If you think the P is not looking, think again.

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Marci07, Sep 4, 2011.

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  1. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    The topic of teacher’s behavior on facebook came up during a conversation at a dinner party that my P and his wife hosted for some teachers yesterday. He mentioned that he had looked up the profiles of many teachers and he was shocked to see that the profiles were not private enough and that the comments many made were inappropriate.

    He didn’t specify which behaviors he found inappropriate but just mentioned one comment about a teacher bragging of getting wasted. He said that any behavior online should be treated as public.
     
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  3. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    If a teacher is going to post about being wasted on Facebook, he or she needs two accounts - one personal/private and the other professional. Online behavior should be treated as public if it is public for anyone to access.
     
  4. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Its very simple. Set everything to only visible for friends and choose your facebook friends wisely. You don't choose students parents and you dont choose administration.
     
  5. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Some people are not very wise about what they post or their friends post on facebook that reflects on them. I try to be very careful and "hide" people that post things that I deem inappropriate. We recently had a teacher FIRED in our district for complaining about the kids. She did not say anything terrible... It was something like, Tough day at school. The kids were absolutely crazy today. I need a weekend.

    The district fired her. I think that she was made an example of personally. It is a tough situation to be in. I have monitored my security, but to say that everything that appears on FB is always 100% appropriate is tough. It may not even be me that makes a comment that should not be repeated. But I am the representative of my FB account.

    Our administration has asked us NOT to reference school in any way, shape or form even if it is positive. I think one day this will be challenged in court as a freedom of speech violation.
     
  6. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    This. I have a friend who's son went to the high school I taught at. The son had a run in with a teacher at the school who probably shouldn't have been in the profession. She had many run-ins with students, other teachers, parents and admin. However, when my friend vented her frustrations about this teacher on my Facebook page, I immediately deleted it. For me, keeping it up there would have been the same as those words coming out of my mouth. And, while I agreed with everything my friend said, saying publicly on Facebook would go against my district's professional code of conduct. Facebook is not something to lose my job over.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    What happens though if you skip a day or even a few hours and can't keep up with what other people posted? The stuff does get buried after awhile.
     
  8. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    My point exactly. My FB account comes to my phone. So I am notified when anyone makes a comment. I can delete (when I am not in school) and luckily, I don't get too many comments during the school day. The privacy settings keep improving too. So, I am constantly checking to make sure that I have the utmost privacy... but again, things happen. You are right.

    FB is just convenient when you live far from family and friends and want to stay connected.
     
  9. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    My facebook page is totally open for anyone to see. I do not do anything that anyone could post about that is not appropriate. The pictures on it are of my classroom, our last 10 family trips to Disney World, and my kids graduations, awards, baseball, etc. I have once had a kid tell me that I lead a very boring life.
     
  10. Avery

    Avery Rookie

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    Our district would have a fit if they managed to catch someone posting about school on Facebook. I can understand them having a fit if I post something about specific/student info or something classified. But I agree that it'll eventually end up in a court somewhere. At some point, I should also get to be a person.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The principal is looking.

    The parents are looking.

    The kids are looking.

    Your coworkers are looking.

    Your future possible employers are looking.

    EVERY SINGLE THING you post online, regardless of your privacy settings, are available to anyone and everyone who wants to see them. All it takes is one small argument, or one person who isn't careful, and privacy settings are useless.

    Want to vent? Meet a friend for brunch, have a Mimosa, and vent all you want.

    But do NOT vent about work online.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don't see why everyone gets all bent out of shape about Facebook. Anything that is posted anywhere online is "out there". Like here, for example. I see lots of things here that really make me nervous.

    If I wouldn't talk about it with the general public, I wouldn't put it online anywhere, whether my real name is attached to it or not.

    Privacy settings and "anonymous" posting means nothing. The same goes for real life. You have to watch what you say. Plenty of people just don't know when to keep their mouths shut and say things that come back to bite them in the butt.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    AMEN.
     
  14. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    I have an ex-colleague who I am friends with on Facebook and I am shocked at the things she posts.

    At the end of the school year, she put up pictures of her with her students. High school boys, none the less. I mentioned that I believed it was illegal to do that, and her response was that most of them had signed parent consent forms for photos.

    She also constantly posts about work, going to the bars, etc.

    I just keep thinking.. this is not going to end well for you.
     
  15. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    We did a preservice portion based on social media. Very eye opening for many people.
     
  16. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Just switch to Google +, not only can you set up seperate networks within your profile, nobody would ever bother to look there anyway.
     
