BY ELENA VALDEZ
It is not uncommon for a teacher to have their “@” atop the classroom whiteboards. But does this interaction outside of the classroom on social media outlets cross the line in a student-teacher relationship?
Whether it be on Twitter, Instagram or even Snapchat, teachers are always looking for ways to engage their students. Their social media presence could make it easier for students to reach out to teachers in times of need or to receive reminders on important projects. Educators use their online platforms not for socializing, but for guidance in the classroom or for assignments.
Whether it be on Twitter, Instagram or even Snapchat, teachers are always looking for ways to engage their students.
Teenagers and modern teachers are no strangers to the internet; a vast majority of their lives depend on it. It is how many interact and stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. The world wide web provides access to an abundance of information. But kids will post about their personal lives and current affairs, some things that teachers should not hear. Privacy is important, but with the rise of technology, it is often jeopardized.
A teacher does not necessarily need social media to interact with their students. Although they could benefit from a more intimate bond, a line should be drawn between teachers and their students. Of course, there are certain exceptions. But not every student wants their middle-aged history teacher following them when they retweet a vulgar meme.
This could teach responsibility amongst the youth to be mindful of what they post. However, a teacher should have limitations when it comes to their students’ personal lives.
Mandated school-run accounts would provide the same convenience online, without the mess of a teacher knowing far too much about your life. Websites like Canvas, Blackboard and Google Classroom are starting points to a more tech-friendly and convenient classroom. Separate platforms for school social media may be a more effective and safer fit than resorting to sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Teachers should be able to connect with their students without interfering in their lives outside the classroom. Just as well, a student does not need to know the intimate details of their teacher’s life that they could discover through social media.
There is just too much online about everyone’s personal lives; all it takes is one search that could lead to so much more. Every individual student’s reputation is at stake and there are things everyone has to hide, even online.
Teachers should be able to connect with their students without interfering in their lives outside the classroom. Just as well, a student does not need to know the intimate details of their teacher’s life that they could discover through social media. Invasion of privacy and the disregard of professionalism may occur once teachers take on social media platforms.
“I just wanted to try and reach out to you guys,” Cooper City High School math teacher Michelle Diamond said. “I created a Twitter to make it easier to reach out, I love technology anyways.”
Now that 27 percent of schools allow online communities for teachers and administrators to interact with students and each other, more research is being put forth into the benefits of social media in schools. The increase in grades, attendance and communication that correlates with a teacher’s online presence is uncharted territory, as this is a problem with new age technology. Precautions and boundaries must be questioned to keep things comfortable on both ends.
Regardless of the type of person they are, a professional line should be drawn in the student-teacher relationship, one that social media has the potential to infringe on.
Regardless of the type of person they are, a professional line should be drawn in the student-teacher relationship, one that social media has the potential to infringe on. The encouragement and interaction are great things, but seldom is social media used for academics. It’s an escape from the stress of school where teenagers can freely post about whatever they are feeling or share the latest memes.
Photo courtesy of AdLibbing