Spying on Parents via Social Media

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SleekTeach, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    So I know parents look for us online, but I decided to look up some of my parents. I found lots of things that explain the behaviors of my students. Some had my students throwing up gang signs, some of the mothers are strippers, lots of drinking and smoking...do any other teachers do this? I was just curious! :confused:
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I've stumbled inadvertently across the facebook pages of some of my parents, but never intentionally sought them out.
     
  4. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Nope. I don't want to put out the karma of them doing that to me. Of course, the first thing I did as a teacher was make my profile unsearchable and completely blank to the general public.
     
  5. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    As a parent, I'd suggest that it's a pretty good idea for teachers to do this.

    But, if you do, be careful of your own state of mind. Say you have a mother who's a stripper, for instance -- you might consider that as reflecting badly on her parenting, but without other information that would be quite premature. Regardless of your feelings on the morality of stripping itself, it does pay the bills and doesn't mean she's a bad parent per se. She may keep her children completely separate (actually, from what I know of strippers, she very likely keeps it separate).

    My main point being, you're looking into what may be a different culture than your own, and should be careful with your judgements. Not that they aren't warranted sometimes (I would be very wary about the kids with parents throwing gang signs, though I'd also want to know if they actually belonged to a gang or were flashing things they didn't understand or whatever).

    And regardless, you have to do your best to teach the kids. Such searches could provide useful information, and that's what it should be viewed as.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    No, I am not concerned about my students' parents private lives. I teach children not parents. Of course if abuse is going on that is another issue.
     
  7. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I don't consider it any of my business what my students' parents post on social media. At all.

    It's threads like this that make me glad I don't do Facebook or Twitter or whatever else there is out there. I'd hate to feel like someone might decide it was important to investigate me and making judgments.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have never looked up parents, would not even want to. My facebook is set to highest privacy and I only use it to communicate with family and closest friends.
     
  9. StarsofTommorow

    StarsofTommorow Companion

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    I like this topic. I don't do social media at all not just as a teacher but because I am a private person. I have never thought to spy on parents, probably see some crazy things. :eek:hmy:
     
  10. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Also I should probably note that I am 23, and the parents in my class range from 22-26. I teach 1st grade btw. I think I was most curious because when I try to contact parents or get them to the school or any reason I rarely get a response. I have never evenseent most of them other than the first day of school. I can't lie, it was interesting.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I look parents up sometimes. It's usually when the name seems familiar and I'm curious if we know each other. I teach in a small town, usually I know someone from church or they are friends of friends. I've never seen anything super concerning.
     
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Usually no. I can think of two times when I "Googled" a parent because the had a company name in their email signature and I was curious what the company was, but that is it.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Yes, this thread has been moderated.

    Personal attacks are out of line, irrespective of one's level of outrage.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Any information that is public is fair game. The question then becomes the motivation of those looking for the information and how they use that information. Not everything you see is what it seems. The purpose of the motivation and the judgment that comes with looking for the informaiton may actually be more harmful for the student that the find.
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    While I am not on any social media sites; if I were, spying on parents is the last thing I would waste my time doing.

    What is the purpose? How will this make my life better? Not to mention, I would never want to be "friends" - in any manner - with any of my students' parents.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I think it would depend on the school I was teaching at. I taught many children of gang members and I can see a benefit to knowing if a child's parent is on trial. I had that happen many times. I tried to give the kiddo extra attention because it has to be a stressful situation- even if the parent brought it on him or herself and the family by performing illegal activities.
     
  17. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    I don't care much about social media. I'm more of a forum type of guy, where some people out there still tend to give more substance.

    With that said, taking time out of my schedule to look up parents' info just to explain students' behavior is a complete waste of time. I don't know why anyone else would need confirmation by "spying" on parents about certain students' behavior.

    But that's just me. Like today, Saturday, when I'm supposed to enjoy my free time, there's no way I'm going to spend any fraction of a second looking up information about parents to "explain" certain behavior of students. I need my free time.
     
  18. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I don't understand why people act like its a long process to find someone on facebook, especially when you're already on it, and it's on your phone lol...some people are over thinking it. I think y'all are putting too much into the word "spying." Maybe I'm just GT, because I could do this on a treadmill while while watching T.V.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Knee-slapping funny! :lol:

    Don't agree or don't think it is worth their time, something must be wrong with them.....

    You do realize most are saying they see no value in it when they say they don't want to take their time to do it.
     