  17. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I had a few coworkers that I wasn't really close to send me friend requests on FB last year. I accepted and almost immediately regretted it. Several of them posted really inappropriate things about work (the kids, parents, administration, etc) and I defriended them right away. Then, some of the others started "friending" students and that's when I deleted all of them from my friends list. Now, the only coworkers I'm friends with are the people I work closely with who I'm friends with outside of school.

    I'm very careful about what I post online and never understood what the big deal was with teachers and FB, but after being friends with those people, I now understand how inappropriate some teachers actually are.
     
  18. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I am shocked that someone was fired for a comment that said, "today was tough, the students were crazy, need a weekend." Really, if people take offense to that they have a serious problem. Most teachers I know would not have a problem saying this directly to parents, and do. That is just absurd. People are way to sensitive.
    I have no problem posting after work that it was a rough day, or that I need a drink now.
     
  19. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I am careful about what I post on FB.
     
  20. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    "Getting to be a person" doesn't mean you get to say whatever you want whenever you want. There are limitations on our Freedom of Speech, specifically when your speech affects other people.

    You want to "be a person"? Guess what? So do the other people you want to talk about. You can be a person and say things about the school, kids or parents. They, in turn, can be a person that decides to sue you for libel.

    Too many people forget Freedom of Speech doesn't mean freedom to say whatever you want whenever you want wherever you want.
     
  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I spend a lot of time each year teaching my grade 7 and 8 students about the importance of being aware of every single word and image they post on line. It still surprises me that there are so many adults who need those same lessons.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't know...this just leads me back to questioning why teachers participating in legal but perhaps "questionable" activities is reason enough to fire them. There are some legal activities that I would be disgusted by, true, and I have said I wouldn't approve of teachers who participate in certain activities being in the classroom. I say that, but I don't claim to hold the right opinion. But so what if a teacher intends to get wasted tonight. And?
     
  23. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    I post things about hanging out with my school friends on Facebook. Or about something funny that a kid does or say- (side note-6th grade boys can do and say some hilarious things) on Facebook. I don't put anything negative about my school or my students. I am pretty positive about it. My privacy settings are set for my friends (including colleagues, old friends, etc). Am I friends with my principal, students, or parents. Nope. I am extra careful about what I post. Today, I found out that I need to even more careful because I found out somebody impersonated one of my colleagues and tried to befriend me on Facebook. Luckily, my colleague found out and sent PM's to people to let them know and the police are involved. They used a picture of the school as their profile picture.
     
  24. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Bear in mind that you may be careful, but your friends may not be as careful. Also, some kids use/have access to/ read their teacher parents FB and can be the doorway to opening your pages to your school associates.

    For me, the larger question is the same as so many other areas. It comes with the job. We spend money for our job. We don't do certain things because of our job. We sacrifice a bit of anonymity for our job. We do it because the trade off is very much worthwhile.
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I guess I don't think facebook is a big deal. I would never mention anything about my students on facebook. My privacy settings are set so that no one can even search me. However, I don't think that we should hide our lives and be someone we're not because we're teachers. Again, everything on my facebook account is entirely appropriate for anyone to see, but I think it's a bit sad that we're under such close watch.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't think it's necessarily about facebook, or about teachers specifically.

    I've seen posts here that make me catch my breath-- there's simply so much information on display. I've seen similar things on the Disney board-- pretty much "here's who I am, where I live, and the dates I'll be on vacation" that make me shake my head in wonder.

    I'm sure if we went to a site frequented by accountants or doctors or plumbers, we would see similar breeches of good sense.

    The fact remains: putting any information online carries the risk that all the world will see it, misquote it, and trace it back to you.
     
  27. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    My facebook is locked down, except for my friends. I'm not teaceable through the search engine because that's how I arranged my settings. If a future employer or anyone tried to look me up, they would have a seriously hard time. Normally I have to friend request someone for them to even know that I am on FB.

    I have never posted anything negative about the kids. I might have made a status like, "I wish I could help out this kiddo more" but I have other friends who are in my line of work who usually have great advice and offer support. I don't post pictures or name names.

    However, what I decide to do in my own life is off limits, even to my job. What I do in my private life doesn't affect how I do my job, nor do I bring it to the work place. I keep it professional. But once I leave my school's parking lot... what I do is my business (within the law of course!).

