Facebook has been causing trouble for teachers for a long time. Ashley Payne is a teacher who was fired after Facebook photos showed her drinking alcohol. And there are others who have lost their jobs due to Facebook comments or photos.
This is why it’s extremely important for teachers to take certain precautions if they want to have a Facebook account. So before you let your social network be the reason you lose your job, make sure that you do the following.
Use an alias
The easiest way for students or your students’ parents to find you on Facebook is to use your real name. Instead, you should use an alias, such as your first name and middle name, or your first name and your mother’s maiden name. By using an alias, you can take steps to keep unwanted visitors off your page.
Do not friend students, their parents or your coworkers
When you are friends with your students, their parents or your coworkers, you’re giving these people access to your personal life. They will take every photo and status update and criticize you or use it against you. Plus, if you are friends with your studnets and comment on their posts, it could get you in trouble.
Set up your privacy settings
Facebook allows you to set your own privacy settings, and you’ll want to make sure that your account is set to private and not public. Facebook will default to setting your account to public, which means that your Facebook profile can be viewed by anyone. If you set them to private, you’ll also want to set them so that only your friends can see your profile. This way, only people that you accept as friends can see your profile. Even if you have your account set to friends of friends, you never know who is friends with one of your friends and who may be seeing your profile.
Watch your status updates
Even with your privacy settings set up, you’ll want to watch what you say on your status updates. Anything deemed inappropriate or offensive can be used against you, and you may find yourself out of a job because of a comment or Facebook post.
Watch the pictures you post
Learn from Ashley Payne and watch the pictures that you post. Don’t post pictures of yourself doing anything inappropriate, as it may come back to bite you in the butt. You should also check your privacy settings to ensure that you cannot be tagged in photos from your friends. This way, the pictures your friends took of your drunk bachelorette party cannot be found on your profile for all to see.
Don’t have a Facebook account
The only way that you can truly protect your job from Facebook is to not have a Facebook account. Although this may not seem fair, there are people out there who are lashing out at teachers simply for having a social life.
As a teacher, you need to understand that everything you do is constantly scrutinized by other people, and it’s extremely important that you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe and your job intact.