There are soooo many different types of social media that exist or platforms for people to express different versions of themselves. Facebook, Vsco, Tik Tok, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snap Chat, Youtube just to name a few, but we all know there are many many more about. But what is even more horrifying is that through the hundreds of different social media apps that exist we are still constantly creating more, feeling the need for more. Social media is more normalized than ever but is also looked at more critically than ever.
Kids, parents, “normal people” all use social media in different ways with basic social judgment risks, but as a society, we look at a teacher’s social media more critically. So what is a teacher’s role in social media? What is appropriate and inappropriate? Where is the line between personal and professional, and when and are you able to express which side?
As we continue to fight through an unfair world we are faced with new riots, protests, and social injustices almost daily. But as a school and as educators how do we handle these situations? I have taken on roles as the teacher, student, and daycare worker during many different life-changing events not only for me but for the world. I like to use my voice, and I am very privileged to have a strong one. Because of the strength of my voice, I choose to use it a much as possible with sharing inclusive and factual information on gender and sexual diversity, racism, and health.
But other people and other teachers choose to stay silent. And though this is a choice people make for themselves, there is a voice in staying silent that can be damaging. It is my personal belief that as teachers and adults we owe our students and kids the truth about the things happening in society. They don’t need to know every scaring detail but they should be educated on the truth of the world. I think it is our jobs as not only teachers but adults to let our children know about the world their growing up in, and what it was like before they were in it.
By sharing your voice there is a worry that you will misspeak, miswrite, misinterpret, something which could be damaging to your career. Parents can disagree with some of the issues you choose to cover, but also your stance on the topics which is nerve-racking. But if you choose not to speak, you could be neglecting a platform to share and educate those you associate with.
I don’t want to write saying what is right and what is wrong, as we are all in different places with not only social media itself but also the content they share and the image it portrays of them.
This week I didn’t just want to share my thoughts, but really consider the thoughts and feelings of others. So I have had conversations with people of different ages, minorities, and teachers to share their thoughts. They had many wise words to share so I would like to share some of them with you all. Please take the time to read the below to think and reflect on yourself.
Here is a photo of the quotes I have pulled but you can click here for a pdf, and clearer version.