    I think it's sad how individuals who work with children are expected to demonstrate saint-like behavior, including in their personal lives... it's not realistic, nor do I believe it is attainable. I'm not a teacher but I cannot imagine the pressure most are under.

    I was on a different forum a few days ago and someone posted the rules for teachers a little more than a hundred years ago. If I remember correctly one rule was that a teacher could no date or be visibly pregnant in front of the classroom. I assume the reason is because they did not want the students to be "corrupted".

    Still, restrictions like this worries me. I believe you have the right to be able to vent online, or anywhere. Even if you go to a bar or a restaurant, you still have the worry of being overhead by someone. Just because something is said instead of written, it still happened.

    As for personal lives- It is scary how even that is slowly being taken over
     
  28. GAteacher87

    GAteacher87 Companion

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    I actually deactivated my Facebook account. While I do not think that is necessary to do, for me, it was the right thing. I was spending too much time on it, anyway! And now, I just don't have to worry about it at all. It might be something you all want to think about, too.
     
  29. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Facebook seems to be getting deeper privacy controls. Now, for instance, you can have it ask you if you want to be tagged in a picture, as opposed to the way it used to be where you might not find out you'd been tagged until you logged on. All of your friends would have seen the pic before you had the chance to delete a tag.

    But....you do still have to be careful. My Facebook is set to friends only for everything. And I don't "friend" coworkers. It's just not a good idea, even if you think your coworkers ARE your friends. I've made the mistake of trusting coworkers, hanging out outside of work, etc, only to have them try to throw me under the bus when there was pressure on them in a work situation.

    You can't pick your family or your coworkers, but you can pick your facebook friends. Just be sure that they really ARE your friends, lest you run the risk of someone reposting something you said, like that story a few weeks ago about the teacher saying her students were future criminals.
     
  30. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    The other thing you can do is what a few of my friends have done, and that is to use a pen name on your account. It'll prevent people from finding you and still allow you to interact with your chosen people online.
     
  31. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    My life is pretty tame, and frankly, I don't really care who reads about it.

    I'm married, almost 50, never have, or had, "boys night out," and didn't even have a bachelors party when I was married 16 years ago.

    If somebody posts something on my wall, that's not me, it's them, and if my employer wants to discipline me for it, they will have a major grievance on their hands.

    And getting tagged with a beer in my hand? Sure that can happen, but it can happen regardless even if I didn't have a facebook.
     
  32. Avery

    Avery Rookie

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Did I deserve this?

    I don't think that's what I meant at all. I'm not sure what in my post made you react this way. All I'm saying is that I think a lot of places are a little TOO paranoid about social media in general. I have no problem with the comment in the OP. "Kids were crazy." I'd say that about my own child, a child I was watching, a group of friends. And I wouldn't expect anyone to censor that about my child/ren either. It's not libel or even rude. Everyone has wild days and any parent or principal who doesn't know that is kidding themselves.

    I certainly wouldn't lie about someone (to their face, online or elsewhere), which is the only way a post could end in libel. I wouldn't share confidential information either. That's a given. I just don't believe my career means I can't socialize in mainstream ways, either. Like most people are saying, if you do it, you do so at your own risk and you should be very careful to keep things as professional as possible.
     
  33. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Actually, Facebook has a policy that you must use your real name. I don't know how or if they enforce it, but I support the policy.
     
  34. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Sarge, I thought it was Google+ that required real names. Half my FB friends use fake names.
     
  35. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I doubt they enforce it because, really, there isn't any way for them to do so. Using a nickname is a good idea if you want to make it even more tricky for people to find you. A friend of mine uses her nickname and an abreviation of her last name on hers, so if you don't know that, it's next to impossible to find her on FB.
     
  36. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Facebook is from this guy.....................

    [​IMG]
     
  37. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    That's actually a very good point too. Even if you don't have FB, it doesn't mean there aren't pictures of you with a beer in your hand online. The only way to guarantee this is if you never have a beer in your hand and that's not realistic to expect from everyone. The article that really got me was when a teacher was fired because she was posing at a class reunion and someone in the BACKGROUND had a wine glass.

    Having said that, the poster that said something about having some teacher friends that posted stuff all the time that was objectionable and starting to understand the fuss from that... that is what I think it boils down to. Not everyone knows how to use social media appropriately and professionally and not by the same token some entities jump to quickly to the extreme.

