In the eyes of a teacher, social media can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. As in most professions, it is essential for teachers to be cognizant of what is getting shared via social media. When used effectively, social media can be a tool for communication, inspiration, connection, and entertainment. Below we’ve shared a few things to reflect upon when determining where to draw the line regarding teachers and social media etiquette.
Stay in Control
Social media privacy settings, if used correctly, may offer you some form of control over what gets posted on your feed, but it still leaves plenty of room for content to slip through the cracks, especially when others are involved.
As teachers, we are proud of our profession and we don’t need to hide that fact on social media. We do, however, need to control the content and conversations, both in our personal and work lives. Some teachers have found success in class Facebook groups or class Instagram accounts. However, it is important to keep in mind that parents can still gain control of the conversation here. You also need to be aware of your district’s policy and what permissions are required for this.
An app like ClassTag can be an excellent platform for meeting your classroom social media needs without compromising control. You can send messages, directly to a parent or to the class and parents will automatically receive it however suits them. ClassTag also offers an entire suite of control settings that allows you to regulate what parents can and cannot share or post on the app.
Everyone knows that teachers try to have a life outside of school and want to show their personality online! It’s important to reflect upon what you want your posts to say about you professionally. If someone scrolled through your page, what would they find? As teachers, we have a lot of eyes on us both online and off.
Using a separate tool for parent communication can help take the attention away from your personal social media accounts and discourage parents from searching through your personal content. An app like ClassTag can provide them with something that is more beneficial and informative for them and their child’s educational happenings.
Some teachers have a teacher-dedicated social media account used solely to inspire and be inspired. They use that account to follow other teachers to find great ideas for their classroom, be it management strategies, content ideas, or even designs for classroom decor and organization.
Once you have found your inspiration and ideas, you can use ClassTag to ask parents for donations or volunteers to implement those ideas. Take it a step further and share photos of your class projects privately on the app. Parents will love seeing the results of their hard work and assistance!
Teachers come from all kinds of different scenarios and situations. Some may work in a small community where most of the general population already knows one another; others may have been previously acquainted with students’ parents through various social circles. This may make it difficult to separate your personal and professional relationships and can be the hardest line to draw. Regardless of previous connections, allowing parents to contact you through personal channels, be it social media or even a personal cell number, can open the door to a number of harrowing situations.
The answer? Find an alternative method that allows you to communicate quickly, efficiently, and professionally with students’ parents. Politely ask any previous or budding acquaintances that they use an app like ClassTag to communicate all school-related content and keep the personal social media just that: social.
It is important, especially for educators who are often in the limelight, to be hyper aware of what is being displayed on social media, as it can reflect on not just us as individuals, but the entire profession. Knowing when and where to draw the line regarding the different social media realms can help make your life a whole lot easier.
At the end of the day, we won’t blame you for sometimes wishing for the good ol’ days!