Parents & Facebook

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JustMe, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 7, 2013

    Venting. And if I may make this request :p, please don't advise me to cancel FB and comment that this is why teachers shouldn't have an account and it's the devil and blah, blah, blah. It's not a major problem...it's just strange.

    Okay, I just don't understand the parents who send friend requests. I live in a small town, so today when I commented on a friend's photo, two parents who also commented saw my note and sent requests. It suprises me they are so open about their nosiness because of course that's what it is. I probably had fifteen parent requests last year.

    I am friends with several parents, but it's because I'm actually friends or friendly with them outside of school. If we've never communicated whatsoever but you have a child starting in August, hold off on the request. I feel like putting that as my banner picture. :whistle:
     
  2.  
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 7, 2013

    I loved when you could send messages with your friend requests...so silly to have removed that!
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    Yeah-in the past to be nosy they'd actually have to ask you questions like are you married, etc. now they can just read your status. ;)

    I'm friends with several past parents and enjoy seeing the photos of the kids growing up and hearing their stories. Especially the ones that moved away. Every once in awhile one of their posts will get a little TMI and I will have to hide it from my newsfeed-not necessarily a visual I want when I see them at dismissal. :whistle:
     
  5. Global Teacher

    Global Teacher Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    Don't worry about being polite. Just routinely reject all friend requests from current students and parents of current students. You can put this policy on handouts you give to students at the beginning of the year. You might even go to the principal about making this an official school policy.

    Also, as a teacher, if you have all these prying eyes who seem to be interested in your Facebook profile, I would set the privacy settings to the maximum level.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    I guess it depends on the administration, but I wonder how well it would go over as an official school policy.

    I say this only because Facebook may fall under the realm of the teachers' "private lives" and the district may (or may not) be able to dictate with whom we become friends on Facebook.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    1,914

    Jul 7, 2013

    I agree that teachers shouldn't have to avoid having FB accounts, and I would be livid if my school told me I had to follow some official school policy regarding my personal account. We do have a social media policy, as required by state law, but it only restricts the methods and types of communication we are allowed to have with current students. This seems reasonable. Restricting my communication with other adults does not.

    Some things I've done to keep my account out of sight from nosy eyes:
    - I use my middle name in place of my last name on FB, so that it's hard for people to find me. My picture is still me, so it's not impossible to identify me if someone happens to stumble upon my profile through some round-about way. However, it's much trickier for someone to search me out just because they're nosy. I have a lot of teacher friends that do this.
    - I also don't "friend" many co-workers on FB. I'll accept a few incoming requests from fellow teachers, but, unless I'm actually real-life friends with those co-workers, they go on my "restricted" list so they can only see minimal info.
    - And, as Global Teacher suggested, I keep my privacy settings set to the maximum level.
     
  8. Global Teacher

    Global Teacher Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    The problem with deciding for yourself whether or not you accept friend requests from parents is that one shared photo or quote that's interpreted the wrong way by a parent can cost you your job.

    A school policy just makes it easier to keep the two worlds separate, in my view.
     
  9. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    Yes, I agree...sadly, all it takes is one quote or photo.

    However, and I'm playing devil's advocate here, where do we draw the line?

    Should teachers also be told not to purchase liquor at a neighborhood store (off-duty of course)?

    If a male teacher is invited to a strip club for a bachelor party and is seen by a male parent...what then?

    I agree wholeheartedly we should be cautious, but is there a boundary where the school district can mandate what we do in our personal lives? (i.e. "Female teachers, please only wear one-piece bathing suits if you go to the local beach, because our middle-school boys are impressionable and we don't want them being influenced by your attire should they happen to run into you. Thank you for understanding.")
     
  10. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 7, 2013

    It can definitely be a slippery slope if you are actually friends with some of the parents outside of school. I don't teach anywhere near I live so its easy for me to have my own little I would never accept a friend request from a parent policy.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    1,914

    Jul 7, 2013

    My thoughts too...

    I agree that what you've outlined could be a problem. However, as a professional adult, it's up to me to make sure I'm responsible enough to avoid doing things that could lead me to cost myself my job.

    I don't choose to accept friend requests from parents unless I'm actually friends with them outside of school (and so far, no one falls into this category), but that should remain at my discretion and not at the school's.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    229

    Jul 7, 2013

    I have been lucky; I think I have only ever had one parent request and it was after the school year was over. I really like this mom so I accepted her request. 15 requests in one year?? Wow!
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,712

    Jul 7, 2013

    Why not a female teacher or parent? :p

    I don't think that schools should be instituting any sort of policy about Facebook except as it applies to classroom use. My FB account is handled on my own personal time. I feel confident enough about my ability to make good choices that I don't need a school policy telling me what to do and what not to do when it comes to FB.

