Saturday, March 31, 2018
I've always thought "no way." In my opinion, it clearly violates appropriate teacher-student boundaries. That's even more true today given the #metoo phenomenon and everyone's extra sensitivity about the potential for a sexual harassment claim whether the offending conduct is intentional or not. If you disagree about whether you should refrain from hugging your students, maybe this post from educational scholar and Stanford Professor Emeritus Larry Cuban might change your mind. In his post, Professor Cuban summarizes an informal poll of physicians (published previously at the website Medscape.com), who, like teachers, also work in a so-called "caring profession." The survey found that most doctors think it's inappropriate and unprofessional to have that sort of physical contact with patients. As one doctor said, if the goal is to show your patients that you care, be a good listener rather than a hugger. That sounds right to me too.
Read Professor Cuban's full post on the topic here.