There has always been the question from teachers: “How much personal information do I share with my students?” Of course, as a teacher I would want my students to get to know me. I want to know all about my students – the things they like to do and don’t like to do, the subjects they like and don’t like, the friends they have, their family life, and what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. not only do these things make me a better teacher in planning my lessons and instructional strategies, but it also allows me to connect with my students. I want to know what kind of people my students are.
From a student perspective, I would want to know about my teacher. In my elementary experience I had a stronger bond with those teachers who told me things about themselves and who had some similar interests to me. Those were my favourite teachers. My co-operating teacher often asked herself this question. During lessons she would use experiences from her own life to relate to her students. Sometimes, as a journal prompt, she would ask the students what they did on the weekend, but she would first start with what she did on the weekend. I thought this was great and the students clearly enjoyed learning about their teacher! Obviously there are things that are not appropriate to share with students.
But, things have changed a bit. With technology and websites like Facebook, the question of how much information to share develops a whole new level. What do you think about it? In my opinion Facebook is not something a teacher should share with their students until the student has graduated. I personally have a number of my high school teachers on Facebook, but we didn’t friend each other until after I had graduated – and I didn’t want to add them until I was done at the school. But when we start to talk about elementary students it is a little different. Elementary students generally want to add their teachers because they are so interested in them. I think personal Facebook accounts and schools should not mix. If a teacher wants to create a profile specifically to add their students, all the power to them, but as a teacher there are still aspects of my students’ lives (that inevitably get posted to Facebook) that I don’t want to be a part of.