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SHOULD TEACHERS AND STUDENTS BE FRIENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

One day, Daniel was on his Facebook account and searched for his favorite teacher.
He clicked to find out his favourite teacher Miss Alice was on Facebook. Without any
hesitation, Daniel clicked the send request button. Surprisingly the notification popped out on
Daniel’s account noting that Miss Alice has approved Daniel’s friend request. In seconds,
Daniel scrolled over Miss Alice’s albums to find out ‘a-not-so-appropriate-picture’ of her with
her friends. Without further thinking, Daniel chose to share the photo on his page. The next
day, Miss Alice found herself called up to the principal’s office to explain herself regarding the
photo. This is where the professor from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Professor Minerva McGonagall would come in... "Well folks, I think we all would agree, this
wouldn't be a predicament that any of us would want to be in."
Good morning to the excellencies, respected teachers and my lovely friends. The
topic of my speech today is should teachers and students be friends on social media?
"Should teachers and students be Facebook friends?” "Should they text, tweet, 'snap' or
‘gram' each other?" To friend the teacher or not to friend the teacher, that is the question.
The next big question would be is to accept the student’s friend request or to not accept the
student’s friend’s request?
Ladies and gentlemen, social media network such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram is
a place where a teacher wears many hats. We are not even talking about immorality here;
we are talking about the common sense privacy and professional boundaries. Considering
that 95 percent of teenagers are online, according to Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Cortesi, S.,
Gasser, U., Duggan, M., Smith, A., & Beaton, M. (2013) on Pew Research Internet Project’s
National survey of teens and parents, and 81 percent use social networking sites such as
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s understandable that technology is an
effective way for teachers to connect with students. In today’s complicated world, it seems
more and more teachers are crossing boundaries with students. Day by day more cases
about a teacher, coach, or other trusted adult molesting, sexting, or using other inappropriate
path to get close with a student through technology according to Aydin, S. (2012).
Ladies and gentlemen, “Social media is where the teenagers are”. Yes, it is true as
the children live in the technology era and the technology itself revolves around them.
However, there are more appropriate and more formal platform of digital communication that
can be used between teachers and students. There are plenty of other alternatives and
option that teachers can look into in the effort of reaching out to their students without
crossing professional boundaries. A more educational websites can be used or even created
by teachers in the process of reaching out to the whole class, including parents. This can be
an effective form of communication as well as giving huge benefit to students.

Yes. the choice is always in the hands of the teachers whether they want to open up a space for the students to dig through their personal lives. By right teachers shouldn't be "friends" with their students on social media. the button is yours. Therefore. Imagine this. teachers need to continue to be an authority figure. The bottom line is teachers are educators as well as role models to students. recognize their professional roles. teachers not only teach content but they also inculcate values among their students. teachers need to set boundaries and keep their private lives. They view social media in a positive way as a medium to connect to students. Thus. Teachers and students should enjoy a healthy separation in and out of school. imagine being Daniel and how those pictures of Miss Alice changed his view upon his English teacher. However. and to catch a child’s attention. and realize the risks they open themselves up to by friending students. there are some educators who strongly believe that teachers should not interact with students on social media. faster is better. the teachers must be on the cutting edge of technology. Cases such as teachers who have ended up in sexual relations with students had occurred. Students tend to not think twice about friending a teacher on Facebook or any other social media. private. A teacher is like a mirror where the students reflect on especially through the teacher’s behaviour and personality. So ladies and gentlemen. There are cases where teachers post about their marriage issues on social media where they befriended with their students. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen. a clear boundary should be set between private and professional lives. Thus. Daniel's once favorite and respected teacher had lost her credibility and professionality as a teacher to Daniel. those pictures of Miss Alice lingers around Daniel’s mind. home and personal life by right shouldn’t be spilled over into the classroom. They have every right to post pictures. Therefore. these relationships began online. Educators teach students through their own examples. whatever they are doing in their own social media realm. Let us look deeper into Miss Alice case. it is the teachers that need to put in some thought. Instead of focusing on the lesson. teachers deserve to have a life. Some educators using social media platforms to communicate with students argue that technology is a great teaching tool. Social media is a free for all where anyone is free to say anything to or about anyone else. Children are growing up in the technology era where less is more. reflects upon it. post about whoever they are with. Obviously this is something that shouldn’t be shared between teachers and students. a teacher is like a mirror. it is never appropriate for teachers and students to be friends on social media. Furthermore. Same goes to teachers. . talk about their lives. This is due to some real ethical concerns. In a nutshell. As a matter of fact. Professionally. the one who stares at it.

. (2013). & Beaton.REFERENCES: Aydin. Pew Research Center. Cortesi. 60(6). 2-86. Lenhart. A review of research on Facebook as an educational environment. Madden. M.. and privacy. Teens. Duggan. Smith.. Educational Technology research and development. Gasser. social media.. M. 21.. S. S. M.. . A. (2012). U. 1093-1106. A.