actually, the 'safest' thing to do is nothing at all. Student facebook networks are broad and include many younger students. So while you might think it 'safe' to wait until they graduate, you'll still open yourself up to indirectly connecting with current high school aged (and younger) students from your school. You also may be exposed to college partying pictures-what will you do when your current students, even though you are not directly connected to them because you maintain a 'wait-till-they-graduate' policy, comment on those photos? What will you do if one of those comments is not to your liking?
I'm agreeing with those who have said no and I like the idea Patrick brought up of real life mirroring virtual life. As teachers, we wouldn’t be hanging out talking about what we did over the weekend with students; therefore, we shouldn’t be doing this in the virtual world.
One idea to bridge the line is to create a teacher fan page. Students can still feel connected and the teacher can keep their personal life personal.
I seriously believe that there should be boundaries. A teacher show only have a students email address for future questions on homework or any sort of educational purposes. its more of a professional student-teacher basis. A person is different around professors and class mates. ON an social sites you tend to be yourself and post pictures, some decent and some wacky. It can change the way you see that person. It also seems that if you are "friends" on a social networking site, you lose your role. A student will automatically think they can cross boundaries such as turn in a paper late or etc. so keep your "friendship" with a student or teacher to a minimal.
I am a big fan of boundaries and of keeping work and home separate.
However, I do have 2 Facebook accounts, and a "Fan Page".
1 page is personal, the other (and the Fan Page) are my "professional" spaces on Facebook. I never give out my personal one (I actually barely use FB anyway, can't tell you the last time I sent out a friend request) and I don't exactly publicize my work one, or Fan Page, but I wanted to have them in place, just in case.
I don't think teachers should "friend" students from their personal accounts, but I see the benefits of the application which is why I created a separate, work account.
I'm in elementary school so it's not that big of an issue, but you'd be surprised how many parents let their 3rd-5th graders have Facebook pages....
I think the fan page is a great solution if the students want some type of connection, but otherwise I agree with you that keeping your personal life private and separate from your students is important.
Teachers should not be friends with students on facebook. I feel a teacher should stay an authority figure while the student is in school. Once the student graduates it could then be a "friendship" on Facebook. There is just too many bad things that could happen on the internet that could possibly make a teacher lose a job. Its not worth it.
I do not think this is an appropriate way for teachers and students to keep in touch outside of school. Work/school and personal life needs to be kept separate. If a teacher would like to keep communication going outside of the classroom, I feel that using a educational blog site would be of better use and more appropriate as it can be kept more work and school related and rarely, if never, interfering with personal life.
Teachers should not befriend their students on Facebook. That can open up a whole can of worms with legal issues and other issues. Once you have posted something online, it can be cut and pasted and misinterpretted by others. I would have to say No, No, No to this issue.
I would have to say no to that one. Facebook would provide them with personal information which I would not feel comfortable with. I have had former students contact me after college and have no problem with that, but high school students? That is playing with fire to say the least. All one student would have to do is accuse you of something horrific and your career would be toast. Nope. Not worth the risk.
I do not think that teachers and students should be friends on social networking sites. There ought to be a firm line between teacher and friend that should not be crossed. Not only that, but the majority of parents will probably not approve of an online friendship. The teacher-student relationship should be kept within the classroom. Anything beyond that could cause a variety of issues.
After reading the article I can see both sides, the one side of where people think it is ok for teachers and students to be friends as long as it is school related and PG. My personal opinion I do not think teachers and students should be friends on social networking sites. I dont think it is necessary and when I become a teacher I dont want to have to worry about losing my job over something like that. Students are not friends they are our students inside and out of the classroom.
In my opinion i dont think teachers should be friends in any networking site with their students, specailly on facebook. Teachers are there to make the students succeed in life and for them to have a better education, not to hang out with them or know about their social lives. It is important to leave the personal live separate from work and school.