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WIBU to reply to an expupil's email?

(71 Posts)
Wallace19 Tue 17-Jan-17 22:52:43

Hi, genuinely have no idea if this is allowed, I really don't want to ask my senior in case they take it the wrong way. I am not a teacher, but am an assistant in pastoral, but do admin work also.

About 6 years ago I worked very closely with a pupil and it was really upsetting when they left (never quite knew what was going on with her, unfortunately, she never said much, but would always speak to me, it's so rewarding things like that) anyway... She sent me an email (school email) when she left letting me know what she was going to be doing at college, but I didn't answer it, as I felt it was just too close to her actually being a pupil. She was 16 too and everything was always through her parent, and I remember telling her parent how I'll look forward to knowing how they all get on (I was quite involved with family too but it was v complicated) never heard from parent since (didn't really expect to) but have received a really lovely email this week (she must be about 22 now) telling me she has just graduated and hasn't forgotten the support I gave her. I'm just wondering if I am allowed to answer it? It is probably really obvious but I have never been told about things like this. Obviously have with pupils at the school and like I said, I never answered the previous one. However, what about this one? It's not like it would go through her parent now (which I know I would be able to answer) as she is a young adult.

Thank you.

fryingpan Tue 17-Jan-17 22:54:03

Answer it smile

dovesong Tue 17-Jan-17 22:54:06

I think it would be fine to answer it. I have both old teachers and old students I taught on Facebook and send Christmas cards every year to a couple of my old teachers. She'll be delighted to know you've received the email.

GreatFuckability Tue 17-Jan-17 22:54:44

I think thats fine. I'm in contact with an ex-teacher of mine. we are both adults now.

AVeryBigHouse Tue 17-Jan-17 22:55:25

I'd answer it 😊.

Techknowlogy Tue 17-Jan-17 22:55:26

That sounds really lovely. She is 22 now, an adult, I can think of no reason at all why it would be inappropriate to answer her email. Good luck!

CostaBrava Tue 17-Jan-17 22:55:39

I think it's fine but run it past the head. Just forward and say 'just checking it's ok for me to reply to this?' or somesuch.

pinkblink Tue 17-Jan-17 22:56:03

Answer it, it's lovely that she still thinks of you as a positive in her life. It would be painful to be ignored by someone you have so much respect for

bobsleighteam Tue 17-Jan-17 22:56:29

So she left school 6 years ago? I think it's fine.

goldopals Tue 17-Jan-17 22:56:58

I would say go for it, but it definitely depends on your school culture. I have ex students message me for help with uni work, and most of them were messaging me the day results came out as well. it means a lot to them that you still care enough to respond.

However, I work in a very small country school which has a very relaxed attitude towards student teacher relationships. This is especially important in small towns where you're likely to run into them at the pub or play on the same sports team.

Wallace19 Tue 17-Jan-17 22:58:25

@pinkblink I know, I feel awful about ignoring the other one, but I just couldn't, she was only 16 and had literally just left the school.

@bobsleighteam yes, about 6 years ago.

Thanks all, that's v promising smile

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Tue 17-Jan-17 22:59:16

That's fine as you're no longer in a position of trust or influence over her. If she was under 18 and at your school still, it would be bad. Under 18 and at another school - dodgy. Over 18 and not at any school - not a problem.

Amandahugandkisses Tue 17-Jan-17 23:01:25

Definitely reply smile

Passmethecrisps Tue 17-Jan-17 23:02:31

It's fine and really lovely. I got one out the blue a re weeks ago from a pupil I haven't seen in years. She said she had just been thinking of me and wanted me to know she was fine. Really lovely.

I have a lot of contact with ex pupils as well which is actually well within my remit - references etc. I see no problem in a quick "lovely to hear from you". Just keep it brief.

pieceofpurplesky Tue 17-Jan-17 23:04:20

I am a teacher and am in touch with many ex pupils - I have an email account just for them to stay in touch. I love hearing about the lives of children as they grow up.

Katinkka Tue 17-Jan-17 23:04:23

Reply. I've had contact with my pastoral support since leaving school. All very positive.

bumpertobumper Tue 17-Jan-17 23:11:10

Why would this even be an issue unless you fancy her? Do you?

Justaboy Tue 17-Jan-17 23:11:38

Answer it! she obviously holds you in high esteem and probably wants to thank you for for helping her, and well done to you for doing that anyway you must have made a good job of it!.

MajorBumsore Tue 17-Jan-17 23:12:43

What a vile thing to say bumper

Wallace19 Tue 17-Jan-17 23:13:04

@bumpertobumper what a ridiculous comment. I'm in my 50s and am married. Things are incredibly strict.

Thank you everyone, I will answer it tomorrow smile

Olympiathequeen Tue 17-Jan-17 23:13:07

Answer it and also explain why you felt unable to answer her previous one, she deserves an explanation. It's lovely she remembers your support.

PurpleDaisies Tue 17-Jan-17 23:14:32

Of course-you're adults now. We ran into one of dh's ex pupils a few weeks ago and went for coffee with him. He's emailed back and forth a few times.

It isn't like she's under 18.

MajorBumsore Tue 17-Jan-17 23:15:35

I would check with your school's code of conduct though. We are not allowed to be in contact through social media with pupils or ex-pupils.

Olympiathequeen Tue 17-Jan-17 23:15:41

Ffs bumper! Let's drag the most innocent thing into the gutter.

DramaQueenofHighCs Tue 17-Jan-17 23:19:36

Answer it. She's over 18 now so it's perfectly fine. FWIW I have a few of my ex teachers on my Facebook and it's great to keep in touch. (One of them, who was very influential to me, came to my wedding.)

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