Professionalism and the Online World.

One challenge that I may be faced with when marrying the personal vs the professional presence on social media is that parents or pupils may find personal accounts. Nowadays a lot of people have accounts on various social media sites. As a student teacher I believe that it is imperative that any social media accounts are kept completely private. It is also crucial that the individual is aware of what is acceptable when posting things on social media sites. This will help to maintain a professional image as a teacher. Teachers should be cautious of what they post and who may see it at all times remembering that not only the children, but their parents too may be active on social media sites.

I think that as a teacher it would be a good idea to have a personal account which is kept private and can only be viewed by friends and family. If however there is a need to have an account which can be viewed by parents and pupils, this should be kept professional and should not have any posts which give out any personal details. I think that the use of social media accounts to keep in contact with pupils and parents can be very useful, for example, when my year group went on a school trip to Italy my teacher set up a facebook group which included all of the pupils, and parents if they wished to be involved. This group was then used to post important information about the trip whilst it was being planned and also whilst we were there so that the teachers could ensure that the parents had regular updates of how our trip was going. This worked really well and everyone found it to be an extremely easy way to organise our trip.

Another reason why I think teachers social media accounts should be kept private is that some children may attempt to contact them over the internet. This can be a very challenging issue for teachers to deal with. Pupils should be able to speak to teachers in school if they are having any issues or have any questions to ask, they should not attempt to speak to teachers over social media. This helps to maintain a professional boundary between the pupil and the teacher, there should be a professional relationship present and not a friendship.

However, I feel that if teachers use social media correctly it can be an effective tool when highlighting the importance of internet safety to pupils. Due to the advancement of technology, most children are very up to date with the latest internet trends and so I believe that it is important that all children know the dangers of social media as this is a current issue where children are at risk. In my opinion the use of social media to highlight these dangers would be effective as it is something that pupils are ­­­familiar with and so they may find it easier to understand just how serious the issue is and how much they are at risk.

Having grown up in a world where social media is constantly becoming more popular I understand the dangers of it and how to use it appropriately. I am aware that becoming a teacher carries with it a certain responsibility with regards to social media and ensuring that all children know how to use it safely. I hope to continue to use my knowledge of social media throughout my teaching career.

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