Monday, August 7, 2017

Post This! Not That!

We've all seen the headlines;  a teacher makes a post on social media, and it ends up costing him or her their job. Using social media can be one of the most powerful tools a teacher can use to transform their teaching...and it can also be their downfall.

How can teachers effectively using social media and leave a responsible digital foot print at the same time? Continue below to read my top four tips!

You NEED a crisp, professional profile picture for your social media accounts! Do not leave your profile pic as the dreaded generic silhouette. You are not an egg, pet, flower, video game character, or your child. You're gorgeous I promise! Do you want to know who you're collaborating and interacting with? When you view a dating profile (don't act like you haven't done it) you don't swipe yes to the person with no pictures. Unless your in the witness protection program what do you have to hide? 

This next tip has been an ongoing debate with teachers; posting pictures of students on teacher accounts. My opinion is a student's face is off limits even with a district release form. Why? That release form may or may not apply to your accounts. I get it, we want to share what's happening in our classrooms. From the cute clothes they wear, to the amazing art they create, and the precious notes they write to brighten our day is too good not to put out there! By all means share the amazing things going on with your students just be careful with how you choose to share it.
In my opinion, unless you are close friends or family with the student don't show their faces; show a picture of your student's hands or the back of their head instead. 
Fyi, the picture on the right is me in first grade in all my 90's glory!

This tip should be a given, but as the saying goes common sense ain't so common. DO NOT post drunk pictures! DO NOT post anything that may even suggest you can't handle alcohol!
You're an adult, and have every right to enjoy a beverage with friends for Friday happy hour after school. You've certainly earned that beverage after a long week giving your best to your students. Please be smart. Stop and think before you post. Remember, some parents love to "research" their child's teacher on social media and see what they post. 
You don't want to be that teacher plastered all over the local news for posting drunk pics and videos on social media. Pictures of you and friends enjoying a nice dinner/fun night out are perfectly fine. 

Teaching isn't for the faint of heart y'all! Can I get an amen? We all need to vent with teacher friends every once in a while. Those vents belong in private threads and texts, not for the world to see. 
On the left in the picture above is an example of FB messages. Clearly we're having more light hearted conversations here. When there is a time to vent, I know who I can contact in a safe place to do so. On the right, is an example tweet that I DIDN'T send. A tweet or post like this can lead to major consequences.
Be very careful not to post something with temporary emotions that will have a lasting effect. Even if you are justified and correct with what you need to get off your chest doesn't mean it belongs out in cyberspace for the world to see. 
 As we head back to school, there will be TONS of information and images we'll want to share. Just remember to stop and think about what your posting before you hit that share button!