Dear future educators, don’t let Facebook or Twitter be the reason you do not get hired!

12 Dec

Many of us are quickly approaching the end of our college education. Being an education student at Rowan, I know by the time I graduate, I will be full of knowledge, skills, strategies, and experience needed to be an effective teacher. 5 years of lectures, presentations, research, projects, papers, field experience, the list goes on and on. But now the time has come for you to land that job you have been working so hard for.

Imagine your first interview, palms sweaty, legs shaking, yet you leave feeling like you nailed it! You hope for the principal to call and tell you, “We would like to offer you a 3rd grade teaching position.” Awesome! All that hard work is now paying off! You got the job of your dreams! But wait, before the principal made that call, he decided to stalk your Facebook. Instead, that long awaited phone call from the principal now says, “After our interview and thoroughly reviewing your resume, I believe you would be a great addition to our teaching staff, but after coming across a photo of you boozing it up with a caption saying “white girl wasted!” and a status saying, “The principal I just interviewed was such a tool bag, but I think I nailed it!” I have decided to reconsider.” Well now, doesn’t that suck! All that hard work, time, and money invested is useless if you are not smart about what you post onto your social networking sites. Even if you think you have your privacy settings set to where you think only your friends can see you, it only takes that one photo, status, or comment to be seen by one wrong person who is just waiting to throw you under the bus. Or that one picture of you at a bar throwing back a birthday shot, and that friend is friends with a member of the school board. Now that member on the school board no longer thinks highly of how you made yourself sound from your resume. Your years of education and exceptional resume does zero justice for you when your Facebook reveals so much more.

After reading a few articles online, I can’t help but think it is time to clean up my Facebook, to be more aware of my future posts and photos, or maybe just delete the whole thing all together. After reading the article, “Facebook Faux Pas Leads to Teacher Losing Job”, “I hate their guts-they are all devil’s spawn” and “Teachers under the morality microscope” part of me realizes that I need to have common sense when it comes to social networking, but I am also very frustrated with how teachers are held at such high standards even when going about their every day lives outside of the classroom.

Certain situations where teachers have been fired for posts on their Facebook are a little over the top. For example, A Georgia teacher, Ashley Payne, was vacationing in Europe over the summer. She visited a brewery and when she returned she posted pictures from her trip along with a picture of herself holding a beer in her hand while at the brewery. An anonymous e-mail was written to the principal from a “parent of a student” (more likely a rival teacher or enemy looking to ruin Ashley’s career) (Click here to read the email) Ashley was forced to resign. This situation angers me to no end. After reading the e-mail, it is obvious to me that this “parent of a student” is more likely an envious …(insert horrible, vulgar name here). I hope that envious person who ruined Ashley’s career realizes that what goes around comes around.

Ashley Payne's photo that got her fired

Ashley Payne’s photo that got her fired

Some situations where teachers are canned for something on a social networking site, I 100% agree with. For example, a student drowned at the beach during a field trip, and the next day a 5th grade teacher from Brooklyn posted a status saying, “After today, I am thinking the beach sounds like a wonderful idea for my 5th graders! I HATE THEIR GUTS! They are the devils spawn!” What blows my mind the most is that this teacher got her job back. This repulses me. If I ever saw this teacher in person, I would probably slap her for her lack of common sense and then punch her for their lack of empathy for that child who drowned. Actually I take that back, I would not commit any act of violence because that is wrong and I am going to be a teacher held at high standards and promoting violence through my educational blog is silly of me. (Ugh)

Basically, we need to have common sense, zero enemies, and a social networking site of a nun in order to get a teaching job and not get fired. Personally, I think the rules need to be clearer as far as what is acceptable and what is not and teachers should be able to enjoy their lives outside of the classroom without the fear of being fired. Drinking over the age of 21 is legal, if a teacher has a photo with a drink in their hand, that does not mean they are a bad teacher. In the mean time, future educators, start cleaning your Facebook pages today!

Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 4.29.09 PM


4 Responses to “Dear future educators, don’t let Facebook or Twitter be the reason you do not get hired!”

  1. mccart71 December 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    I don’t even know where to start! I feel like we have the same views about this topic because I feel like people shouldn’t necessarily get fired over what they post on Facebook, but they should definitely monitor it. I read the email about Ashley Payne and it makes me really angry. She looks like a respectable woman and her picture really wasn’t bad at all. I also agree with you that it most likely wasn’t a parent. That bothers me even more because whoever wrote the email ruined this teacher’s career.

  2. buetea08 December 18, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    After hearing in class the other day that companies can access anything they want by simply paying a company, it makes me feel like my privacy has been taken away. I do not post inappropriate text or media on my Facebook but I do use the privacy setting so that not everyone can see my business. I do not think it’s fair that companies pay data companies to get this information and potentially use it against their future employees, it seems very unfair. Although, I can understand that if someone is bad mouthing or constantly posting negative things to their Facebook that a company does not want to be associated with that individual. There has to be a happy medium here.

  3. dinapo25 December 18, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    I do agree people need to be smart about what they leave on social media sites. I feel bad for Ashley Payne who got fired for that photograph on her Facebook. To me, the photo seems very innocent and she was just enjoying her vacation. After all, if she is of legal age, it should be okay. Many adults do consume alcohol and teachers should be no exception. The teacher trying to ruin her career should be fired instead of Ashley. I also cannot believe the teacher’s Facebook status referring to the five year old who drowned. Educator or not, that comment is extremely insensitive. Keeping your Facebook clean is not hard, you just need to be smart about it.

  4. elizabethspengler December 20, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    Great points! I think this is something that college students lose sight of. Students spend all four years in college trying to “find themselves” that then when it is time to go out into the real world and find a job, they are not careful enough. Putting on your game face and leaving it that way when on a job interview or even when hired is very important. In college you are supposed to find out who you are, yes, but you are supposed to grow to become an active member of society, ready to learn and enter the work force.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: