Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Jul 29, 2007.
Jul 29, 2007
I understand your decision, and respect and trust your ability to keep things as professional as possible. Still, I have received plenty of emails this summer with similar messages from students - no myspace required. Even if you have nothing inappropriate, myspace still does. It's just not something I want to direct my students to. I wish I could use it - I really do - but the site simply has too many pornographic, indecent, and illegal material. Your students are in high school, though, and I know they see this all the time unfortunately...
All that said, I'm glad your student thought of you! It gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling.
It freaks me out that my students could find me on there... I made my page private- and still have had a student "find" me. They talk about things that are way to adult, and the parents do not really care (at least the ones who have kids on there). I have one only to keep in contact with high school friends. This is just me though.
I understand where Cassie is coming from, particularly being a younger teacher myself. Sometimes for the kids to just send a quick message or comment from their "MySpace" account just 'seems' easier to them. Plus they may think it's kinda cool that Cassie is shall we say "hip with the times" .
I have a MySpace account (which I strongly opposed until I found it was the only way to reconnect with old colleagues and friends) but I too have it set that you can't find me unless you're 18. I think it's ok as long as it's kept professional. At the same time, I can empathize with other posters' concerns of the porn, inappropriate material, etc. And technically speaking, yes an email is just as easy and effective.
ok...but were there distinct, specific rules by the school or district that had it in writing somewhere that it's not allowed? Because if they did then I'd understand the immediate firing. If they didn't then I'd say that teacher could sue.
I guess it sounds like your school is all on board with my space so I also doubt any teacher would get in trouble.
I was just worried for you but I suppose it was in haste.
I am anti-MySpace as well. There are some people I'd rather NOT talk to! But, I made a promise that I'd make one if I moved away, so I just made one the other day. I told my friends that they could only post G or PG stuff!
I am an el teacher, so I can't fathom talking to students with it...
But, that is the best feeling when they say stuff like that!
I have myspace but I don't think you can find me by using just my last name (not sure if you can find me using first and last). It is set on private because my friends aren't very PG and I have pictures of me with a drink in my hand and I wouldn't add a current or former student because of that.
However, I would have no problems creating a separate myspace account specifically for my students to add/contact me.
Lyquidphyre get rid of that photo NOW.....I am telling you it will come back to haunt you. That girl that lost her education degree because one of her students found that page, well she never did get it. I just don't want you hurt. The only photo I have on mine, is me teaching, and you know what, I don't use it. I experimented to see what my kids were doing, but I am going to take it down now. I do not want to lose my job because of a stupid internet page.....to keep in touch with friends and family I use instand messangers, and email, works for me.
Wait, let me rephrase!! :sorry:
When I started subbing, I put my profile on private. My main photo is of me... no drinking. But, in my albums (which can only be viewed by accepted friends) I have pictures of me with a drink in my hand. That is why I would never add a student. I would NEVER ever ever ever have my main photo be a picture of me drinking for the same reason you mentioned =o)
If I were to create a myspace specifically for my students, it would have a picture of me teaching.. or yearbook photo or whatever.
I was actually thinking of making a myspace page to stay in contact with the parents...are more comfy personal thing but I guess there is more to it than i thought. Touchy stuff ...but I am still thinking about it because the school i will work for does not have class pages for the district...so we will have to wait and see....
I never plan on using MySpace in any of my classes, but I do want my students to be aware that what they post now or in the future can haunt them later. I know you can mark private, but let's face it, if somebody wants your info bad enough they can get it. There are a lot of computer savvy people out there, and these sites are going to (and already have) gotten people in trouble.
I have heard and read a great deal about companies who search Facebook and MySpace looking for people who have applied for jobs. It doesn't look good when they find pictures of you plastered at a party. Keep in mind, just because you don't have it posted on your site doesn't mean somebody else doesn't have you posted on theirs!! I.E. "Jane Doe passed out on my couch after birthday bash!" Potential employers can and do find this info. If they can find it, so can our students.
