By the way, Jack is 18, openly gay, 6`-2", blonde, blue-eyed, cute, very smart and rather gawky.
At the end of class, he presented me with the drawing shown at left. Except for the hair (I don`t have a curlicue of hair down my forehead) I think that the drawing looks very much like me.
To the bloggers who have met me, what do you think of the likeness?
But I thought, "Oh, my!".... and the "student crush" alarm bells started ringing in my head. The next day, Jack was absent from school and on his return he told me, "I missed you." He could have said he missed being at school or missed the class but he missed ME. Again, yikes!
Student crushes are an occupational hazard of being a teacher. I`ve been the object of a great many such crushes over the past twenty years and the majority have involved young male students.
Early in my career, I found these crushes extremely awkward because, well, it seemed so weird that a teenage boy would feel this way about me. It was just unnatural! I was 10 - 15 years away from any self-awareness that I was gay. But somehow, these young men sniffed out my gayness anyway.
Routine conversations include much stammering and nervousness with frequent glances at my bulbous groin region. The student may make frequent visits to where I`m sitting at the teacher`s desk to ask for help, sometimes standing too close or even pressing against me a bit.
I generally ignore such behaviour and take care to never be alone with the student in the classroom. In our province, the repercussions for a sex scandal involving teachers and their students are severe.
With more serious crushes, I have had male students invite me out to lunch dates, evening parties and fun activities such as laser tag, paintball and bowling. In these cases, I always say the same thing: "I'm sorry, I can't. If I had been 16, I would have been thrilled to be invited. But as a teacher, I just can't attend events with students. It`s just not possible. But thanks for the invitation."
The young men seem to receive this explanation well and the crush usually runs its course, or the student graduates. Occasionally, a former student with a crush will resurface such as the gorgeous young man who told me "You look hot!" or the student who groped me at Pride this year and pestered me for sex.
But, there's always another student crush coming along. I used to think that as I became a decrepit, worn-out old fart, these schoolboy crushes would stop. But so far, this hasn't happened.