"Friending" Students online

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by RainbowsEnd, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Did you mean 18 and OVER??
     
  2. Chas

    Chas Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2008

    One student attempted to "friend request" me about 4 times. The last time he sent a message along the lines of "i guess you don't like me, since you won't accept". I reported the message as abuse, and then reported his account as underage since he is 13 (you have to be 14 to use MySpace), and his account was gone the next day. Harsh, but in my opinion, fair.
     
  3. Hedgehog

    Hedgehog Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I have a facebook account, however I have it set to friends only meaning that unless I permit it, you can't access my page or my profile photo, see who I am friends with or even add me as a friend. It's not hard to do and it's far more private than many people would have you believe and I don't friend students on there.


    I do speak to students on MSN but never while I am their teacher; only once they or I have left the school. I keep logs of every conversation I have, so nothing can be twisted around.

    I think if you are clever about it, and actually put some effort into a) maintaining the boundaries you had when you were their teacher and b) ensuring that your personal life remains just that then you won't really have a problem. I don't 'friend' students at any school I am currently working in because that would present a conflict but realistically, especially in the world of computer gaming, I play games with people their age every day - this really isn't much different except I met them in real life once before.

    There's a lot of fear nowadays about that 'one kid with a grudge' but to be perfectly honest it doesn't happen often enough for people to become all paranoid about it. Just be smart.
     
  4. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Aug 11, 2008

    It only has to happen once to someone you know, and it'll be enough to change your life. In the US, you are innocent until proven guilty, unless it deals with children. Then, you are guilty until proven innocent, and even then, your image/reputation/career may never recover. It's just not worth it.
     
  5. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I think a "I don't makes students my friends, because it is not professional" would have sufficed.
     
  6. Hedgehog

    Hedgehog Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2008


    Agreed - like I said, take precautions. I keep a computer generated and uneditable record of all conversations I have on MSn, regardless of who it is with. I'm not saying willy nilly go mental do as you like.


    But we shouldn't all live in constant fear when we haven't done anything wrong.
     
  7. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I used to do that too, and have the same attitude as you, and then someone at work said "But why? Why do it? Why put yourself out there like that?" I had no good answer to that, so I stopped. It was a good point from my perspective.

    I am not saying your position is wrong, like you said, we are not doing anything wrong. But then again, I still don't have a good enough answer to the "Why?" question to justify continuing.
     
  8. Hedgehog

    Hedgehog Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2008

    Fair enough. It does come down to personal choice really. Incidentally, I do it because the students in England were a large part of my life and I want to remain in contact with them - regardless of their age I was a positive influence in their lives and they in mine.

    :)
     
  9. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    Aug 13, 2008

    We were told at a new teacher orientation (I wasn't really new but had switched counties and had to go) that if you have one of these pages, get rid of it. Delete it. This principal speaking to us said that she looks for them after interviews, parents search for you online, students, etc. She was an elementary principal, though. And, if you are teaching primary age children, you probably shouldn't have one. Now, some people have said they keep an appropriate page with very high privacy settings. I guess that's fine, but I don't have one at all. I teach middle, and I don't want kids or parents looking for me on there.

    As always, you can never be sure who you're talking to online. One poster said she got a request from a student and said no, then from the parent and said yes. She was probably connected to the student who was using the parent's name.

    My county has an email system I use for all contacts that are school-related; and my school pays for a schoolwide website that gives me my own website for homework, etc. This is an interesting topic. I tend to stay on the safe side.:mellow:
     
  10. Chas

    Chas Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I said that the first time. After four, i simply enforced MySpace's own age rule.
     
  11. forchange

    forchange Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    An Alterative

    Maybe you could make a special facebook page for the sole purpose of friending students.

    I personally don't have the time or inclination for that much effort.

    One thing I did last year was join goodreads and then gave extra credit to students who created accounts and added books or wrote reviews. It was a fun way for me to interact with students, utilize technology, and do so in a completely professional manner. At the beginning the kids (especially girls) were totally into it, but it took some effort on my part and fell to the wayside as the year went on.

    On a side note, I find it really sad that so many teachers live in fear (rightly so, perhaps) of being accused of something inappropriate. For me at least, I do a gut check and see if *I* think what I'm doing is inappropriate. If not, I try to put my fears aside. I decided I wanted to teach on my terms and if I get fired for that, there's always law school! ;)
     
  12. villageteacher

    villageteacher Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2008

    I have a special teacher profile that my students can join. I see nothing wrong with it b/c my profile is very clean. I don't go to their profiles, but basically just answer shout outs from my students.
     
  13. MikeWillsJr

    MikeWillsJr New Member

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    Aug 15, 2008

    Yeah there's nothing wrong with a facebook profile as long as your page is "clean"... you could even sign up on a site like JuniorU.com where it's encouraged.
     
  14. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Aug 16, 2008

    We have a school based division website with my new school division where students can ask me questions and send me email. I far prefer this to adding them as friends on Facebook. Facebook is my private place where I post pictures of my friends and I being silly. I mean, there are pictures of my boyfriend and I up there! I don't want my students looking at those pictures - I keep a bullentin board in my classroom that's all about me anyway.
     
  15. Chas

    Chas Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    They all think you're a teacher 24 hours a day anyway, so it just reinforces it for them.
     
  16. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    The problem is that people in your list may not have 'clean' pages which makes you guilty by association so to speak if anyone were to ,heck up on you through these means. It's too much of an intereconnected network to be able to haved no 'unclean' ties, IMO.
     

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