In college a professor gave everyone in the class a goldfish. She told us that as education majors and future teachers, we were like goldfish in a glass bowl. Our actions could be watched at any time. It does not matter if we are on the clock or out in the ‘real’ world. If people know you are a teacher, there are a different set of expectations.
There have been many times where teachers have made the news for inappropriate actions in public. It is a shame. It is also sad because in other professional areas, the action might be frowned upon, but it would not be career ending.
I am frequently surprised where I run into students – the grocery store, malls, movie theaters, etc. Sometimes they pretend not to recognize me. Sometimes the student or their parents want to talk. I always am aware that someone could be watching.
Surprisingly my goldfish lived for three years. It was a reminder that my actions should reflect my profession. The lesson from the goldfish will remain in the back of my mind.