Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Teachers and Facebook

Social media is many things - a connector and a distraction, a tool and a weapon, a benefit and a curse, an insignificant detail and an ingrained component of the social fabric. Regardless of our perception of it and our criticism or defense of it, social media is here to stay. Facebook is the most prominent in our lives currently, and it's the one most likely to stir up trouble. Too many stories of embarrassment, conflicts, and even tragedies cloud the reputation of Facebook, yet billions of users still can't get enough. Teachers are often warned about the inherent dangers of being on Facebook, and it's often a shame that teachers are held to much higher or more restrictive policies regarding personal use. However, the unique situation of interacting daily with young people with their parents' inherent or necessary blind trust leads to a need for teachers to be more judicious in their use of social media. In that regard, it is pretty clear and important advice that teachers should not post any negative or critical comments about their students - or any students at their school - on Facebook. Many use the FB to rant about work - teachers simply should not. It does not matter if names are not used. Posting negative comments about "anonymous" students at a teacher's current workplace is just too close for comfort. They are, after all, children who deserve privacy and care and concern. And that care is trusted to teachers. So, don't rant about students on Facebook. Just .... don't.

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