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Teachers Hugging and Touching Students – Is it wrong?

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Hugging is something you tend to do to your friends, family, people you feel warm towards and not something you would expect from a Teacher to his/her students, but sometimes it can’t be helped.


Teacher Hugging


“It can’t be helped?”

What I mean is this. Example. I teach adults and on the last academic day before Christmas – after having snacks, drinks, exchange of gifts, cards etc everyone leaves. Most students give me a Hug before they leave. Some kiss on the cheeks twice or maybe not quite on the cheeks. Some simply wave goodbye.This also happens at the end of an Academic year where students leave for another class. I would feel awkward if I said “don’t hug me” etc. So, in the spirit of festivities or end of term, I’m polite about it and Hug them back, knowing that it means nothing more than best wishes. ~ Farewell Hug?

If a student is distraught, has just had some bad news, some teachers give a comforting Hug. Also it could be that a student who started learning with you and hadn’t got a clue how to string a sentence together. (E.g ESOL Adult learner). Later in the year, they come up to you looking proud and say they have found a very good Job. Sometimes, you just want to Hug them because you know how far they’ve come and you are happy for them. ~ Encouraging Hug or Congratulating Hug?

Having written this, I feel Teachers should still be wise about it. I visit some websites and have read posts about teen girls being attracted to their male Teacher. Maybe if a teacher knows someone has a crush on them, then instead of hugging - just offer a handshake.


Innocent Hugging at work turns to Sexual Assault Claim

GP who Hugged Crying patient recently cleared of sexual Assault in Dec 09.

Patient’s complaint: “She had complained that he had put a comforting arm around her while she was crying.” Full story


Sometimes, it so happens that Teachers touch students. I’ve had an instance where a student cried in class and it just seemed normal for me to pat/rub her shoulders a little bit, for comfort. We were doing an exercise on Jobs and she just burst into tears. She then told the class that a few days ago, she had gone for a test for a job (some jobs have tests before interview) she said the people were horrible to her and made her feel so bad etc. She was Chinese, with little knowledge of English at the time, so must have found it difficult to communicate and they were inconsiderate.

Now for men, I would talk to them softly, ask if I can get them a drink or if they’d like to go home. etc (I’ve had a case where a man was upset due to bereavement). For some strange reason, my brain cells don’t communicate with my hands, as much as I would like to comfort a male student in distress. I feel bad about it but, The “education system” rings bells in my head. One has to be so careful in education nowadays - even something as simple as taking kids out for swimming lessons and taking innocent pics of them, could be seen in a “negative” way.

Sometimes, professionally - innocent gestures can get people into trouble.


Scroll to Continue

Even Politicians Hug.....


So, in summary, I don’t think there is anything wrong in Hugging Students. As long as it’s not a daily occurrence. Teachers should be wise about it (maybe think twice) and if there is a student who likes to Hug them everyday when they come to class, then I think they might have to have a quiet word with the student. It would be interesting to know what others feel about this issue. Thank you for reading.

~ Update ~

Very sensitive Topic - There are over 150 comments below from people expressing their opinion on this.

Loving this Hug. :-)



Terra Simpsom on August 03, 2015:

It's so nice to be in a class where respect is a must.

Terra Simpson on July 15, 2015:

I took the cutest video of my bird last week. The funny thing is her normal routine is the first thing she wants when I take her out of her cage is a head scratch. She loves it when I turn on BP music that I hear every week.

Elena (author) from London, UK on June 20, 2015:

It's nice that you smiled at her, it's her loss if she can't be nice to you back.

Terra Simpson on June 12, 2015:

I saw my ex-teacher Heather on Wed and I smiled at her but all I got was a stern look from her. I did nothing to her at all. The only thing that I did was go to her and ask her if Doug could come visit her class.

Elena (author) from London, UK on April 18, 2015:

I'm not sure what to write, Terra....but if he makes you feel uncomfortable, let him know. Take care.

Terra Simpson on April 15, 2015:

I finally figured out why nobody in my Wed night class liked Doug showing up. It's all because he talked to them and that they thought he was a nuience. I thought it was a little odd at first when he came around the first time to see what I was doing. He must've been looking at me and I never knew it.

