Post # 1
I’m blown away that SO many of my co-workers are friends with our students on Facebook. I just cannot even begin to understand why they would want the students to be privy to what is going on in their personal lives. (I’m a high school teacher just for reference.) How do you Bees feel about this? There is one student in particular that is friends with a few of the pregnant teachers at school because she’s pregnant, too. And now they all have this special bond? I don’t even.
I’ve had a few students attempt to add me, but I promptly decline and block them. It just seems like a recipe for disaster.
Oh, I also went to a friend’s house once and he had INVITED A STUDENT TO THE GET TOGETHER! There was drinking and we were all in the pool. I had a friend call me so I had an out because there was no way on EARTH I was sticking around for that. The friend said, “What?! I don’t teach at that school anymore, it’s totally not a big deal.”
So, yeh, I was just thinking about it and wondering if maybe I’m just crazy or if this really is kinda weird.
Post # 2
That’s crazy! I’m FB friends with a couple of my high school teachers, but I’m 8 years out of high school. It would have been completely inappropriate while I was a student.
Post # 3
I don’t see the big deal. It’s up to the teacher – if they’re okay with having their students know so much about their personal lives, that’s fine. Everyone’s different. My aunt was a teacher and meets up with former students for coffee now and then.
I don’t think it’s that weird.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Peffy: Yeah that’s weird.
I used to teach undergraduate science labs when I was in grad school, and I had a few students try to friend me. I would tell them it was against the university’s policy (a total lie) but we could be friends after the semester was over. Then, if the kid was actually cool, I would approve it at the end of the semester. In that case, though, these kids are 20-22+ so it’s not like they’re teenagers. Are you talking high school kids?? Super weird.
Post # 5
Totally crazy. DH is a HS teacher and the kids are always trying to friend him. He never accepts until they graduate and even then it’s a little weird.
His aunt teaches middle school and friends her kids. Like how weird is that? I mean there’s absolutely nothing on her facebook page that a 12 yr old shouldn’t see. But still it’s just weird. It’s way too personal. I don’t even friend my adult coworkers!
But on the other hand, it is great to have that network available. You never know when some kid’s father knows someone who knows osmeone who can help you with something. Or vice versa. It’s great to have so many connections to the community.
Post # 6
You’re not crazy and I am complete agreement with you.
I am also a high school teacher and I purposely do not have a Facebook, Instagram or any other social media account for the reason that I don’t want any of my students following me. I try to keep my private life just that – private – from my school life. I just don’t think it’s appropriate for teachers to have that kind of relationships with their students while they are still in school. Maybe I’m just old school.
Actually, I was at a meeting this summer that addressed this exact issue. Our district does not have a formal policy per se, but administration has strongly recommended not having your students as “friends”. Some teachers do, and defend that by saying they get to know what’s going on in the students’ lives more.
Post # 7
I agree it is crazy. I am not even a fan of teachers who have a special account for their students so they can communicate. All communication and interaction between teachers and students should be through official means, either face to face at school, or through school/school department email. Anything else seems like it is opening the doors for potential problems.
I am now friends with a few former teachers on facebook, but they all had strict no social media interaction until after graduation policies. These were HS teachers. I would imagine that if they here JR high or earlier teachers they would want to wait until the student had graduated from the whole school system.
Post # 8
Laurenplusalex: I’m friends with two of my high school teachers, and I only became friends with them after decided to go back to school to be a teacher. I graduated from high school ten years ago!
MrsCallalily: I think it might be just up to the person. I’m really big on keeping my life separate from my classroom.
lolot: Right? I just..eh. Even after they graduate, I doubt I’ll feel the need to stay in touch like that. I have some students that I adore, but I don’t think of any of them on the level of being one of my “friends.” It’s just weird. They’re like little mini-humans to me (even though I teacher juniors and seniors, hah.)
koi424: Yes! I don’t post anything inappropriate or anything, it just seems too personal. In class, I’ll mention my husband (or cats) if it pretains to something that we’re talking about, but I really don’t talk about my life with them. Sometimes I feel like two different people. Mrs. Peffy and then just me. But yeh, you’re totally right about connections and stuff. And the other day, a student found me on facebook and messaged me to ask about summer reading. I told her that I never talk to students on Facebook, but since it was school related, I would answer her. But I took a screenshot to keep for reference. I guess my main concern is all the lawsuits that end up going against teachers when they have too much contact with kids. A teacher at my high school lost his job and was publically slain because a student said he molested him. A few years later the kid came out and said that it never happened, he just “felt like saying it.” THAT scares me.