    As to the original issue, that stinks. People really are just overly nosy. I think that sometimes Facebook becomes a place where people keep a collection of all the people they have ever met or interacted with or recognize in any way. I am thankful that I haven't received parent requests (except from parents who are actual, real-life friends).
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Jul 7, 2013

    The difficulty here is all it really takes is interpretation and you and your judgment are not the ones making the interpretations.
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    I think that's very rare though. We hear about a handful of cases--I don't think that should mean teachers can't use it. Most teachers have good judgement. I actually think it's good they see us as human.
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 7, 2013

    With all due respect, I think it's FREAKING CRAZY :p for schools to have Facebook policies restricting adults.

    As to my original point, I don't feel bad about ignoring requests. I don't know you. Simple. But still so strange you'd send the request...

    I'm not changing my name or anything of that nature to avoid it.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Jul 7, 2013

    We have a FB policy and are reminded frequently that violation of it is grounds for dismissal.
     
  18. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jul 7, 2013

    It is super tricky! Right now I ignore parent requests, but I know it will get tricky when my kids start school and I become friends with their friends parents.
     
  19. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Jul 7, 2013

    My rule is not until they are out of my room. I had a friend's child in class a few years ago. We were friends on Facebook before. I deleted her when her child was placed in my room. I explained to her that it was my policy and because I wanted other parents to understand, I was deleting her. When her child was out of my room, she sent a request and I added her back.
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,065
    Likes Received:
    1,512

    Jul 7, 2013

    I wouldn't accept parents as friends. Period. That way nobody can be offended if I didn't accept their request.
    My school does not have a Facebook policy other than it is not to be accessed on school computers.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 7, 2013

    If I'm friends with someone who happens to have a child start at my school, I am not going to unfriend them. Just not something I'd consider because if I'm friends with them on FB, it's because I'm friends with them. Small town...I went to school with many of these parents and or I'm related to them. I don't care if another parent sees I'm FB friends with another. Frankly, it's not any of their business.

    It's the parents I don't much know that I will not add since it's entirely out of their nosiness.
     
  22. Global Teacher

    Global Teacher Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    I like this, but personally I would extend this policy to "out of my school."

    But then, I have always worked in the big city. Being friends with parents of my students has never come up.
     
  23. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 7, 2013


    Obviously I agree that as adults teachers should be more than welcome to choose to do any of the things you mentioned. But thinking about this makes me so thankful my school neighborhood and home neighborhood are completely different worlds and I don't have to mix the two. My students' parents really know nothing about my personal life. I don't want to run into my students' parents outside of school. I like the two being separate. It doesn't have to be, but it's just so much less complicated.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    1,403

    Jul 7, 2013

    I got two this morning. I accepted one. She was a former high school classmate. The other is from someone I don't know, but I think she is a parent.

    I have a lot of parents on my friend list, but I know them all some other way than just from being a parent. I also have everyone in groups with different settings. Only about 20 people on my list see everything I post.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 7, 2013

    I considered doing the various groups on FB, but I just want to keep it simple. If you're my friend on the site, you're going to get it all! :D
     
  26. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    204

    Jul 7, 2013

    I've said this a dozen times, and I'll say it again. Louder.

    IT'S ALL ABOUT HOW YOU USE FACEBOOK.

    Some people use Facebook like a personal diary where they open up their private thoughts or as a forum where they vent their frustrations about the world. Or they use it as a venue to display stories and photos that detail their most recent dalliances, debaucheries, and escapades. These people need to be very careful who they accept into their social networks.

    But if you friended me on Facebook, and poured through all my photos, my profile, and posts, all you would learn is that I'm a teacher who likes cats and bicycles. You might also figure out that I was in the Air Force at one time, and that I'm currently happily married and that I like to travel. You would see that I'm by no means a teetotaler, but I teach in the middle of California wine country. Zinfandel is used as a verb here.

    You all know more sordid details about me from AtoZ than you might ever learn from Facebook.

    To me Facebook is a giant bulletin board for the things in my life that I truly want the whole world to know about. If I would not want to see it on a road sign along the interstate, I generally don't post it.

    So IN MY CASE, I can accept friend requests from parents and even students at my school without much concern. And I do so, mainly because I can honestly say that my private life is something I'm proud of and what people see on Facebook probably helps my reputation among parents and students rather than the other way around.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 7, 2013

    Yeah, I'm not debating whether teachers should accept friends or not...I'm just expressing disbelief that some parents who haven't even met me yet send friend requests because their nosiness is killing them.
     