Elena (author) from London, UK on March 09, 2015:

That's good to know Terra,

Keep your circle positive. :-)

Terra Simpson on March 04, 2015:

I promise I'll stop complaining,

Terra Simpson on January 28, 2015:

I know I should. My dad already talked with Doug on Monday and he's forgiven me for it. I now have confidence and faith in the Lord that he never hated me.

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 28, 2015:

Terra, I'm sure the Management care about their members. Feel free to speak to them or contact them about anything on your mind. It will help you feel settled within you too.

Terra Simpson on January 09, 2015:

I hate to tell you this. I don't do Twitter. Sorry

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 09, 2015:

@Mio Cid That's very interesting and culture is important.

Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 09, 2015:

Hi Terra, Happy New Year to you. As you know I'm hardly here and have missed some of your messages. Sorry about your stolen IPAD. Have you found it or did your parents buy you a new one? Anyway take care. Good luck with studies this year.

You can always tweet me @LadyELenaUK

I will reply much quicker. :-) xx

Terra Simpson on January 09, 2015:

Doug practically scared me to death on Monday night. I was just sitting on a bicycle at the gym and I feel this smack with a clipboard and I look over and it was him. He had to go train somebody. That didn't stop him from saying hi to me and we talked for a couple of minutes. Before he left, he did put his hand on my shoulder.

mio cid from Uruguay on December 28, 2014:

loosely related to the subject I just realized a few years ago that here in the United States what I always thought to be a joke or something that wasn 't for real what they call here your "Personal Space"is not only very real to people of anglo saxon,or germanic descent but it is very important they protect this even between family members ,which is really inconceivable in the broad latin culture.

Terra Simpson on December 05, 2014:

My iPod got stolen on Wed night in the gym classroom. I'm still trying to figure it out to. I remember the fitness manager Doug and I talking and him telling me that he was going to come to my class. So, I left went out and stretched for awhile. Went in and set up and then left again going to find out when he was going to come in. Then later on after class instead of stopping and checking my bag. I went home called found nothing out. So, I called again yesterday and talked to Doug again because he was the last person that saw me with it. He told me that when things like that happen, generally things don't come back. Tonight I found out that you can track a stolen device but I don't think it's possible with iPods. I tell you one thing. Know matter what my classmates say about the fitness manager, I trust him so much. If it wasn't for him, my teacher Jackie and my teacher Heathers husband Mike I don't know what I'd do. None of my classmates talk to him as much as I do. One more comment from my classmates or teacher then I will sick Jackie on them as well as the actual manager Joe.

Elena (author) from London, UK on November 08, 2014:

That's great Terra, hope you get a positive response.

I'm sure you will.

Terra Simpso on November 06, 2014:

I finally told Dora by a message telling her how I feel.

Terra Simpson on October 22, 2014:

I'm sorry that I've been overwhelming. I promise that I'll stop. Please forgive me?

Terra Simpson on October 13, 2014:

I've just given up altoghether.

Elena (author) from London, UK on October 10, 2014:

@Terra ~I am glad you have found a teacher who cares for you and understands you. Enjoy the weekend. :-)

Terra Simpson on October 09, 2014:


Terra Simpson on October 01, 2014:

My teacher told me how good I was looking. She's lucky that I did not break out into tears. That's something that Dora used to say. There are so many things that I want to tell her about how I feel.

Elena (author) from London, UK on August 31, 2014:

I hope the situation turns around.

Ps don't let it upset you. x

Sometimes you just have to give things / people time.

Elena (author) from London, UK on August 24, 2014:

Sorry, to read about that.

Don't let it cast a shadow over the summer hols. x

Terra Simpson on August 01, 2014:


My reconnection with Dora has turned into a disaster. I sent her to many messages and about 9:00 on Tuesday night I got a message from her asking me to not send her anymore messages. That of course threw me into a fit of rage and sadness. I spent all day on Wed seculding myself from everybody. My poor teacher Kelly even noticed. I hope my teacher Jackie does not ask how I've been doing. I know she might.

