(Closed) Teachers who are friends with students on social media?!

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
4520 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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
1496 posts
Bumble bee

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
9124 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

View original reply
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
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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
213 posts
Helper bee

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.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by  MakingHerWait.
Post # 9
1245 posts
Bumble bee

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 # 12
2890 posts
Sugar bee

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
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

View original reply

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
213 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
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
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

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.

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