Should Teachers Be Allowed to be Friends with Their Students on Social Media? The Rob’s Radio Show Weighs In
Yesterday, we had a story about a 73-year-old substitute teacher that was told that she wasn't allowed to be friends with her students on Facebook. Instead of deleting her students from her friends list, she choose to stop teaching at that school. She has had a lot of support from her students and community who want her to return to teaching at that school, but the woman says she wouldn't return even if they allowed her to.
What do you think about this? Should teachers be allowed to be friends with their students on social media?
I’m sure most of the time, a teacher and student relationship on Facebook is probably not leading to something inappropriate, however I don’t think it is a good idea. I don’t even think it’s a bad idea for a school district to institute this rule. Students don’t need that kind of access to teachers’ personal lives, nor do teachers need access to their students photos and personal details. Students are teachers were able to communicate and lean on each other before the social media boom, and I think they should continue to communicate that way until graduation.
I'll be honest. My daughter is actually friends on Facebook with a couple of her teachers. I am ok with it and here is why - I have her ID and password (for Facebook and her other accounts as well) and she knows that at any time I can and will check in on her activity. I think that parents have become too passive with their kids. I certainly can understand where the Teacher/Student Facebook friendship might be a bad idea under some circumstances, but for my own daughter, I am ok with it.
I can see where the hesitation would be, but I think it certain cases it could actually be beneficial. It seems like it would be a big risk for teachers to be friends with their students on social media, so personally I wouldn't want to. But it should probably be the teachers choice.