Terra Simpson on July 29, 2014:

It's so funny being called dear, being told how good I'm looking and how skinny I'm getting, being hugged and winked at by my ex teacher Dora and being called a stretching gorgeous by a female classmate and I'm female to. I was just sitting outside the classroom waiting for class to start just stretching and I had this female classmate walk right past stopped took one look at me and said " well, hello stretching gorgeous." That sounds like something that Dora would say.

Terra Simpson on July 28, 2014:

You got that right. I'm definitely going to keep that to myself.

Elena (author) from London, UK on July 27, 2014:


Good. Keep it that way. :-)

Terra Simpson on July 26, 2014:

At least we are reconnected. I was always living in a state of fear that she always hated me. Turns out she never did. I was just going through something with a co worker that abandoned me the week after I started strength training and the moment I showed up in Dora's class I just let myself look at her as a friend and not a teacher and that's something I have not told her because I'm afraid it'll destroy what The Lord has done so far.

Elena (author) from London, UK on July 26, 2014:


"Well?" your wrote. lol.

Sorry, I've been busy so haven't been online. Dora is a sweet Teacher. She reminds me of myself. Quite a few students I have taught even 5 years ago, are in touch with me, telling me how life is going etc.

So, I wouldn't call it Love with Dora, but obviously she cares for you and is naturally a caring person. Such people will encourage / inspire / advise you and always want the best for you. Their door is always open, so you are lucky in that way.

Hope you are enjoying summer hols. :-)

Elena (author) from London, UK on July 05, 2014:

I have never watched Lord of the Rings. :-)

Terra Simpson on July 01, 2014:

Seems how my teacher Jackie and I love The Lord Of The Rings movies. I always want to impersonate Gollum who is one of the characters. Have you ever heard of that before?

Terra Simpson on June 24, 2014:

I ran into Dora again last night. I could not resist throwing my arms around her. She also threw her arms around me and just as I was walking away I heard her say " it was so nice to see you again dear." Thats's the first time that she's ever called me that. If my dad wasn't walking towards the stairs or if he was still on the treadmill, I could've had a picture taken with her. I get complaining every once in awhile about her and I just want to tell them to shut up and tell them of my experience with her as my teacher and the help, how she made me feel special and how she just guided me through every class knowing that I was still kind of a newbie.

Terra Simpson on May 19, 2014:

Good idea at least I know that she's never hated me after I left her class.

I'm just going to quit saying that I'm never going to run into her again. Because if I do, I will. Have you ever heard of a teacher and student having the same taste in movies?

Elena (author) from London, UK on May 19, 2014:

@Terra That's nice. Maybe you could get her a "Thank you" card or write her a short poem. She would appreciate that.

Terra Simpson on May 16, 2014:

To tell you the truth I do miss having her as a teacher. She was just so helpful to me. I need to tell her that. It would probably melt her heart wouldn't it?

Terra Simpson on May 16, 2014:

After the first time I ran into her I thought I'm never going to run into her again. So what happens, I run into her again for the second time. I feel like she's become my shadow. It's kinda funny. One of them actually noticed how I walk pigeon toed and my teacher Jackie did not let me get away very quickly. She just told me that it could lead to a knee injury.

Elena (author) from London, UK on April 16, 2014:

Hi Terra, I do Hubpages, but not as regular as before. Nice to hear from you. Dora is nice and it seems like she cares for you. It's nice to know people who stop and have time to chat and check how you are. Actions speak a lot. Anyway, have a lovely Easter. xx

Terra Simpson on April 14, 2014:

I completely understand that you don't do hubpages anymore and I don't do facebook. I really want to say that I ran into my ex- group exercise instructor Dora on Sat after class. I had no clue that she was there till I felt a hand rubbing my arm and my name being called. We did get to talk for a couple of minutes though. Not to mention she still did the normal visual appearance of my phisical appearance and complimented me on it and did not leave till she gave me a side hug.

Terra Simpson on October 03, 2013:

Nice thought. I got rid of my Facebook account a very long time ago. I found it a problem because I was sending messages to my ex teacher Dora to much.

Elena (author) from London, UK on October 02, 2013:

Terra, this is an article. It's for comments.

You can chat to me or post to me as many times as you want on and I will always give you answers.

I don't visit Hubpages often.

Take care. (◕‿◕)

Elena (author) from London, UK on September 22, 2013:

You can sign up to Hubpages and post as many pictures as you want, Terra. I think you will like it.

