Teachers and students must be wary of social media contact

Katrina Springs, Staff Writer

Despite a student wanting to know something about his or her homework assignment, there are an abundant number of cons that can occur when a student and teacher communicate over social media.

“Privacy is significant in a student’s life,” junior Cole Jasper said. “Having a teachers on social media can be detrimental to a student/teacher environment.”

Both teachers and students have a social life outside of school. When teachers know what students are doing during their free time and vise versa is not appropriate. School is for education, not for getting a teacher’s username for Instagram or Twitter.

“Having a teacher being able to look at what a student posts on social media adds pressure to be a perfect student,” senior Alexa Castleman said. “It can also take away from self-expression because the teacher will have the opportunity to view everything a student posts and make judgements about the student.”

Politics and religion can also become factors if the teacher and student have contrasting views on those subjects. These kind of situations can cause an uneasy classroom environment.

“Teachers have to be sensitive to students’ experiences,” English teacher Twilla Cancilla said. “If a teacher shares something they think is humorous on social media, it could potentially offend a student and the learning environment can be damaged.”

A student’s parents can be uncomfortable with the relaxed relationship between a teacher and their child, a student’s parents can also think that their son or daughter following a teacher on a social media web site is inappropriate and that could reflect poorly on the teacher.

“There’s difference between being best friends and having an appropriate friendship with a student,” Cancilla said.

If a teacher is following a student on a social media site and views a picture or a post of students abusing drugs, drinking alcohol, or indulging in criminal behaviors, the teacher would have no choice but to show the appropriate administrators. Teachers and students should not be in that predicament.

“There needs to be a maintained amount of professionalism between a teacher and a student,” Cancilla said.
Teacher and students can both look unprofessional to some people by communicating to each other over social media.

Social media sites are not a platform for education. In fact, teachers and students do have an appropriate way to communicate; all students are given a Gmail account with their own email and password through which they can contact their teacher if they have questions about the curriculum for a particular assignment.

When teachers and students go home, they are all in a different environment from school, it’s their personal atmosphere so they do what they like to do because it’s their free time.

I understand that students make friends with teachers and want to know them more on a personal level, but there must be some sort of line drawn. A teacher and student communicating with each other over social media is definitely crossing that invisible line.

In the classroom, teachers should be talking about academics, not Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media sites.

School is a place for students to learn, and for teachers to teach. Everyone has a personal life and a professional life, which should be kept separate from each other.