Parents & Teachers- Facebook Friends?

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Registered: 07-05-2005
Parents & Teachers- Facebook Friends?
Tue, 09-04-2012 - 9:54am

Back-to-school is in full swing, and with more than 50 percent of the U.S. population currently on Facebook, many parents and teachers are wondering: is it appropriate to be friends with each other on social media sites?

Jill Schulman-Riemer has taught nursery through third grade, and is currently a private tutor and educational consultant in New York City. She says teachers and parents should keep their distance outside of the classroom, particularly online. 

The trouble goes both ways, she warns. “Parents friending teachers and teachers friending parents can be a slippery slope. You put a lot of  trust in your children’s teachers. We all need to stay in our professional roles with each other, and Facebook just isn’t a place for that.”


What do you think? Should parents and teachers become Facebook friends? 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 09-10-2012 - 12:08am
I went to Back to School Night last week and was invited by several teachers to follow their classes on Twitter. Evidently the teachers tweet out reminders about homework, big assignments, links TK relevant stuff they find when web surfing, whatever. I don't gave a twitter account and as far as I know, neither does my son.
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Registered: 08-27-2001
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 10:47pm

I live in the community where I teach.  Some of my students' parents are former classmates of mine.  Some have children who are friends with my children.  Some of my own children's teachers are former classmates of mine.  

We are a big city that is very tight-knit in alot of ways.  The line between my professional relationships and personal relationships is often blurred.

I never would friend or accept a friend if my only connection to them was professional.  But I have several friends who are my kids' teacher or who's children I've taught because we have other relationships.

I always assume that anything I put on Facebook is in the public domain, since anyone can screenshot it or copy or whatever, so it doesn't bother me.

My students are little (kindergarten), so obviously they are not my friends, lol!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 10:09pm
I probably would not "friend" my kid's teachers. I don't have a lot of "friends" on FB, and I like it hat way.

However, our school is an ALE in WA (think homeschooling charter school) and there is a FB site for it. Mostly it is moms asking questions about curriculum to use, how to teach certain subjects, meetings, etc. There are a couple of the certified teachers in the group, and a bunch of "coaches" (parents who teach workshops, mostly elementary classes, and are as well qualified as the certified teachers.) I am fine with this contact as it is a closed group, and discussion is limited to certain subjects. No parties, church stuff, politics (except as related to homeschooling) or other things that may upset people.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 9:25pm

What about families that don't have fb?

I don't think teachers use it as a sole method of contact. It's an added reminder, other then a paper trail and what's available on the school's website. Like I said, I don't think it's best, but I am not as opposed to FB being used this way in comparison to a purely social connection.

This school system also tries to be "green". A lot of events are only posted on the school website. They do not give out paper reminders. We also do not get lunch menus or school calendars. We get them online or have to request a paper copy. So, I guess some parents and students appreciate the reminder.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 6:37pm
No, I am not friends with students at the college I teach at, even my graduate students.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 8:53am

The idea that fb is used as a tool to communicate with a teacher about school is what bothers me, We have online school sites to correspond with teachers, view schoolwork, etc. too...

In general, it bothers me when a teacher friends a parent or student.

That said, I do know of a few teachers using FB to post school events, clubs or a general outline of when projects and so forth are due. I believe they set up a page as a business would, but not really sure.

I don't think this is best either, but considering FB is widely used and students check it all the time, they probably feel it's a good way to communicate this information.

As a parent, I don't know too many teachers or schools using online school sites, other then colleges. I would love it if they did so I could monitor what my child's school work is and help them remain organized ... well, at least for my younger son.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2011
Sat, 09-08-2012 - 11:02pm
It is like that with nursing. I don't "friend" residents or their families. Or even the bosses I don't want things like that to back fire on me