I had a student in the 5th grade that had a crush on me. (he wasn't in my class.) When it came time for me to DIBEL kids for end of the year testing, he was one of the kids I tested. When I pulled him out of class all the boys went, "woooo..." and laughed. He was bright red. It was really uncomfortable and he stuttered through the whole test.
I've had this trouble a few times on the high school level. Once I realized the situation, I made sure to never be alone with the student and cut back slightly on my usual sweetness. In my current situation, I have the luxury of having all my contacts recorded if there's ever an issue.
Yes, crushes happen, but you just end that by acting like their mothers!
Seriously, there are boys who will find you to be physically attractive, and there are some who are even bold enough to SAY it (and some who are creepy and say it loudly to see your reaction). You just have to handle it like every other discipline issue.
"Confusion is always the most honest response." - Marty Indik
Yes, but I teach 1st grade...so it's a little different! It seems like it's been the boys that needed a little extra push anyway, so I've learned to use the fact that they want to make me happy to my (and ultimately their) advantage to encourage them to behave and work hard!
I love working with "older kids"-- I dont' find most of them "smart assy and rebelious" at all.
But the whole crush thing at this level is important to handle correctly. You certainly want to be mindful of their feelings. But it's important to be aware that you're on dangerous ground here... it's very easy for an adolescent to misinterpret kindness or joking and take it as you reciprocating their feelings.
A little common sense goes a long way.
Be careful not to be alone with the kid-- you open a whole can of worms there. Be careful about what you share with him or her-- don't share any personal info that might be interpreted. Basically you want to make the point that, as much as you enjoy teaching him or her, you are NOT "friends." You're an adult and the student is a student-- the crush is a one way street ending in a dead end.
I had an 8th grader who was possessive of me. He always tried to stand close by and even put his arm around me. I felt sorry for him b/c he didn't have a close relationship with his mother--but I couldn't be his mother! I told him that he was invading my space, but it took threatening to send him to the principal to get my point across. He didn't like me much after that, but I didn't know how else to handle the situation. Sadly, this kid was murdered about two years after this--he was beaten to death and dumped into a creek (a drug-related incident). I always wondered if I could have handled things differently.