Teachers are living under such great pressure.
I came to my conclusion way back when I was in university, and was doing a part-time job coaching the debate team at my former high school. On a Friday afternoon, when the classes are, I walked into a classroom finding all four of my students in a circle, in one distant corner of the classroom. They were huddled together, boys and girls, whispering excitedly about something in one's smartphone.
Obviously it was porn.
"Hey, what are you guys doing? Checking out porn, aren't you?" I said
"No, no... Come here, you should see this!" one of them, a girl, replied to me.
Obviously it was not porn.
They showed me screen shots of a text message conversation, about five or six in total. They were certainly of lovers; who were about to be separated by the man's marriage to someone the parents had choosen for him. The texts felt cheesy, it sounds very much like something out of cheap romance novels or some teenagers' Facebook status ("I coudn't live without you" were a lot, so are "you'll always be my cutie pie even when we are apart, I wish destiny were not so cruel like this").
"You guys have a bad taste," I said, returning the phone back to its owner.
"No, you don't understand... This one was of Mr. A!"
I almost dropped the phone before the owner managed to catch it. The name gave a familiar ring as my former science teacher in 11th grade. A quiet, good-looking man in his late twenties.
"Mr.A!? Those were his!? Oh my God, he's into those things!?"
"Oh, even better: this is between her and B, my classmate. They've been together in the past year. But Mr.A is getting married, so they have to break up."
I dropped my jaw.
"Everyone knows about this," said a boy. "Well, at least us the students. Most teachers don't. Parents don't."
"How did you get this? How do you know it's real? Someone could have made it up."
Suddenly, all of them kids turned their attention to the last boy, who had been silent throughout the conversation.
"He took it for all of us."
For the rest of the day, I chose to remain silent about the scandal.
But I just cannot get it out of my head. My former science teacher had an affair with a student. Who would have thought - even though, I do recall seeing girls going head over heels for him during my high school years, thanks to his good look. But that he would actually take their daydreaming further, and that he would actually date one of his students in his spare time. I still find it hard to believe.
Maybe it is true that teachers were a person after all. With all their complexity. There were part of themselves that they do not understand, the way we could not understand ourselves when we are in love. They were prone to scandals and fell into tricks, like one of my students had done to his best friend. Taking screenshot of her private text message and all.
The fact that they were educators, and having such scandal would be a threat to their reputation and career.
I do not have it in my heart to judge his actions.
Because teachers are living under such great pressure.
Created: Apr 22, 2014animenur Document Media