In the decade since Mary Kay Letourneau's infamous liaison with her sixth-grade student was exposed, the reporting of sexual misconduct cases among teachers has proliferated. The amount of media attention - to women teachers in particular - has increased because the public is titillated and baffled by such cases of aberrant female sexuality. This is a qualitative case study of two high school English teachers, Hannah and Kim, who each had a sexual relationship with a student. Their cases are examined, along with those of Letourneau and Heather Ingram, two headline-heavy teachers whose backgrounds and patterns of behavior within the relationships are similar to Hannah's and Kim's. Without judging or sympathizing, this book elucidates the process by which these women crossed the ethical and professional line from teacher to lover. Teacher educators concerned about raising issues of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in their classes will find this a thorny but compelling text for generating dialogue about the taboo topic of bodies in education.
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc
Number of pages: 189
Weight: 290 g
Dimensions: 230 x 160 mm
Edition: New edition
"Classroom teaching is physical. However much we may want to expunge sexuality - that powerful, unruly and dangerous part of physicality - from the classroom, it keeps re-entering via the back door. Tara Star Johnson's treatment of the subject of teacher-student relations that have `crossed the line' is impressive for its compelling narrative, its careful documentation, and its sensitive self-reflectivity. The author refuses both the high moral ground of `tut-tutting' after prying and the swampland of exoneration via excuse-making. The result is a book that is personal without being prurient and readable without being redemptive. Given the tricky subject matter, this is a fine achievement." (Professor Erica McWilliam, Program Leader, Creative Workforce, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
"...Tara Star Johnson courageously throws open every window and door within her reach, draws us into the previously dank and dark and silent precincts of the taboo, and in this domain of the strange illuminates an unexpected and overwhelming beauty. She condemns sex abuse, of course, but reveals the inevitability of misconduct in a culture characterized by sexual repression coupled with strict lines of hierarchical power and control; she examines the squiggly border between misconduct and eroticism, and, looking closely at the intimate encounters between teachers and students, points a sensible way forward. `From Teacher to Lover' overflows with emotional richness and humanity, challenges us to throw off the lifeless, gray, unpleasant, and unerotic in our teaching, and announces a profound truth: good classrooms are sexy." (William C. Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar, University of Illinois at Chicago; Author of `Teaching Toward Freedom')