Sue Scheff: Should teachers befriend students on social networking sites?


As today's generation is definitely the surf the waves of cyberspace, where do we draw the line? Should teachers befriend their students? Should student befriend their teachers?

With the growth of Facebook while MySpace is still alive more and more people are signing up for social networking. Whether you Twitter or Facebook, chances are you will run into your kids and your kids may run into their teachers - virtually speaking.

As parents should be the monitor for their child's online safety; Should the teacher be part of their off-line - off-campus life?

Although there may be some teachers that are comfortable with befriending their students, many would prefer to keep their private lives just that - private.

Teachers, as well as many others that either own a business or are employed, like to keep their business lives separate. However there are many that prefer the mix. Depending on your personal comfort level, you will know where you fit in. Learning to respect each others space needs to be taught to our children too.

Parents should not encourage their children to befriend a teacher, explain that adults need their personal time and space. We want the child to understand this is not about them personally, it is about allowing people to have their own time and space off work - off-line.

If a teacher has started an online club or organization in respect to a school project, that is completely different, and at that point kids should be encouraged to join into educational conversations and activities.

As always, parents need to remember that their child's safety comes first. Teaching your child Internet Safety starts at home, parents need to take the steps to get in tune technically!

Be an educated parent - you will have safer kids!

Being ONE CLICK AWAY - will it be into a safety room, or a dark hallway?

Also on Examiner.

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