While trying to relate to your students is one of the most important things you can do as a teacher, it is also important to keep your personal life just that - personal. The things you post on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace have a way of making it out into the public, no matter what your privacy settings are. If your students want to find it, they will.
Follow these tips from NewTeacherHelp.com to keep you on the right track:
- Avoid becoming friends with any of your students for any reason.
- Keep overly personal or revealing pictures or events off of your social networking pages.
- Do not "vent" about your job, your students, or the way your school is run on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.
- Avoid talking about your accounts in class.
- Try living in the virtual world with an alias.
- Create a separate profile that would be appropriate for interactions with your students, such as a classroom "fan page."
Obviously, the best way to avoid any problems would be to not have any social networking accounts, but we all know that isn’t likely to happen. So simply try to follow these tips and be practical when it comes to posting things online.