stach
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 03:06 pm
@jespah,
absolutely, once i started to confirm students as friends on facebook, I decided to confirm all of my students over a certain grade (basically older than 15) and ignore those students that I don't teach / I don't know them anyway
0 Replies
 
stach
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 03:18 pm
@aidan,
Teachers not having time for facebook. Well, it depends on how you want to spend your free time in the evening. Watch TV? Not for me. Going to the pub? Not for me. Writing to people I like and haven't seen for ages as they are now living all around the globe? Yes! Plus I learn some English.

But the point is / you said you speak differently to your friends than to your students. I don't. It is still the same language. I see no reason why I should change the way I speak or behave in front of the students. I have nothing to hide. For me adults are as silly as the kids, sometimes sillier. But I do act as their leader. They respect me, because they trust me. I don't have to scare them with looks, they want to learn English from me anyway, scary looks or not. I don't push anyone to learn. The world has enough competition already and lots of people push hard to get to the top and they know it very well. If they don't want to learn, good for them, it is their choice. When I talk to them about life, explain some principles, they look at me seriously and listen. It is almost impossible to do that for my colleagues who are not as friendly. The kids simply don't trust them, often laugh at them. Why is it? I really don't know. But I just do what I feel is honest. But I am sure the kids do respect those teachers who act more "professionally" or conservatively as long as these teachers have proved they are such highly ethical personalities. This is a big challenge for those teachers though. Most teachers just can't prove it as they simply are not such personalities.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 03:23 pm
@stach,
stach wrote:

What you say makes sense and I believe you did respect such teachers. But the problem is that this philosophy and practice hasn't proved in real life. Have these teachers made the world a better place? Or have they rather just helped their students to excell in inventing better weapons or make more money?


What a total put down of teachers producing educated students.
stach
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 03:35 pm
@roger,
This is a huge philosophical issue, which should be dealt with in a separate post. We all know that being excellent at school means little in the global picture, but it may mean you become a fantastic doctor or architect. Which is wonderful. No problem with that. The problem is that just being excellent at school have nothing to do with one's moral profile.

But let me put it this way: science like math, physics, medicine, chemisty - such subjects should be taught without a bit of silliness or joking, making friends with students etc. Such subjects are just serious and there is no room for much personal discussion in them. But once you teach history, philosophy, literature, languages, music, it is a completely different matter - you have to be involved personally and your personality and how you act and relate to the students makes your teaching valuable or useless. I can't imagine in my wildest dreams how I could teach English and relate to students denying my innate personality which is similar to a performing artist. For me teaching is revealing the truth to myself and to my students through discovering what we are essentially. But that's just me.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 03:47 pm
@stach,
To be fair, I don't really know what people do on Facebook. I just know that my daughter and son go on it and talk to their friends, and people invite other people to be their friend
That right there kind of makes me feel it's not really up my alley. I haven't asked anyone if I could be their friend since I was about seven years old.

And as I said, I have a friend who sent me an invitation and I asked him what it was about. He actually signed in and we looked up a couple of people I'd lost touch with and they weren't registered. I sort of had the feeling that they wouldn't be and I was right. I'm not surprised that most of the people I'm friends with wouldn't find asking other people to be their friend or join their club or whatever to be up their alley either.
I think the reason I'm not that interested is that I have kept in very good touch with all my friends since university. We e-mail each other all the time already. If I didn't keep in touch with someone, it's because there wasn't that much of an interest to. Why would I go back and look them up now, if I didn't have any interest in getting their contact information when we spent
time together or they had no intersest in getting mine?
I just feel like I have too many correspondents to keep up with already and too much to do to add anything else. I think it would take away from my time speaking to or actually meeting people in person because it would be just one more reason for me to sit in front of the computer.
But I can understand what you say about using it to help you learn English and stay in touch with your friends around the globe.

