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NQT buzz from the TES forums

Valentine's Day is imminent, romance is in the air and hormones are raging. It can be a potentially dangerous time for teachers; the distinction between professional and personal pupilteacher relationships can become blurred and you could find pupils getting up to all kinds of saucy stuff behind the bike sheds. The TES forums have advice on how to cope when love is in the air.

- Pupil crushes on their teacher - it's an age-old problem made all the worse by Valentine's Day. We have a female teacher on our forums who works with teens and find she always gets "a group of lads latching on to me" and she's worried that sometimes they overstep the mark. Another found it difficult to know how to respond to these incidents: "I feel embarrassed reporting incidents of sexual behaviour as a young woman as though I've done something wrong because I'm treated this way."

- Our behaviour expert Tom Bennett admits: "It's one of those subjects that rarely gets talked about, yet must affect many teachers". He says: "Crushes are fine; if pupils want to carry your books or behave well because they fancy you, then who's to stop them? Sexual comments need to be squashed, however." www.tes.co.ukcrushes

- Pupils in relationships are cause for concern, too. One teacher tells how her well-behaved Year 6 class changed overnight when "their hormones suddenly kicked in". This thread contains advice on how to curb the datingdumping issue that has overtaken her class. www.tes.co.ukhormones

- Another teacher is having problems evaluating just how far relationships between 11-year-olds should be allowed to go. She has spotted children heavy petting and wants to know if she should tell the parents or even if the child protection officer should be involved. It's a difficult issue, but there is advice from others in similar situations at www.tes.co.ukpetting

- If you are planning Valentine's Day-themed celebrations we have a batch of free resources uploaded by teachers. www.tes.co.ukvalentinesday.

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