If you like your professor, I’m sure you find it hard not to give off some signals – even if you think you’re hiding it.
The question is, do professors know when you like them or do they keep it professional and not let on?
It’s a hard one to answer, as every professor and situation is different.
What I can do, however, is give you some signs that your professor does know you like them and that they like you:
Do Professors Know When You Like Them? 5 Signs They Do!
1. They’re Giving You Special Treatment in Class
This is a sign that can either be very obvious or so subtle that it’s almost impossible to tell if you’re reading the signs correctly.
Most professors will want to keep it secret if they like someone, especially if they think that person (you) also likes them.
But one of the things that they’ll find hard to mask is how they treat you in class.
If they like you or know you like them, they will find it hard to treat you exactly the same as all the other students.
So, look for anything from how they greet you, to how they smile and act around you, and the things they say.
If it’s obvious they’re treating you differently from other students, it’s possible they’re picking up on some tension.
2. They Are Being Generous when Grading Your Work
This is a classic sign that flirting is going on between a professor or teacher and a student.
One of the powers a professor has that will demonstrate they’re giving someone preferential treatment is by being generous when marking or grading their work.
So, if you’re suddenly getting much better grades (albeit unfairly) in their class, it could be a sign that they know you like them and they’re also interested in you.
3. You Catch Them Looking or Smiling at You
This is another pretty classic sign that a professor knows you like them and is happy to show you.
If you find yourself catching your professor staring at you or smiling at you more than usual, it’s a good possibility they know you like them.
And this goes both ways – if they’re looking and smiling at you more, it could be a sign that they also have feelings for you.
Of course, it could also just be that they think you’re a great student!
4. They Show an Interest in Getting to Know You
If a professor suddenly starts asking you more personal questions or wanting to know more about you, it’s definitely a sign that they’re interested in you.
They may want to know about your hobbies, your family, or what you’re planning to do after graduation.
All of these are pretty personal questions and they wouldn’t ask them unless they were interested in you on some level.
It’s also possible that they just want to be friends, but it’s definitely a sign that they know you like them if they’re asking you these types of questions and no other students.
5. They Contact You on Social Media or Other Means Outside of Class
This is another sign that a professor knows you like them and they want to make contact and get to know you better.
This is a pretty big sign that they’re interested in you as well and want to get to know you better.
It’s also a way that they can keep things in class professional while being able to get to know you better.
Signs that Your Professor Knows You Like Them but Wants to Distance Themselves
These 5 signs above are all the kinds of things you’d expect to see if a professor is happy that you like them and keen to show you so.
If your professor has picked up on the fact that you like them but are keen to keep their distance, then you might expect them to act in the opposite way.
- Avoid eye contact
- Not give you any special treatment in class
- Be extra critical when marking your work
- Go as far as to tell you that it’s not appropriate to talk outside of class
If they do any of these things it’s important that you take notice and respect the boundaries they’re putting up.
A professor can potentially lose their job if they’re seen to be giving you special treatment, or worse if they get involved in you in any way.
So you can’t blame them for putting up a wall.
On the other hand, there is often no harm in a little playful flirting while you’re in their class as long as it doesn’t go any further.
Should You Let Your Professor Know You Like Them?
This is a tough question to answer, but honestly, more often than not you shouldn’t say anything directly to your professor about liking them.
This doesn’t mean they’re not going to be able to tell, I’m sure you’ll be giving off subtle signs.
But you have to keep in mind that they have a job to do, and knowing you have feelings for them makes that job a lot more difficult.
It’s not fair to put them in that position, and you don’t want to make things awkward between the two of you and potentially the rest of the class.
If you really do have feelings for your professor, at the very least you should wait until you’ve left their class and there is no longer a professional relationship there.
And if you’re still not sure, maybe it’s best to keep those feelings to yourself.
Can Anything Happen If You Like Your Professor?
Like we said before, a professor can lose their job if they get involved with a student, so it’s definitely not something to take lightly.
But if you do find yourself in a situation where you like your professor, there are a few things you can do.
First of all, try to remember that they’re just a person and they’re probably flattered by your attention.
But at the same time, don’t put them in an awkward position by doing things like confessing your love for them or constantly talking to them about your feelings.
Sure, there are plenty of stories where a student fell for a professor or vice versa and they lived happily ever after.
But that’s not going to happen by you telling them you have feelings for them while they’re your professor.
You should always until you’re no longer being taught by them to see what happens when and/or if you tell them you have feelings for them.
Image credits – Photo by No Revisions on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.