I think it is great to use technology in the classroom, but personally, I would be afraid to use a forum suchh as MySpace. Not only is it questionable and dangerous for the kids, it is potentially dangerous for adults, too.:unsure:
Our school discourages using MySpace. A fellow teacher found he had a page that a student made for him (w/o telling him) that was extremely inappropriate. It took a lot of work to get the page taken off (police were involved):huh:
My profile is private no matter what. If you go to my friends profile and click my picture... it goes directly to the page that says my profile is on private. The only people who can see it are the people I accept. I have very few people on my friends list and all of them I know in person. Most of them even have their profile set on private. I went to look and I only have two pictures of me with a drink (and one of them you can't really tell what it is.. it could be milk as far as anyone is concerned). But, with all that being said, I will take down the one with me wearing a balloon hat drinking a margarita That is probably the only one that could get me in trouble even tho I know for a fact no one cares enough to use that or post that picture elsewhere (if that makes sense).
This isn't a MySpace incident, but it could be--a couple years ago there was a student who took a picture with a camera phone (no they are not allowed to have them in class, but you can't be everywhere) of a teacher who was consoling another student. Nothing inappropriate at all. The teacher put his/her arm casually on the student's shoulder to lead him/her out of the room when the photo was taken. (This was in front of an entire class) The photo ended up on the internet! Fortunately, the kid was ratted out and everything was settled, but this is how trouble for teachers get started!
I'm sure this has happened in other schools. How do we teach responsibility to these kids? They are exposed to so much more than I was, and they learn new computer skills so much quicker.
Jul 30, 2007
We all know that the Internet is an amazing tool (We're posting on a message board for teachers after all ).
I think it's a wonderful idea to use the Internet to communicate with students through a class webpage, blog or e-mail account.
Although the OP feels very comfortable and likes using MySpace to communicate with students, I personally would not feel comfortable using MySpace or a similar website.
My objection to using MySpace to communicate with students has nothing to with protecting my privacy and career, it has to do with protecting students.
MySpace recently announced they have more than 29,000 registered sex offenders on their site. They've only reported removing approximately 7,000 of those initial 29,000. And these numbers only reflect registered offenders. It's impossible to know how many sick, twisted people use MySpace to prey on innocent children.
I do not feel comfortable using a site that has so few restrictions to communicate with students because I don't think children should be posting on such sites in the first place.
It's one thing for adults to use MySpace or Facebook to keep in contact with friends scattered across the county. It's another thing for young children to use such sites.
I think as teachers, we need to let our students know about the danger of sharing information about themselves and chatting with strangers online (I feel like a PSA typing this LOL).
I have a school myspace site, but I think I'll probably get rid of it. I wanted to use it to post school stuff, but the kids aren't really reading it . . . or using it for much of anything, honestly. They pretty much just think it's funny that a teacher has a myspace site. I've got a class webpage that links to a listserv, and it's more useful.
I don't allow students on my personal myspace site. I have the site public, but I have all of my photos and blogs set to private. I also must approve all of my comments before they post.
Everyone also needs to remember that MySpace itself is NOT bad or evil in itself. The dangers come from parents who don't monitor their children's online activities!
I have a myspace that is set to private. I never mention that I have one to students because I feel that it is something from my personal life. There is nothing inappropriate on there, and I would have no problem with an administrator or fellow teacher looking on there. To me, myspace is just something fun for my personal life away from school and it would be too weird for me to communicate with students in that way.
I do think that a teacher can have good intentions for communicating with students through myspace but I also think the door can be opened for an outside person to interpret things badly.I'm surprised nobody has posted their link yet!
Zoe, that is a good point. I'm on my way over there now...
I really don't see anything wrong with myspace I have been using it to communicate with friends and family for quite a while now. Its a great way to keep in touch with old friends. I understand where everyone is coming from with the students but a teacher is also a person and has a right to a personal life. In my opinion we need a place to just be us and not have to worry so much about the mold we have to fit in. I, however, won't use it to communicate with parents after I have read this thread. Seems like a lot more goes into it than I thought. I have it set to public but I will be changing that ASAP since the year is about to start. I just don't think myspace is evil...I think it is just in the way some people have used it.
