Monday, October 16, 2017

I Scare Myself

Teachers are scrutinized and under a microscope. That's nothing new and we, as parents, should feel we can trust the adults who spend most of the day with our children. However, teachers are people and also deserve a normal, acceptable for adults, personal life. 
Recently, I came across an article about a teacher who was told to resign or face administrative charges because she posted a photo of herself on vacation with a glass of wine at a special dinner. Her Facebook account was private with all the strictest security measures in place available. 
I've also heard of a case about a person who has allegedly impersonated a teacher and then hired as a classroom teacher. This person had all the documentation for the innocent teacher's past and credentials through the internet. Identity theft is common now and can happen anywhere.
Another important privacy consideration for teachers is the privacy of students. FERPA guarantees students and their families privacy. Teachers are often required to have an internet presence and a website for their students. Photos and classroom activity descriptions can unknowingly breech the conditions within FERPA. 
Well, no wonder I'm scared and a little paranoid! ​I decided to investigate a bit and found these articles.

 Protecting Student Privacy Legislation

 Protecting Student Privacy on Social Media

What do you think? Should teachers accept a life that is solitary and excludes social media, normal adult interaction, or legal adult activities? Is it okay to have classroom websites with photos and descriptions?

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