In today’s society, almost everyone is on a social network. Some people use social networks like Facebook and MySpace to connect with friends, family, and to make new friends. The big question is, should teachers be on these networks? We admit it, we have both been on MySpace and Facebook. We were able to reconnect with friends from high school that we literally haven’t seen or spoken to in more than a decade. We were able to share pictures with those who we have not seen in years. After starting the education program , we were strongly advised to not be on social networks. At first, we did not understand why. Yes, some teachers have used the technology inappropriately. Teachers have used poor judgment, some have acted irresponsibly, some immorally, and some even illegally. What we should do as teachers is to keep our information and photos private. We have to also be careful, a friend of a friend could see you information.
Then there are those that keep information private like a high school English teacher. This teacher used the “b-word” on her private Facebook page and is now out of a job thanks to an anonymous letter sent to school administration. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution blog, Ashley Payne left a status that said “Ashley Payne is at B**** Bingo with her b****.” (Crazy B**** Bingo is an actual event held in Atlanta.)
The AJC got hold of an e-mail sent anonymously (via an e-mail address that does not exist) to the district, supposedly from a parent complaining that one of Payne’s students read the status and then proceeded to refer to her friends as “b****.”
Payne keeps her Facebook locked up, it’s private. This means that it can’t be seen by random web browsers. She also does not accept friend requests from students. There’s no way a child could have read it, she says.
Although, she did have other teachers on her friend list. The AJC deconstructed the letter from the anonymous tipper, coming up with “evidence” that it was written by another teacher. Even though she kept it private, she still got burned.
These social networks could be harmful to the teacher and also the students. We never think about what we’re doing sometimes, but it’s very important to think about what we are writing. After reading an article called, a Teacher Suspended for Having Opinion on Face book, where a teacher who complained about one of her students without using the kid’s name, has been suspended from her job in North Carolina. First of all, why would a teacher write about a student on Face book? We are all human and we do make mistakes, but as teachers, we really need to think about what we are doing. We are role models for our students, and it’s ok to have a life outside of school, but we really need to think about the risk. So ask yourself is it ok to be on a social network ?