In this article, we look at signs a teacher is flirting with you, what they might do or say to show they are flirting with you, and what you can do about it.
Many students have a close relationship with their teachers, they adore and respect them in equal measure. However, sometimes the relationship between a teacher and student is inappropriate.
A teacher flirting with a student is inappropriate behavior. However, that does not stop some teachers from flirting with their students.
It is important to know that teachers are responsible for maintaining boundaries with their students.
All forms of romantic and flirting towards students are inappropriate and can result in legal actions under Penal Code 261 if the student is a minor.
However, it is an ethical issue if you are over 18 years old. In most universities, professor-student relationships are banned because they create an unfavorable working and learning environment.
According to Stanford University, teacher-student relationships can have adverse effects on the learning climate for other students during the relationship and after the breakup.
Signs A Teacher Is Flirting With You
If you think a teacher is flirting with you, maybe they are. But, sometimes, the signs are so subtle you may not know they are flirting with you.
So, here are some signs to look out for if you think your teacher is flirting with you.
1. Preferential Treatment
If a teacher is flirting with you, they will give you special treatment in class. The teacher will pay more attention to you than other students and may give you compliments you do not merit.
For instance, they will offer to help you in class while they do not offer to help other students who may be clearly struggling more than you are.
Moreover, if they catch you in trouble, they will not reprimand you the same way they would if someone else they caught in the same situation.
2. They Want To Spend Time With You Alone
If a teacher is flirting with you, they will want to spend time alone with you. Therefore, they will find excuses to have some alone time with you.
For instance, they may ask you to stay after class to review your work. They may also ask you about the class and how you would like it to improve.
That being said, sometimes the teacher is genuinely interested in reviewing your work and has no other motives.
However, if this happens a lot, the teacher may be flirting with you and wants to spend more time alone with you.
According to Charol Shakeshaft, a professor of educational leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University, these teachers are called fixated abusers, mostly found in the lower levels.
A teacher will offer extra help with your school work and gain your trust. After that, they will gain your parent’s trust and allow them to help you from home.
Then, as time goes by, they will start taking you on trips as they are well-trusted by your parents and other adults in your life.
They will start telling you how much they care about you and will start touching you sexually; the teacher will do this in an environment where you feel safe.
It is okay for a teacher to want to help their students, but if the attention is on one student, the teacher may be interested in the student and flirting with them.
3. They Are Being Extra Nice
If a teacher is flirting with you, they will be extra nice to you. They will say hi to you in the hallways and always use your name. This may not be apparent to you, but your friends and peers will notice.
Most times, they will compliment your dressing and do not bother complimenting other students.
According to Anna Salter, a psychologist and internationally known expert on sexual predators, fixated predators discussed above want to be likable and work hard towards it.
Often, popularity and likability are confused with trustworthiness. When the teacher is being nice to you, you will like them, leading to you trusting them.
4. They Will Physically Touch You
If a teacher makes an excuse to touch you, they are flirting with you. It is not the norm for teachers to touch their students in class or outside the learning environment.
So, if a teacher touches you in class, they may have a crush on you and are flirting with you.
For example, the teacher may place their hand on your shoulder when explaining something to you in class while they do not place their hand on other students.
They may also bump into you or rub shoulders with you when they pass near you in class or along the corridors.
On the other hand, if a teacher hugs you, they may be flirting with you. Often, in a teacher-student relationship, a teacher will not hug a student, and if they have to, maybe to comfort them after an ordeal, they will use side hugs and not intimate hugs.
So, if a teacher intimately hugs you, they may be flirting with you. Note the body language of the teacher, if the body language seems suggestive then it could be they are flirting with you.
5. They Give You Unnecessary Attention
If a teacher gives you unnecessary attention that may make you feel uneasy in class, they are flirting with you.
A teacher will give you more attention in class than they do to other students if they are flirting with you.
For instance, they will call on you more often than other students to answer questions, whether you raise your hand or not.
However, sometimes a teacher will give you attention if they notice there is something bothering you and want to open up to them, in such a case, you should not call out your teacher for flirting.
6. You Catch Them Looking At You
When someone likes you, they will not help but look at you and smile at themselves. So, if you often catch your teacher making eye contact with you and smiling, they could be flirting with you.
For instance, if you look up in class and find your teacher looking at you and they smile when you make eye contact, they may be flirting with you.
They may find you attractive and can’t resist looking at you, it can be more common in one-on-one sessions when you are alone with your teacher.
7. They Are Giving You Grades You Do Not Deserve
When a teacher is flirting with you, they will want to get into your good graces. One of the best ways to get students to like you is by giving them good grades. So, when a teacher is flirting with you, they will give you grades you do not deserve.
