Thursday, 17 May 2012
Guest post from Elizabeth at www.rockabyeparents.com
We live in a world of technology. We can go almost anywhere and still be in contact with others. In this technology enhanced world Facebook has become a household word. It seems that everyone has an account, and if you tell someone you don’t have one they’ll likely look at you like you’ve grown a second head. Facebook has become an obsession for many. We get on multiple times a day to see what new posts and comments have been made. Our children are no different and many of them get a Facebook account at a very early age. We would hope that the only Facebook friends our kids have are ones we approve of, but how do you feel about them being friends with their teachers? Teacher and student Facebook friendships have become a hot topic over the past few years with advocates for both sides.
Technology is an important part of education and many teachers choose to use it to the full extent in the classroom. Is it really necessary to incorporate Facebook though? Some teachers feel that Facebook is the best way to communicate with students and their families. Teacher David Roush feels that, “Email is becoming a dinosaur. Letters home are becoming a dinosaur. The old methods of engaging our students and our parents are starting to die.”
Some teachers, such as Nkomo Morris, accept their students as Facebook friends. She does it because she feels she can help guide them. She monitors what they post and lets them know if they post something that they probably shouldn’t have.
There are others that feel that teachers and students being friends on Facebook is just a bad idea. Truly I agree with them. Schools hold teachers to very high expectations. When I was getting my teaching degree we had professors tell us about the expectations that many districts have. Teachers are seen as role models and are expected to behave as such. Even something as simple as going to a restaurant and having <strong>a </strong> drink at the bar can be frowned on, or worse, if it’s in the community where a student might see you. Even if a teacher is very vigilant and keeps from posting things their students shouldn’t see that doesn’t mean that the teacher’s friends will keep from posting inappropriate things onto the teacher’s wall. To me it just seems safer for teachers not to friend their students.
Some states are trying to legally keep teachers and students from interacting together on Facebook. The states of New York and Florida have both disciplined teachers for unsavory Facebook activity. Last year Missouri passed a law that said that teachers could not use websites such as Facebook and twitter. Teachers fought the law and a judge ruled in their favor stating that the law would prevent the teacher’s right to free-speech. Now 40 school districts nationwide have created social media policies and many more are expected to follow.
Would you let your child be Facebook friends with their teacher?
Read the Time article HERE.