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Should you 'friend' your teachers on Facebook?

By Gabe Hewitt, iLander Student Editor

There are more than 500 million people on Facebook. Believe it or not, a few of your teachers might have their own Facebook profiles. It might seem natural to want to click on the “add friend” button so you can find out what teachers do in the summer, but you might want to think twice before you do that.

People get Facebook profiles so they can communicate with each other just like any other social network. Surprisingly, teachers are not robots and have profiles for the same reasons as you and me.

CHHS English teacher Christina Anderson is friends with more than 200 graduates on Facebook. She says that she enjoys seeing her past students go through college, get married and even have children. Her personal policy is that she’ll only friend graduates and will not accept friend requests that her current students send her.

“There is a limit to what I want to know about my students, and what I want them to know about me when we see each other in class every day,” she said. “I really like many of my students, but I think it's important that I'm not ‘friends’ with them. It just opens the door to a lot of potential problems, like grading fairly.”

Anderson makes a good point. There should be a solid line between a teacher’s and student’s personal lives. Let’s be honest: High-schoolers do bad things outside of school and sometimes post about it on Facebook. Teachers don’t want to see that and then see you in class the next morning. Likewise, students don’t want to see the personal lives of teachers. In fact, there are legal questions surrounding this.

“I like the freedom to say what I like without wondering what a teacher might say or do,” CHHS sophomore Jason Cariveau said.

Like Anderson, CHHS science teacher Doug Jetton will only accept friend requests from graduates.

“I’m thinking that I need to start a class account so I can communicate with students if they have any questions about homework,” he said.

Not many teachers at CHHS have a Facebook account, but that could change. Facebook is a good tool to use to keep in touch with your teachers, but not if you’re going to see them at school the next day.