For instance, you may be a C student, but suddenly, you start getting As in the flirting teacher’s class, but when you look at the paper you have written, it does not warrant that grade.
No one hates getting a good grade, but when the teacher has ulterior motives, it is cause for concern.
It would be best to ask the teacher to give you a fair grade as this will cause an unhealthy learning environment for you when the other students know of it.
8. They Ask Personal Questions
If a teacher has suddenly developed an interest in your personal life and starts asking personal questions, they could be flirting with you. For example, they will want to know what you do after school or over the weekend.
Moreover, if a teacher wants to spend time with you outside school hours, it could be a sign they are flirting with you.
However, sometimes a teacher may ask personal questions if they notice a problem at home and are figuring out how to help.
For instance, you may have problems at home that make your grades slip; the teacher will ask personal questions to ascertain the problem and how to help.
According to the Victoria State Government Department of Education, teachers have a duty to protect their students. The teacher may, therefore, ask you questions to know if there is a problem at home.
9. They Want To Hang Out With After School Hours
If a teacher asks you where you hang out on weekends or after school and comes to those places, they may be flirting with you.
They want to meet you in a location you feel comfortable in and want to look cool and attractive so that you may like them.
According to Shakeshaft, in Know the Warning Signs of Educator Sexual Misconduct, another type of abuser, apart from the fixated abuser, is the opportunistic abuser.
The opportunistic abuser teacher tends to spend a lot of time hanging around groups of students, talking to them and going to the places they would go, trying to blend in.
These are teachers who want to seem cool to the students. So, if your teacher asks you personal questions about where you spend your weekends and after-school hours, they want you to see them as part of your peer group.
10. They Follow You On Social Media
Another sign your teacher is flirting with you is if they are following you online. It is inappropriate for teachers to look for their students online and follow them.
So, if your teacher follows you online, comments, and likes your posts, they are flirting with you.
The teacher may not say anything that will make you think they are flirting. Still, the fact they are following you and interacting with you on social media shows they want to stay in touch even when you are not at school, which goes deeper than a normal teacher-student relationship.
11. They Give You Gifts
It is not unusual for a teacher to give gifts to their students. However, they will gift the whole class if they did something commendable or give a small gift to the high-performing student to motivate the other students to do better.
However, if your teacher gives you gifts and does not give other students, it may be because they are flirting with you.
Gifting is one of the ways people show affection, and the teacher may tell you they like you by giving you gifts.
12. They Call Or Text After School Hours
If a teacher calls or texts you after school, they may like you and are flirting with you. In the beginning, the conversations will be innocent and about school work.
However, after some time, the conversations will get more into personal topics, with the teacher asking you what you do after school and may even ask to meet you.
The teacher may want you to talk on personal topics and is interested in your living arrangement and even ask who you are in a relationship with.
Related Readings: 11 Signs Your Teacher Hates You
What To Do When A Teacher Is Flirting With You
Feelings are natural. A teacher having feelings for a student is inappropriate, and as a student, you may feel powerless when a teacher is flirting with you; you may be confused about what to do. Here are some things you can do if a teacher flirts with you.
Remain professional; if a teacher is flirting with you, stay professional and maintain your distance from the teacher, do not flirt back.
However, it would be best if you were not rude to the teacher as some are vindictive and may fail you for refusing their advances. I had a teacher fail me a course once in college for this.
Report– if you are a minor and a teacher is flirting with you, you should report the teacher to the administration.
Reporting may cost the teacher their job. However, getting the teacher out of the system is better as they may be a sexual predator.
Suppose you are an adult in a tertiary learning institution, and a teacher is flirting with you. In that case, you may pursue the relationship if you have the same feelings toward the teacher.
It is not always doom and gloom. Sometimes beautiful love stories come from people who met as professors and students in schools.
However, if this is the cause, you should report the relationships to the necessary authorities in the school, and the professor should recuse themselves from being your teacher. You can pursue the relationship when you are no longer in their class.
It’s confusing when a teacher is flirting with you. Relationships between teachers and students are banned by most school policies.
They are inappropriate and outright illegal if the student is a minor. Teacher-student relationships lead to conflicts of interest, biases, and favoritism.
There are many signs that show a teacher is flirting with you; they include; unnecessary attention, giving a gift and undeserved grades, physical touch, asking personal questions, following you on social media, and texting and calling after school hours.
If a teacher is flirting with you, you should maintain professionalism and keep your distance from them. You should also report them to the appropriate authorities.
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Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.