother (I think it was for an exam for a foreign language certificate),

Edited by Buckwheat
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2 hours ago, Buckwheat said:

I teach in a high school in a smallish town and such situations do appear (several children of the school's employees went or currently go to this school because it is the only one with this problem in the region). But I am probably in another country than where you are, so my answer might or might not be relevant to you.

1. This situation isn't a conflict of interest at all. I don't see it as problematic. I find it odd that a 23-year-old works as a teacher though. In my country, you need a MA for a position in a public school, and hardly anybody finishes that by the time they are 23, let alone get a job at a school.

I'm not a teacher, so I don't know how the process of becoming a teacher in my country exactly works. If I get anything wrong, please feel free to correct me. However, I recall reading somewhere that a some sort of bachelor's degree in teaching is required somewhere in the process. Would could earned shortly after collage graduation. I could be wrong on this, but I thought that the 22-25 age range was your typical starting point for a teacher.

As a related side note, I do picture in the first scenario, that is it the 23 year old's first year teaching.

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