Think Before You Post!

Earlier today, I was presented with a link from my PLN to a blog that talked about parent/teacher interactions. I think this is a very important topic that should be discussed openly. So I proceeded to follow the link to be presented with a blog entry that was an email conversation between a parent and teacher (names were removed, of course).

I had to pause. Did this teacher really take an email from a parent, directed to him, about that parent's child and post it on the internet? Not only that, but said teacher-blogger also posted his response. And talked in some detail about that student's behavior and his views of an issue that should remain private between the parent and the teacher? Said teacher-blogger's name is posted on the blog. No contact information is provided. So if I want to discuss this situation with the teacher-vblogger, I would have to search to find contanct info or leave a comment on the blog. This post should not be on the internet as it is, and I certainly don't feel a discussion with this teacher-blogger should be public, either!

Right now, I want to reach through my screen and knock some sense into the teacher-blogger. Unfortunately, I think said teacher-blogger will be in for a surprise when he is called into the principal's office in the near future. I understand that we all need to blow off some steam from time to time. You can do that in the teacher's lounge, or in a blog post that is never published. Or in a much more hypothetical situation, even! But this post is now out there for anyone to read. If I were the parent on the other end of this situation, I would be livid.

As an educator, I have to constantly remember that I am a role model, whether I want the label or not. As educators, we are all in the public spotlight, whether we are at school, walking the dog, in the grocery store, driving down the road, etc. We need to always be aware of what it is we are doing, especially online. Venting about parent/teacher interactions is not just counter-productive, but potentially harmful to one's employment and certification! As human beings, we all make mistakes. We must also learn from those mistakes, as well as deal with the repercussions of those mistakes. I hope that this teacher-blogger can avoid anything too harsh.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jimbo,

I think you are wrong. I know that teacher. I respect his integrity. What this frank and open blog shows to me is the enormous and unreasonable pressure teachers are under from some parents.

Would that parent talk to their physician the same way?

Thanks for listening,

Gary Davis

Joe said...

Excellent Post, writing involves thinking, but we don't always think enough before we put pen to paper or in this case; click the post button.

Jimbo Lamb said...

Gary, I know we are under a lot of pressure. We all feel it each day, between pressure from administration, pressure from parents, stress from students, and all of the other things we have to deal with from all other facets of the job. But when push comes to shove, pressure is not an excuse to things we may do while under pressure.

Jimbo Lamb said...

Joe, I made this mistake a few years ago. I needed to vent about something and let my emotions get the best of me. I ended up posting about something I really should not have. I was called out on it. I had to deal with consequences, and I have learned my lesson. The rules change with the online world. We can't treat it in the same was as we would a casual conversation. What we put up online is there forever.