Post # 9
Ya that’s nuts…
I had a friend in highschool who was being tutored by one of our teachers after horus (both female). When the weather got nice they’d study poolside at my friend’s house. Whenever my friend’s parents weren’t home they’d have beers/cocktails. It always seemed bizaarre to me even in highschool. This teacher was definitely fresh out of school so only 5-7 years older but still!
Post # 10
SnowInApril: I don’t know about you, but I don’t need Facebook to know what’s going on. The kids talk about EVERYTHING and they don’t try to do it quietly. Sometimes I have to tell them UH, I HEAR YOU OVER THERE TALKING ABOUT XYZ!
MakingHerWait: Oh no. I don’t have that either. I have a school website that I use, and I have the students send any contact to my school website so that it is logged into the database at central office. I also use Edmodo (it’s a “education” Facebook kinda deal. The kids can upload work and answer homework questions and what not. But it’s monitored by me and I would gladly give ALL the information to central office and adminstration.) It’s just so bizarre to me. I even get a little weird about after graduation, too. Most of those kids are still friends with kids in school…so yeh. Meh.
Post # 11
robynrox47: I’m 27, so really only 10 years older than the kids, but I look like I JUST turned 21. For some kids that seems to mean OMG WE CAN BE FRIENDS. Puh-lease. Go away. AND BEER AND COCKTAILS? Oh mah gawd.
Post # 12
One summer, I was working as a tutor for other college students. We were all into our 20s, so there wasn’t this kind of weird age gap between high school adult teachers and teenage students. Still, many of my co-workers decided to add students to their Facebook page or hand out their phone numbers to them. They side-eyed me when for some reason, this topic was brought up between us and I shared my opinion about me personally not wanting to share private information and Facebook pages with students because I wanted to maintain a certain distance in a professional setting. Somebody even told me I was being a snob and accused me to have some kind of ”tutor power trip”. What the hell ? Being friendly (as in, smiling, joking, being an overall nice person) while tutoring, and about the same age as my students, doesn’t mean they should suddenly become my best buddies and call me or access my Facebook page, which I only use to keep in touch with childhood friends and family members.
I was trying hard not to laugh when one of the female tutors started whining about feeling annoyed by one of the students, who called her home multiple times to ask her out, and was constantly hitting on her. Neither did I feel sorry for the male tutor was fired because he was so busy partying and having sex with a female student that he forgot to go to work the morning after.
Professional bondaries are necessary for a reason. Too bad for those people if they didn’t understand it sooner. Nobody ever questioned my professionalism …
Post # 13
That makes me cringe… whenever my students send me social media requests I promptly deny. I feel like it’s inappropriate to mix my professional and private life.
The one exception, I’m ‘friends’ with one of my previous students, but she’s family. FI’s first cousin, almost mine too! Plus I see her at family events… so basically, unless they are family, I feel like it is inappropirate.
Post # 14
Peffy: The teachers I am friends with now on Facebook are teachers that I had for multiple years in HS, and had a mentor/mentee relationship with. We corresponded via email for a while prior to becoming facebook friends. Initially we spoke exclusively about college course/career choices and things like that. Over the years since graduating we now tend to update eachother on more personal things, and reall yjust life in general. I have never looked to see for sure, but based on the interactions I have seen between these teachers and other former students, it seems to be 1 or 2 students per year, and only students with simmilar careers to mine.
Post # 15
Depends. I could see it being fine for current students, if they set up a privacy setting just for them, and allow anyone in the class to friend them.
I don’t think it’s out of line to friend a former student, depending on the circumstances. Someone can be a teacher in one situation, and a coworker looking to you for advice in another.