Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tech Task #2

Question: Should teachers be friends with their students on Facebook? Are there certain circumstances when this is acceptable, or circumstances when it is not?

This question, surprisingly, has been haunting me for a while. My teachers from high school began adding me on Facebook after graduation and I immediately put them on limited profile. It had me thinking: why did I do that? I don't have anything to hide and they've known me for 3-4 years. It was just the fact that they were my teachers and I still see myself as their student. There are boundries between teacher and student.

To resolve this conflict, I began debating on the idea of creating a professional profile for potential employers, teachers, colleagues, etc. and keeping a personal profile for friends and acquaintances. Or, cleaning up my current profile and keeping it rated G for everyone.

Becoming a teacher means creating a professional image that must be kept both inside and outside of the classroom. And so, I chose to clean up my current profile (although, there are still some silly photos I am tagged in posted on my wall and such, but they aren't bad.) and accept my teacher's requests. I do know of a few young teachers who taught me and added me but did not keep their Facebook "clean". There were pictures of them at weddings and parties, and I thought, "oh, I did NOT expect them to behave that way!" The pictures were not career-threatening, but surprising for a student to see.

My opinion, in short, of teachers adding their students on Facebook is this: keep it professional. If you choose to have a personal life, that's great. But please, make a personal profile for that and leave it for your friends and NOT your students! It is acceptable to have students on Facebook because it's an easy way to communicate outside of the classroom; however, it is unacceptable to add them on "friendly" terms. I don't want to see pictures of how smashed you got at a party. I still expect to see you as Mrs. or Mr. whatever your last name is. So please, if you choose to be on Facebook and you are in a highly-regarded profession under public scrunity, make sure it is presentable!

Don't end up like her and get fired for posting too much information!

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