Facebook question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Shanoo, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2008

    A little background -

    Two years ago I took at 3 month maternity leave at a school. I started in April and the job went until the end of the year. Due to many reasons (my 'newness' to teaching, an administration unwilling to help me and the teacher I took over for undermining my authority at every turn), the students and I had a very strained relationship. I had a hard time making it through the 3 months I was there. I am now in a different school district in an area close to where I was previously. I have a permanent contract and I am happy where I am.

    I have a facebook account, as do many teachers in my district, which I have set as private as possible. This summer, 3 students from my former school tried to add me as friends. I DO NOT add students, so I declined. It happens frequently, but I think most students understand that a teacher isn't really going to add them, and drop it. However, one of the three who tried to add me this summer tried again. Again, I declined. That was early in the year.

    Fast forward to today. I get home and see that this student has sent me a message that says "DON'T BE RUDE!" I promptly deleted the message and blocked that student from sending me anything more.

    My question is whether this is something that I should speak to my administration about. I do not have a good history with these students and I am concerned that they are trying to goad me into something and when they realise that they aren't going to get anywhere online that it will turn into something else.

    I am not afraid for my physical safety at all....these kids are not violent. I am concerned for my professional reputation. These students made no secret of the fact that they tried to get me fired when I was their teacher.

    These students are now at a different school from the one I taught at. I do, however, know the administration at their new school, so I could contact them if need be.

    Is this something I should be worried about?

    Thanks for your opinions.
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 18, 2008

    You don't say what grade level you teach, but I have a Facebook and I make it clear that you don't get to be my friend until you graduate - I tell students that's one of the perks of finishing high school. I post that as my status a few times at the start of the school year, and the kids back off.
     
  4. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2008

    Wow, I don't know how attached you are to your facebook account, but I would consider closing it. I would not want to talk my admin about it and I think you have handled student requests quite well. Don't accept any students. That's perfect. Except if they don't leave you alone, then I would close it. Reopen another one some time later, but I would remove your last name from it (can you do that??). Just my thoughts.
     
  5. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I teach junior high, and several of my eighth graders have asked to be my facebook friend. I ignore their requests. I've never had a student tell me that was rude. Most kids understand.
     
  6. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I teach high school now. When I taught these kids, they were in junior high. Now they're in high school (at a different one from where I teach).

    Like I said, it's not so much the fact that they're adding me....I can always ignore it. My concern is that they aren't backing down....I've ignored this student 3 times and she's not giving up.

    Maybe I'm a little oversenstive considering how poorly my few months with them went. They tried to get me to quit (and one student tried to get me fired) at every opportunity. I think I'm having a hard time seeing it as innocent as it may be.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2008

    If you are truly worried that your reputation could be tarnished by students messaging on your account, I would close it. If that means a lot of time informing your online friends of the change, I'd do it.
     
  8. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Nov 18, 2008

    You could change your name and take your photo off your profile. The people who are your friends would see your name change. I know some people who have changed their names.

    It probably wouldn't hurt to google yourself from time to time just to make sure they aren't creating fake pages for you in other places.
     
  9. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I agree with both Mrs. K and ku_alum.

    I have the same policy as Mrs. K, I tell the students on the first day of class each year that I will not add them as "friends" until they graduate. I deny requests from alumni of our school who I did not teach or supervise in a club. I am also careful about my status.

    Along with KU's suggestion--I make sure to remove tags of photos that I do not want students past or present to see (because current students can see tags through feeds of graduated students--the privacy fault of FB). It's tricky, believe me...

    Facebook, online social networking etiquette in general, has different customs in different geographical areas.

    My brothers live in a major metropolis and have FB and MySpace under a pseudonyms for their close friends and another for acquaintances. They say in the city it is rude not to add people they meet and they (they people) remember months later when they (my brothes) meet them (the people) again.

    Unless your administration understands the cultural anthropological ramifications of online social networking, and Web 2.0, there is no need to share with them. They won't understand your situation.

    Good luck, this is a tough one to sort out. I think the "old school" equivalent is to avoid living in the district we teach and making sure our phone number is unlisted...
     
  10. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2008

    You can actually set your settings to be more private. You can't even find me if you search for me. Just go to settings - click on privacy and click on search. I am only visible to my friends. They can't see anything unless they are a friend of mine. It's perfect, because it means that I don't ever get friend requests. Period.
     
  11. New3rdTeacher

    New3rdTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I changed my last name on Facebook....so lets say my name is SMITH, I changed it to HTIMS. Kids couldn't find me, no one I didn't know either. Works well :)
     
  12. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Nov 19, 2008

    If a student sends me a request, I just send back Sorry, I don't add students until they graduate!

    You could also tell her its a rule in your school that teachers cant be friends on facebook with their students... Then she should get the hint.
     
  13. Boston1234

    Boston1234 Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2008

    I teach high school and every year the kids ask me if I will be their Facebook friends. I say to the entire class "you do not want to be my friend because if I see photos that I'm not supposed to see I am required to report them to the school and your parents." They back off right away. I'm too addicted to Facebook to close my account :p
     
  14. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Nov 19, 2008

    You can set it up so that only your current friends and friend of theirs can search for you. Or so that only people in your network - say your college can find you. Student's cannot find you that way. But you can search for/add people if you find out later on that they have facebook account.

    I have mine set up so that only people from my school can search for me.
     

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