Barnacles. Every school has them. They cling, they stay, they need. There’s no getting around them, they wan you to be their teacher, mentor, friend, and in some cases, parent. We all fall along the adhesiveness spectrum and handle ourselves in a way that dictates how much or how little students “stick”. There are students who would be with you every minute of the day if they could. The ones who prefer to eat lunch in your room instead of socializing, the ones who stay after because they don’t want to go home, the ones who email you throughout the weekend because they’re lonely. I choose to distance myself from students when it comes to their romance intricacies and social complexities. I do want students to feel comfortable approaching me when they are in a time of need. While I do think its important to remember our role, teaching content, we are also here to raise independent citizens. In order to do that, we may need to direct students to seeking the appropriate help or initiate ways for the student to feel comfortable in the cafeteria so they are more inclined to eat a lunch among their peers. I have worked with both extremes, the teacher who detaches herself by every last strand and the teacher who has gotten so close to a student she has adopted her as her own child. Yes, those are two extremes, and yes they exist. Find your way somewhere in the middle.