Let me say first, that I hold a tremendous level of pride in my relationship building skills with students. I think that I’ve learned how I like to be in the office, how to relate with students in a collegial manner, but at the same time have avoided gray areas of what’s “right”, “ethical” or “appropriate.”
However, I’m running into a question that I haven’t really had to deal with before: what should my relationship with my students look like after I no longer supervise them?
I’m home this weekend for the first time since I left, to tie up a few clerical loose ends in my life. I went to the mall to celebrate being done with my old apartment complex, and I saw one of my students there. I asked her how she was, and she told me about life at work, and a few other things- standard sorts of things that would come up in our one-on-ones.
But then she told me information, gossip I suppose, that was uncomfortable for me to hear. Aside from how that information affects me personally, it was unsettling to hear because it made me feel that I had cultivated a relationship with her that made her think such talk was okay.
This is as much of a recount of my day as it is a call for advice, so I’ll throw this one to committee: how do you keep up with students after you no longer advise them? What does that relationship look like? What do you feel it should look like? What’s off limits?