Jul 31, 2007
I'm working on a class website, and on it there is a Myspace/Facebook disclaimer to let students and parents know that I will not add them as friends on either account. I don't know... it just doesn't "smell good" to me. As a young teacher, I don't want my students to think we can be buddies. . I think for more older or more experienced teachers it is probably fine.
My accounts are private, and there isn't anything I've posted that is inappropriate. However, I can't control what my friends post on their (often public) Myspace accounts, which the students would have direct links to from my site.
I was talking about this with my union president last night. Apparently there are instances of people posting comments to pages with sexually explicit pictures or comments. The main page person (I'm sure there is a name for them.) had nothing to do with it, but was placed on leave until it could be determined that someone else had done it.
Now, I'm sure that couldn't happen if your page was private, but it is still a concern.
Well, you have to keep in mind there is an option to approve comments before they are posted. If your profile is private you don't have to worry too much about that, but if it isn't, you just don't approve those explicit comments.
We can not be associated with myspace or anything similiar and I teach the 8th grade. We have been told that it is a huge no no for us to get caught on it of course we all know for various reasons..........
I won't get a myspace page. I like the security of knowing that if anyone is looking for anything on me, they won't find anything because there is literally nothing to find.
Aug 2, 2007
I'm a new teacher and I was also wondering if MySpace would be helpful. My own kids have myspace so I'm familiar with the format and I look at theirs occasionally.
My daughter, who is in college, brought up a very good point. All of these pages link together with friends, etc. She said I don't ever want to have a situation where someone posts something inappropriate (on a page that I am linked with as a friend) and a parent or school administrator might say that I was aware of a situation. She said, "Mom, don't put yourself in the position to be obligated to report something or liable if you didn't report something." I thought it was very wise advice. I won't be getting one.
You can also choose NOT to have your friends viewable to anyone who looks at your page. Some people approve pretty much anybody that requests to be their friend, but I only have people I actually KNOW, which means I also know what I could expect from viewing their pages. I only have two people on my list that I don't know personally, and they're both teachers I met online through these groups.
my students set UP myspace page. i have made changes and done some privacy stuff...but i love, love, love it! It is a good way to keep in touch with them. I was a debate coach, and it helped.
(BTW: what debate camp did the toga party happen at?!?!?! Lovely story...GO LATIN TEACHERS! Love you with a very tough job)
You also can set up a page at Scholastic.com for a class. I have JUST started playing with it. But it might be a good way to keep up with students.
I also would switch to facebook if you have too many problems with myspace. I have found the privacy much better!
I don't trust "private" online. There is no such thing. I do have a myspace page, but no one on my list would post anything inappropriate. You do have to be careful though because setting it to private means nothing, people can still find a way in. Just my two cents though.
Aug 3, 2007
I wasn't talking about my own friends posting anything inappropriate. I'm talking about being "friends" with students and being linked to their pages - no telling what might be on their pages and I'd hate for a parent or administrator to think I knew about something (kids drinking or whatever) because it was posted on a myspace page.
I don't think kids realize how much they post online. I can look at my son's friend list and pretty much know which kids to keep an eye on...
Ambritlit, I have a myspace page and my students are my "friends", and I am really starting to consider that same issue. There is one girl in particular who has been posting bulletins ALL SUMMER about how she's been getting high and sneaking out with her boyfriend. I told my principal about it (in an email so there's a paper trail), so I feel like I've done the CYA for now, but I'm not sure that I would really be protected if her mom pushed it. I'm thinking I'll delete my profile soon.
When I was doing substance abuse counseling with teens I often looked them up on myspace. I could tell who was serious about their recovery and who was just going through the motions to satisfy a probation officer. I never called them on this info, as it would have blown my source, but it's usually all out there. I didn't have to worry about parents there, because SA treatment is protected under HIPPA and these kids' treatment was confidential. They had to sign to give permission for anything I wanted to discuss with a parent and myspace wasn't even on the list.
As long as you are/were of legal drinking age, there should not be any issue unless you work at a school (religious for example) where you take a vow not to drink.