Post # 1
My sister is a HS teacher and has given this a lot of thought. She decided that she would not be friends on SM with any of her students. She is very open minded but her reasoning was that she would not put herself in a position that she has to choose who she can be friends with because you don’t know where to draw the line. Like, do you become friends with students over a certain age and how do you explain how you choose your friends? It is a teacher’s personal account and he / she probably wouldn’t want to be friends with every student and that alone could lead to misunderstandings and come across as some kinnd of discrimination or something. So she just announced to everyonne that it would be her general policy not to be friends with students while they attend a class of hers.
Come to think of it, this is what I would probably do if I were a teacher. I don’t have strong feelings about this because the internet is part of our lives and I know a lot of teachers who are friends with students on SM and that doesn’t cause any kind of trouble, I just think that not being friends with any student would make a teacher’s life easier. After all I can’t think of something that a student has to tell a teacher or vice versa that makes this digital communication necessary. I also think that it would be easier if every school had a general rule about this and guided the teachers to act a certain way.
What do you think ? Teacher bees how do you deal with this ?
Post # 2
I’m not a teacher bee, but no way would I be friends with any current students and probably no students that graduated within a few years. I would probably accept friendships after a few years.
Post # 3
I wouldn’t be friends with a current student or current teacher, but I’m not against being friends with a past student/teacher. I’m friends on social media with several of my previous teachers/professors that I connected with from high school and college (as well as a few of my own students from grad school TA work). I don’t think it’s appropriate for current teachers/students though.
Post # 4
As a high school teacher isn’t allowed to have that sort of contact with students outside of the classroom because it is deemed inappropriate where I am, I would think she’s done the best thing.
In Canada you aren’t allowed to have any sort of relationship with a student in HS even after they are not your student because you could’ve influenced them to do things when you were a teacher etc. I think this is more to prevent student/teacher romances but stands for everything. This is with the catholic boards I don’t know about others here.
Im not a teacher we just had a really interesting conversation one year when I was in HS with a teacher about this.
Post # 5
I do not add my students on social media – I work with college students, and I try very hard to keep a line between my private life and my students, even though I adore all of them. I go out with my friends for a glass of wine or a craft beer sometimes – I don’t need that becoming “Miss.Ohana goes out drinking!” I spend a lot of time doing work at home, making plans, etc. Sometimes you just want to pop onto your facebook and NOT have students be right there.
AGAIN! I adore my students. It’s not like I am trying to stay away from them or anything – I just enjoy being able to post a winery photo without it being turned into a weekend bender. If I need to contact any of my students, I have email. There is absolutely NO reason that I can see to send a student a facebook message or post about anything on their wall.
Post # 6
Of course. We are only talking current students and mostly HS, college is a different thing and we are talking adults and huge classes, a whole other dynamic that you probably can’t conntrol. I am friends with a couple of old teachers too, they keep asking when I am going to have kids lol
Yep, I think that a genneral rule would make things easier and wwouldn’t put teachers in the uncomfortable position that they have to choose themselves.
Post # 7
I think it is harder to avoid this in college so more kudos to you 🙂
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2017 - Greenspot Farms
I’m a high school teacher and I am not friends with any of my students on social media. That would be weird and inappropriate. I’ve told them they can add me after they graduate high school if they’d really like to.
I’m friends with several of my high school teachers on facebook, but it was the same thing… I wasn’t accepted as a friend until after I graduated high school.
A teacher at my school is friends with some students on snapchat and I can’t lie, I definitely give her side eye.
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I taught undergrad students when I was in grad school, and had a strict “no friends with students” rule. You need to be seen an an authority figure, not a peer. However, after the semester was over, I would accept friend requests from students I liked.
A teacher being friends with high school students would be a HARD HELL NO. Totally inappropriate.
Post # 10
This issue came up recently and i had to represent one of my union memebers because they were friends with numerous students(current and graduated) on facebook.
The comments were harmless, unless you count the swearing and also it was political in nature, but atleast it wasn’t sexual.
First off, as teachers we should not be fratenizing with students. That means out of school and that means social media. And frankly, why the hell would you want to do that? Why would you want to open yourself up to questions by fellow teachers. It makes no sense to me. Plus, we are mandiated reporters. So, if you see a picture of a kid drinking that pops up on your news feed and you do NOTHING about it then you are in shit deep. That was an illegal activity that you did not alert the authories to. Why give yourself the grief? And if you are friends with students who graduated do you not think there is underage drinking…and you are still responsible for reporting it. Plus I know that many students that graduated are still friends with students that are currently enrolled in school.
Don’t be friends with student on facebook or social media.
Post # 11
I agree. What I ‘ ve heard from teachers is that is often hard to explain this to students because this is their world and have not lived in a world without facebook and they can take it personally. But I don’t think that should be the teacher’s problem. You don’t have to explain yourself for being the one in authority here, so I tell my teacher friends ” just don’t add them, they will get over it”.
Post # 12
Didn’t read responses, but this sounds like a rabbit hole you don’t want to jump in. Many,many people have lost their jobs because of social media, and that’s just between colleagues. I could see if it was a student you mentored and they are post grad, but beyond that, no.
I had TI that trained my brother flight in basic training get in trouble for later connecting with former trainees, I think he ended up dating one.
Basically, keep your social and professional life separate.
Post # 13
Yes, students don’t understand a world without facebook. And much to our dismay the world has changed in that there aren’t good role models at home so they look to their teachers to fill the void if there is no mother or father. But then the lines get blurred. We had a great deal many emotionally high needs kids in my district.
Bottom line is we are the adult. The answer is no.
Post # 14
I”m not a teacher, but I work in an elementary school. I agree with the previous posters in terms of keeping my work life and personal life separate. Given that the oldest students at my school are about 11 or 12…. I don’t get friend requests from them :)… but I do from their parents, and I know it’s done out of appreciation for the work I do with their kids.
I’ve had to tell people that I’m not able to add them as friends… I really restrict my FB friends to my close circle only.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2017 - A Historic Inn
I’m a middle school teacher, but I don’t use social media. If I did, then I wouldn’t add current students or their family members as friends. I wouldn’t even post pictures of students doing activities in my classes on social media. I have a few teacher friends who post pictures of their students doing things to their Twitter feeds and whatnot. The students love it. Ultimately, I think it’s my job to protect student privacy. I can show my pride in their learning or work in safe yet public ways.