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Suggestions for "friend" interview question



Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the great posts!! I'm currently in the interview process as well, and have another one on Saturday. One question came up in my last interview that I'd love to hear ideas on.

The question was, "Do you want your students to consider you a friend? Why? Why not?"

What are your thoughts on this? I answered yes- and something about wanting them to feel comfortable coming to me as needed and enjoy coming to school. I then followed up with a - but, more than a friend, also a facilitator....(can't remember what else).

Anybody have any suggestions and/or a nice, consise answer to this question?

Thanks in advance!
Larissa :)


Full Member
not a friend

I would have answered that NO, I am not their friend, I am an adult and need to be treated and respected as such. However, I do want them to feel they can trust me and feel comfortable with me, etc. Myabe something about being "friendly" but not a "friend"

In fact, I have told kids in the past, "I am not your friend, I am an adult and I am your teacher. You will not treat me as a friend, you will treat me with respect."

Mrs. Bee

Full Member
Children Have Enough Friends

I too would have answered "no" on that question, only because I feel that teaching is a lot like parenting. With my own children, I have always told them that I am their mother, not their friend. But in the rapport that I have built with them, we've become close and they will come to me and share things that are silly, important, upsetting, etc.
I used to work in a school where I saw too many teachers try to be buddies with students and then the students became confused when the teacher suddenly became the "adult" because of a problem.
Children have enough friends at school. They don't need the teacher as their friend, but they do need a good adult, role model. And this will ensure their trust.


Full Member

It is really hard, as a first year techer ad a student teacher, to say 'I'm a teacher, not a friend' to the kids. Many teachers make the mistake of trying to be their students' friends', and it just results in discipline problems and difficult behaviour, an dpossible inconsistencies in the classroom.

Someone once said to me that 'kids like it when the grown up is the adult. They want to grow up to be a grown up, and expect you to model appropriate behaviour.' By demonstrating consistency and fairness in your classroom (through the use of classroom rules, your management plan, etc.) and saying to the kids 'I'm here to listen if you ever need an ear', you're saying that you're accesible and willing to listen to their problems.

So, I would have said 'No, I don't want to be their friend. I want to be their teacher. I am open and happy to listen to their difficulties, but if I was their friend, then they would think it unfair of me to discipline them when their misbehave. My intention with discipline is to create a safe, harmonious, friendly classroom environment and I do that through....' etc.

Hope that helps!