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

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 46
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - local park

I refused to do it when I was a middle school/high school teacher.  I did have a few I added after I left there though (and I moved out of the area).  I teach elementary school now, and I’ve only had 1 request.  I did add him because he had tons of other teachers added, but I added him to my “no wall” list so he can’t see anything that I don’t post publicly.

Post # 47
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

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Peffy:  i had a teacher from high school add me on fb recently. I graduated about three years ago and run into him occassionaly when I go out but it still weirded me out. When I was in his class he would actually go to the gym with some students and became good friends with them while they were still in high school. I know this because my Fiance was one of those students he would go out with often and I always bugged him on how inappropriate that was. Anyway, now he frequently posts pics out at bars and other events with some of my high school classmates, and I still think its weird..

This coming year will be my first year teaching high school, and I would never add my students in any social media site because I think there should be some sort of line between students and teachers. I just feel that becoming too friendly with students is asking for trouble, I mean nowadays you cant turn on the news without hearing of another teacher accused of an innappropriate relationship with a student

Post # 48
Member
5540 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

Uhhh nope. There were a bunch of cool teachers most of my class added, but it was after graduation. I think there is a huge difference in middle/high school and college aged students. Pretty sure my high school had a policy against kids and teachers on social media too. I have lots of friends who are newish teachers who are only 4-5 years older than their students and all of them a hyper-aware of what goes on their social media and not friending students. There are too many ways for careers and lives to be ruined even by the accusation of impropriety between teachers and students. Especially when they arent that much younger. Heck, even if they are! Not that far from me growing up there was a coach accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student because their texting. Turns out it was catty teenage girls, nothing hinky but he is probably never going to coach anywhere near there again. Nothing on fb is worth ones job!

Post # 49
Member
61 posts
Worker bee

I’m a high school teacher and even though my students have begged me to let them follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I always say no and tell them that they will never be able to find any of my accounts. I know a girl who I graduated college with, who set up a twitter account specifically for her students. I checked it out and she posts song lyrics and wrote something about her students giving her boy advice and posts pictures of her with the students! Just weird. I love my kids too, and I like that I can relate to them better because I’m younger, but I just feel like that’s kind of inappropriate. Although now I have been questioning whether or not I’d like to allow students to contact me via social media because I wasn’t rehired for next school year and I really do miss them Eh, maybe not.

Post # 50
Member
4424 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’m a high school teacher and would not be comfortable with this at all. My FB page is very, very tame and nothing inappropriate is every posted on mine, but still. I can share details of my life-within specific limits of course, but I don’t want students to invade my personal life. Teaching is my career, not my entire life and I feel I am entitled to time away from them. I’m not sure if I would even accept students after they graduated…maybe when I’ve put more distance between us (I am approaching 26 and will be teaching seniors…but I don’t find 8/9 years to be too much older yet), but I’m not sure. I take every precaution to make sure my students understand I am a professional and that some things will not be tolerated, so I would see this as a step back.

Should add…I can see making a social media page specifically for a class as being different. I would expect this page to have no personal info of the teachers except things class related (due dates, assignments, etc.). I still wouldn’t do it as I have a class website and my students have iPads so they have no excuse NOT to know what’s up with our class. 

Post # 51
Member
4010 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I’m a high school teacher, and my district has a very strict policy on this. We can lose our jobs for having students as friends on social networks… Even if nothing inappropriate was exchanged. I’ve only been teaching 3 years, and most of the kids are aware of the policy. I’ve only accepted a handful of requests from students after they graduated, but I’ve definitely rejected my fair share. 

Post # 52
Member
1521 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
Peffy:  I teach college and I would never imagine friending my students.  I’m fb friends with one student I taught while I was a grad student, but us both being students at the time I felt was different.

I had a student ask me to send her photos of Greece because she’s always wanted to go (where we went on our honeymoon.  I got married while teaching that class and so the students knew we were traveling soon).  Even that I felt a little weird about but plan to send her a couple photos, just not with us in them!

Post # 53
Member
1262 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Totally inappropriate unless they were friends of family beforehand and are no longer students. I would never. My union actually takes a pretty strong stance against it and cautions against it. 

Post # 54
Member
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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Peffy:  I don’t find it in the best of interest 90% of the time. If there’s a former student that the teacher was close to, I’d say go for it. But that’s a different relationship than straight up teacher/student – that’s mentor/mentee like PP have said. 

