I have spent the better part of my 15+ year career in digital and social media marketing. I am also a mother and a PAC member. And on top of that, I have been a student a number of times. With this resume, I believe that I can provide some standard guidelines on social media do’s and don’ts for both students and teachers.
Remember that you are continually building your reputation as you go through school. It is common practice for employers and admission officers to investigate social profiles before considering hiring or entrance to college or university. Keeping that in mind, might I suggest that you…
DON’T be a bully: Not in person and not on social media. Posting mean and hurtful content can lead to serious consequences – expulsion or even criminal prosecution.
DON’T talk bad about school: This includes teachers, your school or other institutions. Educators have the right to respect and privacy and you do not know which teachers will be the one to help you move forward with your education or career. And I repeat, admission offices often source social media to learn more about who they are going to admit.
DO review: I strongly recommend that every so often, you look through your social profiles from the view of an employer. Maybe even ask your parents to peruse them. Does it look and read the way you want it to?
DON’T overshare: Your address, phone number, location, schedule and other personal information is just that – personal. Posting it online can put it in front of the wrong people.
DON’T lie: Handed in a paper late because of a “family emergency” but status shows you at last night’s concert? Tsk tsk. Your social profiles and your life should match.
Now the above “rules” above are valid for teachers, but here’s a few more to consider for those leading our students…
Do do separate social media accounts: Your personal life and your professional life should be separate. Make sure your privacy settings are nice and strict and consider only adding “friends” to your list once they have graduated.
DO be professional: Treat social sites like your classroom – don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say standing in front of your class. Support fellow teachers and administrators and avoid responding to negative or controversial content on your school’s social sites.
DO be respectful: Nothing complicated here – student’s personal information, grades, stories, etc. should remain within the school.
DON’T connect directly: Private conversations between students and teachers should not happen on social media. It’s dangerous for both parties. Even with the best intentions, you are creating risk. It’s also a good idea to not follow a student’s social account.
DON’T post socially at school: Your role during school hours is to be a teacher and perform duties associated with your role. Posting during school hours can annoy and anger the community. And it sets a bad example for your students.
Want to find out more about Social Media in the school? Join us for our upcoming Webinar on April 16, 2019 where we dive into Social Media’s Role in Education. https://zoom.us/meeting/register/f277bf61f10322f3dc2040ba88984b7b