Tag Archives: social networking

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!

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Do You Have an Overabundance of Ambient Awareness?

3 Dec

     This world of social networking (blogging, tweeting, facebooking) has me partially freaked out but also partially intrigued. I think these social networking sites can be powerful, insightful, and a way to build a sense of awareness by making connections that never existed before. These sites can be used in so many different ways, by so many different people, for various purposes. These social networking sites can be used for news, business, education, dating, events, fundraising, advertising, family, and let’s face it, stalking. It has its positives, but also produces negatives. The positives for me are keeping in touch with family and friends that live far away, watching my baby cousins grow from crawling babies, to walking and talking toddlers, to hip teenyboppers. It gives me this “ambient awareness” that Johnson talks about in his article, “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live.” But the negative part of this for me is that I find I have an overabundance of ambient awareness.

I notice this overabundance of ambient awareness when I see someone, face-to-face, that I haven’t seen in years. If this occurred in the past, prior to the existence of social networking, conversations would be flowing, news would be spilling, and congratulations or condolences would be spoken. Now, because of these social networking sites, the news is already known. The conversations quickly run stale. I already know “she” got engaged to her new “rock star” boyfriend from the picture of her 10 carat, princess cut diamond ring that effortlessly appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. I already know that she didn’t just gain weight, and in fact she is expecting her first child because of the 3D ultrasound picture she posted on twitter. I already know: her dog ran away from seeing her Facebook status, she is now vegetarian from clicking on the hyperlink to her nutritional blog, her grandfather died from seeing the date and time of his mass on her tweet, and the reason she is wearing a cast on her left foot is because she broke 3 metatarsals when her horse, Dolly, accidently stomped on her from seeing the picture she posted on Facebook. Although my rant is a bit exaggerated, these scenarios tend to be very true. I miss the genuine, “How are you?”, “What is new?”, “How is the family?” There is nothing left for verbal discussion. But who is to blame? People are going to continue facebooking, tweeting, and blogging, and yet we will still be curious to read what they have to share. So are we all nosey stalkers? Or are we all intellectual sponges eager to absorb information with a profound fondness for reading and writing?

Regardless of our reasons for sharing ourselves and information to the public, whether it is ”thick or thin”, “Let’s just say it’s communication, and communication is something human beings like to do.” (Attwood).  This new world of social networking may be changing the way we verbalize face-to-face, but communication is occurring more than ever, just in a different way, in a new writing space, which #connects us to each other like never before.