When looking through the list of writing prompts to use for this tech task, I came across the one that said, “Should teachers be friends with their students on Facebook? Are there certain circumstances when this is acceptable or circumstances when it is not?” This got me thinking. I do use Facebook and have often wondered whether it was a good idea or not to add students as my “friends”. I currently have 4 former teachers of mine as my “friends” on Facebook. I think this is acceptable because I have already graduated and I am an adult. I would never have considered adding them when I was still in high school(although Facebook didn’t exist when I was in high school).  When I posed this question on my facebook for some opinions, one of those former teachers said, “My personal opinion after being on the job for 30 years and after 9 and a 1/2 year of retirement, is a definite NO. Your professional conduct even with perfect intentions could be called into play. It may be innocent, but if construed in the wrong way could be damaging to your professional reputation. You know what I was like in both the classroom and school. I wasn’t “your buddy”, I was “your teacher” and you all turned out okay.I have or have been befriended on facebook by many of my former students who are adults. I had a Prof that said, “If you treat your students like friends, you will lose control of your classroom and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never get the control back.”

There were some people who thought that it was ok to be friends with students on facebook because it was a way to connect with them, as long as you had a professional page. I think I would have to agree with those who said it was not a good idea to be friends with students on facebook, even if you made a professional page that did not have too much personal information on there. I do agree that facebook is a way of connecting to family and friends and to people that you may not get to see or talk to very often. But I think there are better ways to stay connect with a student, such as a blog.

When i googled this question, I came across an audio of two teachers debating this question. It gave the perspective of both sides.

This issue can be a matter of personal preference but I personally think that facebook should be a network  that students and teachers should stay away from while those students are still in school. If they want to be added later on as a “friend when they have become an adult, then I think that choice is up to the teacher. What do you think?



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