  28. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    204

    Jul 7, 2013

    My two cat's have Facebook pages. What's funny is that they get more requests from parents than I do.
     
  29. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Jul 7, 2013

    Your a smart man., :thumb:
     
  30. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    Meant no offense. :) I'm a male teacher, so I immediately went to that POV. :)
     
  31. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Jul 7, 2013

    We live in the community, my son went to hs there, my daughter is in intermediate school there, we show with them, go to church with them, and it is a small town. I can't eliminate everyone whose child is in my school...I wouldn't have any friends on Facebook.
     
  32. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,065
    Likes Received:
    922

    Jul 7, 2013

    :lol:

    I'm going to make a fb page for my cat and direct everyone there instead, haha.
     
  33. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,065
    Likes Received:
    922

    Jul 7, 2013

    I grew up in an extremely conservative and religious community. In fact, when I was back for spring break I went with my parents to a community easter service put on by my high school (public school). The superintendent got up and made a little speech and asked people to raise their hands if they brought a student with them. He then went on and on about how we need to get "every single student at ______" into a church, this is going to solve any alcohol/drug problems at the school, etc. Even though where I live now is absolutely nothing like that, I still can't shake the feelings of living in that community. There, a teacher probably could get fired for simply having a picture holding a beer on their fb. I've only been teaching for a few years, but around here I have never felt that parents/community members feel like I'm not allowed to be an adult just because I'm a teacher. I still have my middle name instead of my last name on my page, and I have it set so that people can't request me (I would have to send them the request). My friends around here think it's nuts but my friends who teach near my hometown totally understand. In some communities it is a big deal.
     
  34. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    40

    Jul 7, 2013

    I have known teachers (when I was in high school--about 10 years ago) who actually worked at strip clubs. I really don't think one could get in trouble for that. Well not from the school that is---maybe with his wife/girlfriend. Total digression, but my husband doesn't go to them because he knows if he did and I found out---I'd go work at one. Hey, if something is "harmless," it's "harmless" all the way around :) My husband sure changed his tune on that one knowing I could easily get a job at one. :) It would be interesting to know if policies have changed on that--and if someone would lose their job working at one.
     
  35. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    40

    Jul 7, 2013

    Same here with regard to content of my FB. Even though it has maximum privacy settings and my friends are mainly limited to actual friends and family members, I still only detail things that I am not ashamed to admit to anybody whose anybody. My FB page would tell you I have 2 kids, expecting a baby, married, where I live, etc. The only "offensive" thing people might find is that I'm a fan of fox news and a conservative Republican listed in other.
     
  36. Global Teacher

    Global Teacher Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    Interesting how this thread has evolved into a discussion about teaching in a small close community vs. teaching in a big city.

    Having only taught in big cities, I never imagined a situation where as a teacher I would know my students and their families on such different terms than I do now. Interesting to see this perspective.
     
  37. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 7, 2013

    I teach in a small rural community. I have a lot of parents and students as friends.

    I have lists for the two extra-curriculars I sponsor and the class I sponsor so everyone doesn't have to see all those posts.

    As for my life, these are the things you'd find out about me from facebook: where I work, where I went to school, the fact that I read a lot (my goodreads is linked to facebook), the fact that I love my nieces and nephews, the fact that I go to a lot of movies and a lot of school events (concerts, ball games, etc.). And that is all stuff that everyone in my classes already know.
     
  38. SportsFanTr

    SportsFanTr Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 7, 2013

    I have several parents, coworkers, bosses, and kids on my facebook. The only rule is I will not friend a kid until they are legally old enough to have a facebook account (13). I am very careful what I post in terms of pictures, shared images/links, and status updates.

    Sarge, I <3 the idea of giving your cat a facebook, and am now wanting one for our classroom pet. I'm thinking of making it a blog instead so that the kids can access it, but thanks for the idea!
     
  39. microbe

    microbe Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 8, 2013

    Gosh, when I had Facebook, I had maaaybe 40 friends, and these people were either family members or very dear friends. I ended up deactivating my Facebook due to drama, and never have had the desire to reactivate it since. When I started subbing, I'd got asked pretty often if I had a Facebook. I was glad to always be able to answer, "Nope!"

    My district has a policy that we're not allowed to add students or parents as friends on Facebook (though I don't believe that it's actually enforced). The reasoning was drawn from several cases where teachers were either posting inappropriate stuff on Facebook that their students could see (i.e. pictures of Bachelorette parties and the like) and cases where teachers would post rants about their students where the whole world could see.

    I think if I was to reactivate my Facebook I'd use an alias. The only people I'd want to read status updates from are my family and close friends.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MrsC
Total: 276 (members: 1, guests: 250, robots: 25)
test