    My rule for myself is no cursing (me or my friends)
    No talk about school (me, deleted if it is negative or questionable from my friends, never respond unless it is something like "I can't wait until the first day")
    Nothing sexual not even with innuendos.
    Nothing I wouldn't want my youngest child to see (even though my youngest is not technically on FB).
    No pictures of alcohol (me nor my friends)

    That said, I can't control what happens between the time it is posted and the time I remove it. Often I go ahead and tell people why I remove it but state that it is about ME and my professional life rather than any censorship of them. I also remind them that my older two kids are online so that has something to do with it too.

    Overall, my FB is very tame. I have deleted one person and told them why. THere is another 2 people I'm keeping a closer eye on but haven't deleted them. The thing is, by adult standards they are relatively tame.

    Another thing I want to say is that if I had never seen all the articles and talk through this forum, I doubt I would be so vigilant on my FB. The irony is talk is covered in much MORE detailed form HERE on this forum than most of us cover in FB yet that's okay because we have fake names. Technically it can be traced back to us, just perhaps not as easily.
     
  38. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I have two and yes, I know there are risks that anyone from the school can add my "unprofessional" FB.

    However, I don't do it because of what I say or do, though I do use very different language on that FB than I do the one my colleagues are on. I do it because I have... an eclectic group of friends. My colleagues frown upon my clothing half the time (it's TOO colorful!) so I know they would really frown upon my choice of friends. My friends are crazy and you have to know them to love them, if you don't know them you'll think they're certifiably insane!

    But that's why I have two FBs... I feel it more... acceptable. I'm not hiding anything. I'd be glad to show my P the non-prof. FB if she ever asked... but until then I'm happy with two of them.
     
  39. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Can someone explain to me why it is bad to be pictured with alcohol when you are over 21? It's one thing to be tagged in a picture dancing on a bar, taking your bra off, doing body shots, etc. What is wrong with having a drink? At almost every function I go to, I have an alcoholic beverage: gatherings with friends, family events (every holiday), weddings, etc. What's the big deal? Am I missing something?
     
  40. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    The biggest problem I see with Facebook is that many adults do not exercise common sense when using it, but feel it's alright to post anything they want because they "have a right to say what they want". Well, yes and no. The younger generations seem to have a growing sense of entitlement that they can do or say whatever they want to without repercussions or consequences and your comment of "eventually getting to be a person" sounded very much like that sense of entitlement.

    Freedom of Speech does NOT give anyone the right to say or write whatever they want, whenever they want....period. There are restrictions on what you can say or do because your right to say it often ends where the other person's rights begin.

    I have a younger cousin on my FB Friends list and I just shake my head at some of the ignorant and immature things she posts. Sooner or later, she is gonna learn the hard way you can't run your mouth (or your fingers) without someone eventually deciding you've said too much.

    As for libel, it does not have to be false to meet the burden of proof. All the victim has to do is show the written comment or statement damages their reputation. Teachers calling their 1st grade students "future criminals" would definitely fit the legal definition of libel if there was enough information on his/her FB page to figure out which school they work for, which would lead to knowing exactly which children were being publicly labeled as "future criminals".

    While libel normally involves false information, it does not have to be false to meet the definition.

    I'm sorry if I misread the intent of your original post, but going into teaching does cost us a certain amount of our privacy and does come with certain expectations of how we conduct ourselves in public places and on public forums. It's just part of the job and, like it or not, always will be. Especially in our current times when teachers are being demonized and used as scapegoats for the problems in our education system. We get enough bad publicity for things we can't control without giving the media, our friends, parents, or admin examples of behavior we CAN control, but choose not to.
     
  41. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm thinking the exact same thing! I hear that all the time and I've never understood what's wrong with it. Sure, some parents may have strict religious beliefs that prevent them from drinking alcohol even as an adult, but that doesn't mean they get to "judge" a teacher for drinking who doesn't share their beliefs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and I see this topic coming up ALL the time on these boards. That's like saying because you know a parent of a student in your class is a Jehovah's witness, you're going to pretend you don't celebrate your birthday either, because afterall as a teacher you're a role model.

    I also don't understand why people continue to friend parents of students on fb, after so many riduculous stories have come out. That is absolutely not a risk I would EVER take. I "liked" our school webpage on facebook (after PTA requested us too), and then got two parents who friend requested me. They're both very nice and I know they don't have a problem with teachers drinking or anything like that, but I STILL didn't accept them. I politely told them I prefer to keep facebook just to keep in touch with friends and family back home. I then re-set my privacy settings so that people can't search for me or even see that I have a profile unless I friend them, so I won't have to deal with getting requests I can't accept anymore.
     
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