  20. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    All I know is that people talking about needing their free time certainly should not have time for A to Z Teacher Stuff considering this is also social media.. I wouldn't consider this professional development. I don't believe half of the people here are really teachers or anything related to teachers anyway.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm more astounded by things my colleagues think are ok to post...and I don't comment on those posts. They are setting themselves up. Not my concern.
    Parents aren't publc employees. I care not what they put on social media.and I don't check them, search for them nor stalk them.
     
  22. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Really? Stalk? So dramatic.
     
  23. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I do it all the time. First thing I do when I get a new student is try looking up their parents on Facebook.

    In my opinion, it's not spying. All I'm seeing when I search a person on Facebook are those things they either don't care if I see or are too clueless to know that I can see it.

    Moreover, I've had a number of parents whom I could not contact via phone or email, but lo and behold, there they are on Facebook. I've even sent them requests under those circumstances.
     
  24. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I've only done this a few times. I Googled the parents of a child because they were impossible to get a hold of, and lo and behold, there were the court and jail records. If I didn't have a reason to search for them, I would feel like a creeper, but that's just me.

    Calling it "spying" is excessive. We all know what we're getting into when we put information on the internet.
     
  25. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Yea I regret using that word because some people are getting the wrong idea lol
     
  26. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    I agree. Looking for public information is not stalking m, IMO. This is really a non-issue, I think.
     
  27. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I live in a small town. If they aren't already friends with me, I likely already know what they do or don't do.
     
  28. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Maybe you should have used the word "creeping" on them because that is what the teens call it.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Spying, stalking, creeping...semantics.:whistle:
     
  30. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Inquisitive, curious, wondering...semantics.:whistle:

    Is there really such a difference?
     
  31. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Put it into the context of a person, not a FB page, then ask the question about the difference in words.

    Yes, there is a difference. You can be curious and wonder without ever doing a thing. You do have to ask someone to inquire, but you don't have to ask that person. You can ask someone about that person. Spying, stalking, and creeping requires action being done in this case to a FB page, when it comes to people, you must do it to the person directly.

    So, it is more than semantics.
     
  32. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Spying - observe furtively

    Stalking - harass someone with unwanted or obsessive attention

    Creeping - (this one is from Urban Dictionary) Following what is going on in someone's life by watching their status messages on Instant Messengers such as MSN, and their updates to their social networking profiles on websites like Facebook or MySpace.
     
  33. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    I know it isn't a long process, but it is an added process which I'm not getting paid for.

    The difference between the rest of social media and a place like this one, which is a forum, is that users here need to provide a response, with a bigger amount of characters and users aren't just praising each other for their pictures or waiting for likes for the posts. Forums, in those and other ways, serve a better purpose.

    The quality of users doesn't really matter. I would pick the users here any day over anybody else on twitter, facebook, etc. There's little to no substance there.
     
  34. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Umm, no. I will agree with you that when you're talking about acting on something you read from the internet that is different. Reading something or searching for something that is public record (such as FB profiles) is different.
     
  35. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    FB is not spying. But with little kids (elementary) no need to spy as they will tell you most of it.
     
  36. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Learned the hard way NOT to tell kids about how much anything important costs, like cars, mortgages, or health conditions unless I'm completely okay with it being public!

    (actually, the mortgages isn't so far from being public anyway, given sites like Zillow where you can see what someone paid for their house)
     
  37. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    Isn't searching for people on FB generally called fb stalking? That's what my friends and I have always called it with no ill intent behind the words.

    It's probably been said a dozen times already, but people put stuff online knowing it can be seen by certain people depending upon their privacy settings, especially with Facebook.
    I doubt I'd actively seek out parents of students, but I also agree that it could provide some interesting insight into some student behavior... Though I'm also naturally a sort of nosy person, and I look up friends of friends sometimes when people mention them. So... :whistle:
    I never even thought to look up any of the parents from my class last year. I wasn't really focused on what the parents were like, I was worried about my 2nd graders who were busy passing notes and making girl drama. :dizzy:
     
  38. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I'm hoping adults are smart enough to figure out how to use privacy settings. I never thought of doing it but I don't think it's stalking or snooping if you're not going out of your way to find the information. If you sign up for those information searches where you have to pay to get information I think that would be going overboard and could be considered invasive.
     
  39. teachingfun1

    teachingfun1 New Member

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    I find myself doing this but i guess theres a line of where not to cross. you also can't blame the child for the parents behaviour.
     
  40. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I also think if you find something out you should probably keep it to yourself and not tell people in the faculty room (You won't believe with Sally's mom does every Friday night!!).
     
  41. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I agree. I also think that sometimes what is seen could be used as an excuse for not addressing academic issues in children deemed to have dysfunctional families based on what is found on FB.
     

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