Terra Simpson on September 19, 2013:

Is there any way I can post pictures on this page? I had so much fun fun!!!!!!!!!!! I managed to get a picture taken with my teacher Kelly. There is this wall just outside the classroom and so just as she was walking up, I said " Kelly look at me." I bent over backwards. I don't think I've ever seen her laugh so hard. She's used to me.

Elena (author) from London, UK on August 28, 2013:

That's lovely, Terra

Hope you have enjoyed the summer holidays. :-)

Terra Simpson on July 16, 2013:

Several months ago my group exercise teacher who is a woman told me how good I was looking. Her name is Kelly. Then she asked the Yoga teacher Alicia if she thought the same thing. Do you think she might have a little affection for me in a good way?

Elena (author) from London, UK on July 11, 2013:

No idea, Kelly - but I hope you enjoy the Summer Hols. :-)

Terra Simpson on July 10, 2013:

My teacher Kelly is back to winking at haranging me again. Is that normal for a teacher like that to do something like that every week? Do you think that she might have affection for me? She also does something special for her students each month who has a birthday. I mean if she was not fond of her students. Why else would she not be doing that?

Terra Simpson on May 27, 2013:

Now I get it. Dough!

Terra Simpson on May 27, 2013:

Do you mean the term teachers pet?

Elena (author) from London, UK on May 26, 2013:

Terra Simpson on May 24, 2013:

What do you mean pet name?

Terra Simpson on May 20, 2013:

Thanks for your help. I had my teachers husband asking me two weeks ago why I have'nt been in class.

Elena (author) from London, UK on May 17, 2013:

Some Teachers might use it as a Pet name, Terra.

Terra Simpson on April 26, 2013:

Is it normal for a female group exercise teacher to call a student baby? Is that a term of affection?

Elena (author) from London, UK on April 18, 2013:

That's Interesting to know Terra. Good Luck with any upcoming Exams.

Terra Simpson on April 18, 2013:

I finally got after a classmate of mine last night in my strength training class. She decided to walk right between the instructor and I.

Terra Simpson on April 04, 2013:

Don't worry. I was talking to one of my teachers Kelly last night after class. She told me know sugar for me at all. Because I was so wired. When she starts being sarcastic then I just join right in. I think my sub Curt is going to show up again this Sat and next Sat.

Elena (author) from London, UK on April 04, 2013:

~There's nothing wrong with a teacher saying "I love you guys." Teachers tend to bond with the kids they teach. She is just showing that she has a heart for you all. Take care.

Terra Simpson on March 30, 2013:

I don't think I've ever had a teacher say " I love you guys" to a group of students and actually mean it. This is a teacher who is female. She's not the type of person who would touch anyone of her students. However, she does have a genuine concern and careing nature for her students . Her main conern is every week that everybody is careful and no injuries. I told her about the candy and she just syarted to laugh.

Terra Simpson on February 27, 2013:

Thankyou very much. I was just curious. I don't know how my teachers put up with me. My poor ex- teacher Dora really had to put up with me. She always laughed at every thing that I did and always getting compliments.

Elena (author) from London, UK on February 27, 2013:

Touchy Feely .... people who touch you lightly (tap on the shoulder etc) when they talk. To them it's a natural habit. Not necessarily a negative thing.

Terra Simpson on February 24, 2013:

What does touchy-feely mean? I went to get up out my seat last night after church and went to stretch a little bit and I felt a little twinge in my lower back. That's what happens when you are pushing your three year old nephew around on his bike so he dose'nt fall off.

Elena (author) from London, UK on February 16, 2013:

@Love Doctor

Hi, thanks for your comment. I'm glad you noted: "Sometimes hugs and touching can be misconstrued for something that is not."

So, it will always be on the mind of Teachers even if they want to reach out because sometimes we feel like "Mother Hens".


Terra Simpon on February 15, 2013:

I could not resist leaving a sheet of paper for my sub Curt tonight. I decorated it with stick people with weights and I named them. I also left some funny comments that I said every week. Basically it was his last and final laugh until he comes back to sub. I know he's going to laugh.

lovedoctor926 on February 13, 2013:

Hi Lady_E, I definitely think it's wrong especially when it involves male teachers and teenage or adolescent girls. First, it's unprofessional and unethical and second these girls can file sexual harassment charges against their professor for touching them inappropriately. Sometimes hugs and touching can be misconstrued for something that is not.

