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Yet befriending students online lets teachers learn more about their interests and family life, provide encouragement, and strengthen student-teacher bonds.
I'm glad that I found this particular discussion because it's a question that I've thought a great deal about. In today's day and age I think that I'd prefer to have my job than to accept friendship requests from current students. However, I think I'm a far better teacher when I have a mutual respect with my students (a better teacher because my students are better learners). So, it's a very difficult issue to address.
It seems to be a fuzzy line. While on the one hand you expect teachers to act responsibly, on the other hand there's a definite social line that should be drawn between teachers and students. Many social networks make this line somewhat blurry!
I think it is fine for teachers and students to be friends outside of school. I had some really awesome and funny teachers that I love to keep in touch with. As long as nothing sexual happens it is perfectly fine. Students should look to teachers as aunts, uncles, or even friends!
Should we also ban parents and relatives over a certain age from being friends with children?
The school in Mississippi hasn't really thought this through. Aren't students protected from unscrupulous internet users by having people they know and trust (teachers) keeping an eye on them over the internet? Quite frankly if the school in question doesn't have faith in its own teachers to behave responsibly on the internet it needs to take a serious look at its hiring policy.
I dont think that its wrong to have students as friends on orkut or other social networks unless the teacher knows his line but students
might not be that mature so probably they could be more as freinds when they are already taught the subject then during the coursework .
I would rather be safe and employed than accused and unemployed.
You have to keep the contact with your students and parents as a professional one.
What teacher has time to have relationships with their students outside of school anyway ? Why would you want to ?
I prefer adults my own age 30's and 40's that have interesting things to share in a friendship and not kids anyway....
On an emotional development level you might want to ask yourself why would you want to spend time having any kind of relationship outside of school with anyone under the age of 18.
It's a slippery slope that can only bring drama and legal issues into your professional life.
I for one would rather have fun outside of school with people my own age.
I would only see students at school where there are other adults and cameras etc....
Maybe parents should become more involved. If employers can figure out how to view potential employees facebook and my space sites why can't parents. I posted a blog on this issue if anyone is interested in further reading. The link is as follows:
I need relationship with my students before I can inspire rigor. I am a professional. I do not "friend" people on Facebook who are inappropriate on their profiles. My students understand that I am on Facebook as a teacher who appreciates his students on a personal level as well as a student level. I genuinely care about and like my students as people, and I show that by speaking with them as such in the dynamic where they are.
As long as you keep it appropriate, a person can have friends of all ages and backgrounds. I think we are a little too hung up on age nowadays with a lot of people having dirty minds. If a couple were aged 25 and 35 no one would think a thing about it, but if that same couple were 15 and 25 everyone thinks something is wrong. At 50 years old I had a friend who was 14. We talked about many things from religion to relationships. I was his friend, not his parents's He helped me move and took care of my pets. A friend who was more his age literally carried him out of a house where he had been using drugs and helped him sober up at my house. He had a poor relationship with his parents. He was about 17 by this point. I helped him get away from practicing wwitchcraft and lead him toward Christianity. He came to my church to help set up for a friend's wedding and ended up doing the bride's hair and makeup when the person who was supposed to did not show up. At 19 I trusted him to move my things several hundred miles in a U-haul. Like another young friend, who nominated him for a food bank board said, "Age is just a number". It is, however, up to the adult not to let a relationship become sexual. People today are too hung up about sex and think if you have any kind of relationship with the opposite sex it is a sexual relationship. I never thought about having sex with my younger friends or anyone else other than my husband.