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Caring former teacher

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  • Caring former teacher

    Just a little background, I am a freshman in college.
    I had a teacher in Highschool who was like an angel sent from God to help me during a very vulernable time where I was falling apart, and I had no family member to effectively support me, as my family is quite emotionally absent, and there's that language barrier.
    He is just overall a very strict teacher, with a boistrous personailty and at first, I genuinly thought he thought I was stupid and I was FRIGHTENED of him as lots of students are. Last year, senior year, I was dealing with mania, depression, dysfunctionality, and as my grades started dropping, he immediatly noticed a change. At first I started talking to him about the grades, then gradually the conversations started shifting more towards on "how are you doing... in life? whats going through your mind?"

    At that moment, I broke down, and he was expecting an intimate conversation because I had given him a hard time of ignoring his "stay after class", the meetings he tried holding in the guidance office, you can see all that he was trying to do to help me out. Given he is my psychology teacher, he really understood what was going on owhen I told him, and never in my life did I feel safe to trust anyone .... because I have trust issues.

    While I didnt "rely on him" by opening up to him, it was only like 2 deep converstation and the rest are more surficial ones while having to stay after school to complete my work.
    But believe me when I say, I dont mean this in a wierd way, it was like twinflame kinda connection, where I saw him like a fatherly figure. No ONE EVER made me feel this way. He'd know what I was feeling sometimes without me saying.... thats powerful. And dont forget when i said, he's really strict, very Type A and many students have told me "he dont care bout no students", but to see someone like him offer me that soft spot, that is something billions of people wouldnt be able to do or at least give me that feeling.

    Point of this is just to show you how important he was to me, and still is despite being an alumni. He was the only reason that prevented me from taking my own life, and he knew that because I thanked him, and it was just as meaninful to him as well. What tore me apart is, I wanted to visit, but just before I planned on stopping at my highschool, we recieve the shutdown news. I was so mad, because if I visit next year when school reopen, then theres that bit of connection lost, he wont remember blah blah. But also now since everything is virtual, I question how I can reach out to him?

    Also on Facebook, I see my fb friends befriend former teachers, and makes me wonder if its appropraite to send a request?
    I dont know, what do you think?

  • #2
    Thank you so much for reaching out to 2ndfloor. I am so happy you had the support of your teacher through some difficult times. Everyone needs a trusted adult that they can depend upon. If you feel uncomfortable reaching out to him on Social Media, why not try emailing him through his school email first? If he doesn't respond, try social media. Some teachers are fine with becoming friends with former students and some aren't. Again, I am so glad you reached out to 2ndfloor and please reach out anytime by message board, text or phone. We are available 24/7. Our number is 888-222-2228. Good luck and stay safe.


    • #3
      Thank you for your feedback! Also another thing if you don't mind:
      I also had a counselor who I absolutely adored, and just the same way, was all out and about to help me. However, when I reached out to her in November, it really seemed like I was a stranger to her. I know that some time had passed, but it was just very strange that such a strong connection such as that to die down like that, esspecially that it had never happened before with any former teacher/counselor, but whats the most interesting and unfortunate, is that she knew more and did more. I took that as she doesnt want anymore contact. And it obviously makes me feel so abondaned. But is she like not aware that you can be friends with a student once they graduate and outta the school system? I heard it is? Its so upsetting and unlucky that the people like her, who saw the most and did the most for me in ways that no one else has including my parents, just doesnt want contact. It's almost like that whole chapter got thrown away, if you can possibly make any sense of the devestation I feel about this. Is there anything I can tell her when and IF i visit to sorta understand if shes willing to continue a relationship? Is it reasonable to want still want her support: for instance if say I ran into a problem, to email her and ask for her advice and guidance? If she was free at that time?
      Is it that counselors are different than teachers in how they interact with former students because they don't want to be held responsible with a students emotional affair in which they dont have much control anymore?
      Whats going on here?
      Opinions? Insight?


      • #4
        Thats's great that you had a positive experience with a counselor in HS and whether or not they are still speaking you does not take away the help and support they gave. Often times those relationships change as they should and although (if ) you tried to reach out and they are not engaging in you the communication they may be busy or don't find it appropriate to have that relationship anymore. But again that does not wipe out your experience and the things that they did for you. People cross paths in life and are there when you need it and then move on and since this was school and you graduated that is a normal part of growing. If you want to try to reach out one last time and see how it goes that is up to you but just be okay with either outcome. Stay Safe and text or call 2NDFLOOR anytime at 888-222-2228.


        • #5
          When I do need it again, is it appropriate to reach out if I haven't developed a connection with anyone yet? Sometimes reaching out to someone who you already have a good rapport with is healing in itself (also they know ur backstory). I'd accept it either away, but I just want to know the other side of why it wouldnt be appropriate if it's not a frequent thing and I'm an alumni.


          • #6
            While some teachers are ok with becoming social media friends or continuing communication once you are no longer their students, others might feel it is overstepping their boundaries as teachers or counselors to have friendships with former students. It's not meant to be offensive to the student, but a professional boundary some teachers and counselors have that should be respected. Call or text 2NDFLOOR anytime at 888-222-2228 and good luck!


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