Social media and networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are great ways to connect and share educational resources to enhance the classroom experience. We at Professional Educators of Tennessee, encourage teachers, students, staff, and other school community to use these platforms. We know these tools to be valuable both in and out of the classroom. However, you should keep in mind the inherent risks and potential dangers.
Here are some social media guidelines to help educators make responsible decisions when using social media, both personally and professionally:
- Do not knowingly “friend” or send personal messages to anyone under the age of 18 who is not related to you. Students will often want to friend their teachers, but that is a big “no, no”. Neither is it a good idea to friend parents of children you teach.
- Do not post pictures of others without their permission; it is generally not acceptable to post pictures of students anywhere without the expressed written consent of their parents.
- Regardless of your privacy settings, assume that all of the information you have shared on your social network is public information! Therefore, any pictures, words, or activities you post that would cause you problems at school, should not appear on your posts; nor should any of the previously mentioned appear on your friends’ posts.
- NEVER give out or transmit personal information of students, parents, or co-workers. You are held to a high standard of privacy when it comes to such information.
- Remember that content posted in one place can easily be shared and spread to other sites. Your original intended audience may not stay the only audience! If you never post it, it cannot be shared.
- Always maintain a professional image when engaging in online activity. As an educator, you are a respected member of your community and should always be conscious of how your online interactions reflect on you.
Review out additional social media guidelines for educators below!