13th May 2019
14th February 2011 - Social media policies are no substitute for common sense
I agree with the National Association of Head Teachers’ (NAHT) stance in calling for strict guidelines on the use of social media sites such as Facebook by rookie teachers. After all, it’s only the same as any other organisation ensuring they have robust HR policies in place to deal with it.
But something about the NAHT’s announcement still smacks of the nanny state not letting common sense prevail.
The NAHT says newly qualified teachers have been told off for what they have put online or have been embarrassed by pupils who discover too much about their private life.
Now let’s get this straight. These are, on the whole, young intelligent people who are leading the vanguard of the social media revolution. So it begs one simple question. Haven’t they heard of privacy settings?
In my day it was coup if we found out the first name of a teacher. But now pupils can hook up with their teachers on social network sites and dig for as much dirt as they want to with apparent ease.
Isn’t one of the first things trainee teachers learn about, is the professional boundary between themselves and pupils? Surely it’s not expecting too much to expect that graduates entering the world of work to take the initiative and review the accessibility of their Facebook sites before they step into the classroom.
I can’t think whom I despair for most. The NAHT for having to state the bleedin’ obvious or for our next generation of teachers who don’t recognise that the visibility of their social media lives can compromise their professionalism.
Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks this?
About the Author: Paul Kirby
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