Rules and Regulations for Teachers online personal lives…. served up fresh from their employers

This is a response to an old post, but I found it extremely interesting so I apologize this is not timely.

In response to a commentary Regina Lynn wrote about Ohio teachers being asked to stay away from social networks, I believe they are being well advised to stay away from the mainstream social networks such as Facebook and Myspace . But as Lynn points out, the internet generation is graduation into the workforce. It is unfair to ask these new teachers to give up their communication and ties to college and maybe even their only communication to friends abroad.

I believe there is a healthy medium for which a teacher, who walks such a thin line when it comes to relationships with students. Being careful comes with the territory and these new and exsisting teachers need to understand that they are walking on thin ice when it comes to teacher-student relationships. If a teacher has either one of these accounts, which he or she knows their students also have accounts, their profiles need to be extremely private and they need to take caution in posting inappropriate pictures and content to their web pages.

When it comes to sites such as Match.com I believe a teacher has every right to be a part of the site as long as they are in good taste, while knowing many have a different definition of “good taste”. The internet is an online venue opened up for the entire world. You NEVER know who is going to read your blog, profile, or news article which is posted on such a widely available venue.

My suggestion is that teachers take precaution. If you post something inappropriate either your student will call you out on it, or your employer… and I’m guessing neither one is the more preferable. You never know when a student may call wolf and you’re stuck knee deep in legal battles just because you couldn’t resist to friend a student on facebook.

Find other forms of communication and up the privacy on all your accounts. You should anyways… there are a lot of creepers out there….

Photo is courtesy of Old Shoe woman from Flickr.com

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~ by stacianne on January 31, 2008.

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