How social networking rules for teachers go too far

Mar 7, 2013 by

By Angie Miller –

At school we went over our social networking guidelines. Besides the obvious — don’t be inappropriate with students through texting and Facebooking (which no teacher in their right mind would do) – we were further directed to “always think and write like an educator” (boring) and “never use a blog…to comment about your job duties” (like this?) and “never blog or write about extremely personal subjects” (is my homeless mother, whom I write about, extremely personal?).

The handout told us that any Facebook pictures that show “the use of alcohol…or anything students are prohibited from doing,” could result in discipline. That made me want to take and post a thousand pictures of me voting, filing taxes, or driving a car — all thing my students are prohibited from doing.

All of this is because “community members may hold you to a higher standard of conduct than the average person.”

It is also advised that teachers should refrain from “discussion or revealing to students personal matters about their private lives” making me question every piece of writing I have ever shared with my students. This morning I wrote on a student’s paper a quick little anecdote from my own childhood after reading a piece she wrote about a struggle she was going through. Was this too personal? Or was this, as I was trained, recognizing a moment to connect with a student, because connected students work harder and learn more?

via How social networking rules for teachers go too far.

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