Elena (author) from London, UK on February 13, 2013:

Teachers see you differently and psychology helps them understand why you do the things you do. Nice to know you are enjoying school.

Best Wishes.

Terra Simpson on February 10, 2013:

I cannot believe how much I tormented my poor sub. He just laughed away. My Wed night BP teacher Kelly and I are always tormenting each other. So, that's nothing new. With all of the subs that I've had. I'm going to put Curt at the top of the list.

Terra Simpson on February 09, 2013:

Any opinions on that?

Terra Simpson on February 09, 2013:

I was really full of myself this morning. I left a sheet of paper for my sub saying that I was wired and hyper as I could be along with attack and charge. He read it and just started laughing. Every time he opened his mouth, I was always saying something. He'll have a lot of memories of me while he was subbing. Yes, he did look and watch me a lot every time I walked past him. I was looking at the clock today every once in awhile and I knew he was looking at me. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that he just laughs a lot and that he told me that I humor him.

Terra Simpson on February 09, 2013:

I think my sub Curt enjoyed having me in the class.

Terra Simpson on February 09, 2013:

Would anyone consider it weird getting looked and watched all the time by a sub? I don't

Terra Simpson on February 06, 2013:

I agree with that. My teacher Kelly told me last week that she was going to let me get away with listening to my ipod only that night.I knew she was kidding. I think my sub Curt just laughs at everything. I was setting up for class and singing along to my music and he just stood there watching me and almost started laughing.

Elena (author) from London, UK on February 05, 2013:

They are a popular music Group, but Praise and Worship is calmer. :-)

Terra Simpson on February 01, 2013:

Is anyone familiar with a group called The Black Eyed Peas at all? I'm not. I only listen to Praise and worship music. I just can't stand the music that is played in my BP classes. There's only one teacher that knows and understands my opinion. It's hard to get away from it.

Terra Simpson on January 31, 2013:

I just found out last night that my sub Curt who's been teaching since the begging of December is going to be teaching for the next three weeks of this month.

Terra Simpson on January 27, 2013:

Any opinions on what I said? This week marks my 2 year of strentght training and causes for a celebration. Any ideas?

Terra Simpson on January 26, 2013:

I made the mistake of complaining and my sub just smiled at me. I think he had a blast just watching me in class. I don't know how he put up with me every week in class. I was listening to my ipod and he had no problem with that. I was really full of myself this week especially today and I think all of my teachers noticed including him. I had my phone next to me and my sub just kept looking at me. I did't mind at all. That's all of the news this week. I was giving my friend a hard time on my way out and my poor sub just laughed.

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 26, 2013:

Hello Terra

Nice to know you are enjoying School. Your Teachers will always remember you with a smile. I have no ideas about post-workout meal, sorry - that's because I hardly exercise, but do a quick search on google. G/Luck. :-)

Terra Simpson on January 25, 2013:

Any ideas on a post-workout meal? Especially after a really intense arobics work-out.

Terra Simpson on January 25, 2013:

I made my arobics teacher crack up so bad tonight. I think she loves having me in the class. She's always smiling at me and always sems to be concened about me. She's never touched me. I can just tell though.

Terra Simpson on January 24, 2013:

This will make you laugh. Two weeks ago, I was setting up for class and I was just singing along to my music dragging my bar across the floor. Not knowing that my sub was just standing there watching me. That was until I looked over. He almost started laughing along with me. He even told me I humor him.

Terra Simpson on January 21, 2013:

I just talked to a friend of mine and she was telling me the sub that I had along time ago who touched me on my back. Nui is her name. Anyways, she remembered me.

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 21, 2013:

Hi Terra - Thanks for your comments. I read them and reading b/w the lines, I note you have a lovely heart of gratitude. People who are grateful in life, only attract more goodness, favour. People can't help but like them..... and that is part of why you are experiencing beautiful acceptance and enjoying your school experience.

Keep it up - You will go places.