I teach chemistry to college freshmen. I’ve had a few attempt to friend me, but I ignored the requests as I did not want to be FB friends with random 18 year olds. I felt it would almost be a conflict of interest – if they post pictures of them obviously drinking underage, or something that isn’t quite ‘acceptable’, am I supposed to report that? When does being a teacher stop and a friend start? What if someone takes a picture of me legally having a glass of wine at a dinner party – is that not acceptable via my univeristy’s rules (this exact circumstance led to a resident assistant being fired at my undergraduate college)? It’s just something I really didn’t want to be a part of. 

I have had coworkers set up a study page/group on FB that seemed to do really well, and I’ve been considering also doing this, but I would be using a FB account set up only for work. My personal account would never be tied to it. 

Post # 55
Member
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I’m a high school teacher, and NO WAY would I be friends with students on Facebook. I had a student try to add me on Snapchat this year though. Promptly blocked. No way. 

Post # 56
Member
1284 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’m a brand-new 22-year-old high school teacher.  I would never add my students!!  They have requested multiple times that I make a facebook group for my creative writing class.  I have a tumblr for it now but they don’t check it as often as I thought they would.  I’ve thought about making a strictly Mrs. (lastname) Facebook page/online persona in order to accomplish this.  If I ever did that, then that account would friend the students … but not my personal account, no way, that’s crazy talk.  MAYBE once they are out of school for 5+ years … and only if I really liked them.  One time one of my students found my instagram profile and even though it was private, they could still see my profile pic so they screenshotted it and were so proud of it???!  It was weird.  Kids are weird.  Even when they are 17/18.  They are weird.

Post # 57
Member
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

View original reply
Peffy:  I’m a high school teacher, and I will accept friend requests from my students after they graduate or if they move to a different school. I love many of my students and want to continue a friendly relationship with them after they leave school- it’s fun to see what accomplishments they are doing and how their time in my classroom has impaxted them. 

I do utilize Facebook for my current students by building Groups for different classes where we can share articles related to class, announcements, and homework assignments. I think this is a valuable technology, but I make sure to add their parents to the group if they request it, too. 

Being a teacher can be scary because if you cross lines, or are perceived as crossing lines, it’s basically a student’s word against yours. I am also a coach who travels with students on overnight trips, and it’s really nervewracking. You have to make sure that everyone stays safe, because you’re responsible if something happens. 

Post # 58
Member
32 posts
Newbee

I have former students as my fb friends. However, if have VERY specific guidlines I hold myself to–even before working at a school with its own policy. 

1.I will NEVER add former students as a friend, they have to add me.

2. I have a group for former students that blocks them from some stuff automatically….and I am friends with both of my parents, my aunts, etc etc etc on FB and I am NOT out partying etc so there is nothing crazy on there ANYWAY

3. Students MUST be graduated AND 18 before I will accept them if they do friend me. My current school says out 2 years first, which is fine with me.

4. The most I really ever interact with them on FB is to wish a happy birthday or congrats on graduating or a new job or whatever. Once in a while I will get an email thanking me (these former students are now 21-24) for preparing them for college or whatever……but those are rare

I do have a “teacher twitter” account, which I use to post school related things, like to remind them about formal dress days, etc. It is a public account, my principal “follows” me as well as some of the teachers in school, and I don’t follow them back…again, until they are two years out of the school. 

 

i currently have taught freshmen and sophomores for the past two years, none have graduated yet, and if in three years (first class is seniors now), they REALLY want to be in contact with me, then I must have made that big of an impact and would be willing to follow back or whatever…..

Post # 59
Member
965 posts
Busy bee

with me being out of high school for four years I do have teachers that I have added and have as facebook friends as well as my princepal and my government teacher on twitter. I think theirs nothing wrong with adding teachers on Facebook as long as you have graduated. Their were a few exceptions. I had a few former teachers who I had on Facebook during my high school years but that circumstance was that I moved to Iowa and my teachers who I had on Facebook during high school were my former teachers from va. But today I have a lot of old teachers on Facebook especally my one parapro from elementry. So yes I do have my former teachers as Facebook friends despite the fact that it is a semi intimate Facebook. 

Post # 60
Member
3025 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

Bizarre. This is expressily forbidden at my school.

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