6 common reactions when students bump into their teachers on the street
So teachers have lives outside of school (we do?) and when in a small town or country we often see our students out and about after-school. While we may offer them a wave and a greeting students tend to see it a different way. Here are six reactions you probably received from some students, not because they’re rude, but because they didn’t expect to bump into you and did the first thing that came to mind. In fact, some of us have actually done these ourselves when we were students!
Who are you? I don’t know you.
When a teacher appears out of nowhere beyond the classroom, no student will expect that. The first reaction to something unexpected is not to react. Ignore, ignore, ignore. It’s not that they were planning to be rude. In fact, some teachers also pretend not to see their students outside of school, especially the mischievous ones.
Raise your hands if you’ve experienced this.
Sometimes when you see a student first and manage to get their attention with a smile or a wave of recognition, they would probably return the token and run. Well, they don’t always run, usually they walk away fast or dip into a nearby store to avoid interaction with us. Why? We’re not that scary…
We all dread a potentially awkward, long walk to the junction. So we appreciate a cordial hello and a fast-walk into a nearby store. Because if you don’t do it, we probably will make it awkward and ask you if you’ve done your homework before rewarding yourself with that ice-cream in hand.
Where do I hide?
Students are almost always embarrassed when we talk to them outside of school. School is an intimate and private world and students don’t like us to divulge it in public. Especially when we talk about a recent grade or how great of a student they are to their parents or friends. A kid would feel proud if he’s praised, but not in front of his cool friends who’ll highly likely poke fun at him when we leave. Especially if he just regaled to them how cool he was at school.
Can we go now?
Bumping into students on the streets can take a chatty turn if the parents recognise you as their child’s teacher. Depending on where you chance upon each other, the conversation can steer towards what’s in your shopping cart or if the steak if great at this restaurant. It will inevitably lead to an inquiry on their child’s performance at school. This is when the student’s face will cringe. You can continue the conversation, invite the parents to your table or make it brief, depending on how well-behaved the kid was in class.
There have been many teachers seen in rather strange places… and sometimes students will keep it to themselves and respect a teacher’s privacy. Other times, the information would spread like wildfire, depending on the location you bumped into each other. Were you having a public tiff? Having a really fun night out? A snap and a tweet could get you places on the internet, and that’s not always a good thing.
We don’t suggest becoming a shut in for the sake of privacy though, just don’t get caught in potentially embarrassing situations!
OMG, you have friends!
How surreal was it when you were a student and saw your teacher after-school, out and about? Students still feel that way when they realize we have friends, enjoy a bit of fun and live a life. We were once young and we were once students too, you know!