Why Teachers and Students Shouldn't Be Friends on Facebook

June 10th, 2017 09:50 Blog

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Some students might see a teacher’s Facebook friendship intimidating. They may be hesitant to accept the friendship because of not wanting their teacher to be privy to their conversations with friends. At the same time, they may fear saying no to a friend request from a teacher, for fear that they will offend the teacher and negatively affect the teacher’s treatment of them.
Prejudice
As much as teachers try not to allow outside knowledge affect their treatment of their students, it still can have a subliminal effect. A Facebook friendship may cause a teacher to see the student in a whole different light than they did in the classroom previously.
Introduction
You can find just about anybody on Facebook these days. People are becoming Facebook friends with old classmates, long lost cousins and the neighbor across the street. Teens especially seem to have a tendency to add almost everyone to their friends list that asks. So, if one of their teachers should send them a friend request, they’re likely to accept it. If they randomly came across a teacher’s profile on Facebook, they might also send a friend request too, without thinking much about it. A teacher, however, should give the situation some consideration. There are some very good reasons why a teacher should NOT be Facebook friends with their students.
Privacy
The teacher’s privacy and the student’s privacy are compromised when they become Facebook friends. A student (and that student’s friends) may learn things about their teacher that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. This could be detrimental in the class setting.
Age Appropriate
Since a teacher would be an adult, there may be postings from friends on their Facebook page, which would not be age appropriate content for their students to be reading or viewing.
Expectations
A student who has a teacher as a Facebook friend may expect special treatment from that teacher. The student may also expect the teacher to answer questions regarding assignments and homework via their Facebook friendship, that should be reserved for the classroom.
Harassment
Again, this can go both ways. If the relationship between the teacher and the student is not a positive one, or deteriorates in the classroom, Facebook connections could be used to harass one another outside the confines of the school building.
Intimidation
Personal Activity
It also creates uncomfortable opportunities for the teachers, to see their students’ questionable posts: partying, smoking, participating in highly questionable situations in their teen world. So what’s a teacher to do if he sees 15-year-old Johnny or Janie from 4th period post a picture of him or herself smoking weed? Or what if 18-year-old senior Jose or Maria posts a revealing photo after his or her work out?


Conclusion
Teachers and students shouldn't be friends on Facebook because of privacy, harassment, age appropriate posts, expectations, prejudice, and personal activities

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