Elena x

Terra Simpson on January 16, 2013:

Is it normal for a teacher to call on one student every week? Witch just happens to be me. Any opinions on that?

Terra Simpson on January 16, 2013:

I guess it's just easy for me to have condidence in my teachers. Because, I've been blessed my whole life from pre-shool all the way to high school even ice skating, horseback riding and piano lessons with some of the most wonderful teachers. Even now getting to work with some wonderful teachers at the school where I graduated from and group exercise teachers that accept and love me for who I am.

Terra Simpson on January 15, 2013:

I also agree with that. My teachers are just so warm and welcoming to all of there students. I was singing along to my music and setting up for a class and I turned around and my sub was just standing there watching me. My sub told me that I humor him a lot. Of course, I just laughed.

Terra Simpson on January 15, 2013:

I pray a lot of people have confidence in there teachers like I do.

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 14, 2013:

Hello Terra, it's nice to read your comments. I don't log in to Hubpages everyday. I just read and approved 3 of your comments now in a row. Also, what you share will encourage others to have more confidence in their Teachers. Remember the shooting incident in America last month, Teachers lost their lives because they were shielding/protecting the kids, though sadly some kids still died.

There are some lovely Teachers out there.

Have a lovely week, Elena.

Terra Simpson on January 13, 2013:

Am I talking to much about my teachers touching me? I'm sorry if I am. Please forgive me?

Terra Simpson on January 12, 2013:

I had a former groupn exercise teacher named Jodi that I had along time ago back when I was learning how to use weights teaching today. It brought back memories. She's subbed more then once and she used to have a class at the gym I go to until it got cancelled because of the size. Anyways, whenever she comes we just have a copuple of minutes to talk witch is really nice, What can I say? She did put her hand on my arm. I think she does mis seeing my smiling face around with my personality. I left her a note before class that she got the biggest kick out of.

Terra Simpson on January 11, 2013:

I'm so thankful for teachers that understand there students. I was just talkng to one of them tonight after class. My teachers are always smiling and reasurring me. Yes two of them have touched me. I never find it akward. That's how they are.

Terra Simpson on January 11, 2013:

I used to get a lot of compliments on how good I was looking because of all the hard work with weights from an ex teacher who is a woman.

Terra Simpsom on January 10, 2013:

It's funny being the young person being out of the group though. I've been in her so class for so long. No wonder she calls me out so often. I work in a small Christaian school that I graduated from and I'm always being found by a couple of kids. It's not a big place either.

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 10, 2013:

@Terra - All Teachers are different and from what I have read, you don't feel awkard. Example, If I feel someone needs extra support. In class, quite a few times, I will give them the thumbs up and smile at them - that gives them a lot of confidence. In your situation, she winks at you lol.

Some Teachers are so stern.... (well, they put on a stern hat) and some are just so laid-back and you feel so much at ease with them.

It's just a wink, maybe to re-assure you.

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 10, 2013:

@LoveDoctor - Lol at Male Professors keeping a poker face. The poor guys just can risk losing their jobs. Thanks for stopping.

@Xstatic - Totally agree. I appreciate you stopping by.


Terra Simpson on January 09, 2013:

It's kinda funny sweating with old people in a group setting and having a female teacher that calls on you every week. That just happens to be me as a matter of fact. She does wink at me a lot during class though. An opinions on that?

Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on January 09, 2013:

I think you are handling it perfectly. It would be scary as a male teacher today, well, female too I suppose. Billybuc is the voice of experince.

lovedoctor926 on January 09, 2013:

In my opinion, I find teacher hugging and touching inappropriate unless like you mentioned it's on the last academic day before Christmas – after having snacks, drinks, exchange of gifts, cards etc everyone leaves. Male professors need to keep that poker face at all times and remain professional or risk losing your job.

Elena (author) from London, UK on January 09, 2013:

Hi Terra, you could give her a card, or flowers or something you would love to from your heart and once she receives it that would touch her heart. I don't know her personality, but if she is someone warm, I'm sure she won't mind a hug.....but just go with the flow so that afterwards, you don't feel awkward.... maybe pat her hand. You obviously want her to have a special welcome back.

Lovely thought. :-) Thanks for stopping.

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