And I speak the same language with my friends and students, I just talk about different things.
With my friends, we might talk about our time at school together or our children or mutual friend and past experiences.
I wouldn't really talk about that stuff with my students- I'd talk more about their lives than my own.

I understand younger people like facebook. I just don't find it necessary in my life as a tool to help me keep in touch with people. I really like dealing with people one on one individually, I've got a pretty good system for that in place.

I believe your students respect you. I think there are all sorts of methods and manners to gain respect. It sounds like you've got it figured out.


0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  3  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 03:51 pm
aidan, facebook is not a replacement of writing letters. it's a networking tool. some have use for it, some, like yourself i presume, don't. why pass judgments on how 'degenerate' it is if you don't exactly knows what it offers and what use it has? i have seen some wonderful projects done through fb, many causes and movements organized, fundraising, events organizing, and yes, even education. it's a connection center that is as good as people that are on it. FB in and of itself is an empty shell, an opportunity - it is left entirely to the user if the use of it will be imbecile or world changing.

stach, ja som z bratislavy, teraz este par mesiacov zijem v Haagu (doteraz som bola 8 rokov v Bostone). Od jula ale uz zase budem Bratislavcanka!
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 04:24 pm
@stach,
stach wrote:

What you say makes sense and I believe you did respect such teachers. But the problem is that this philosophy and practice hasn't proved in real life. Have these teachers made the world a better place? Or have they rather just helped their students to excell in inventing better weapons or make more money?


Yes such teachers make the world a better place. They taught us how to think analytically and critcally and how to observe from all points of view. They instilled in us an appreciation for excellence--real excellence, not watered down approval so that nobody is left out--and they inspired us to reach for it as well as understanding the respect and authority that comes from real credentials that are earned, not awarded. They taught us that all things worth doing are difficult and may require time, effort, and patience, but also helped us to achieve goals that gave us self esteem in a way that only honorably achieving goals can do. They were superb role models and certainly inspired a lot of us to become teachers. There were so many of those kids who went on to achieve great successes in life. We're all scattered all over the place now, but the internet has allowed many of us to keep in touch all these years later. And also some of those old teachers who are still Mr. or Mrs. in our eyes--no first names for teachers for us.

There was no internet at that time, but had we seen them disheveled, drunk, or in any kind of compromising situation in a photo or otherwise, they would have lost much respect and authority in our eyes. We needed and got much better than that from them.
stach
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 06:27 pm
@Foxfyre,
it sounds like a fairy tale - but i do know one person who is in fact and really such a great, excellent person and a teacher - he taught at an American high school and all students respected him and loved him - but when you ask the students, for most of them he is one in million, a real exception, a special personality, i don't know why it works in the US, that such a person is respected and in our country, the Czech Republic, I know a teacher, who is just like that, excellent, honest, straightforward, strict and bona fide conservative - for some reason, the students don't like him and keep criticizing him - but i have a theory, the former one tries to explain things and principles
to his students patiently and clearly and makes sure they understand (and he is a history teacher), the latter ( a math teacher) just tells them what to do: do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that - he has no problem with discipline, but you can hear students criticize him all the time even if you don't want to listen
0 Replies
 
stach
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 06:33 pm
@dagmaraka,
Zaujimave, v Haagu v Holandsku? Od jula Bratislavanka. Bol som aj v Bostone, aj v Den Haag, aj v Bratislave. V Bratislave bol moj otec sefdirigent Slovenskej filharmonie a raz tam slavil narodeniny a boli tam strasne mili ludia, o vela otvorenejsi ako Cesi. Moje mama je Slovenka. Paci sa mi v USA, v Holandsku aj na Slovensku. Lubim slovencinu. myslim ze clovek moze lubit kazdy jazyk, v ktorom sa zalubil. Toto je trochu off topic, ale co.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 06:59 pm
@stach,
I'm just reading along. I remember from past Stach threads some problems re teacher student relations - to me, a lack of comprehension of boundaries. Perhaps even a lack of education in... education. I see this question as a follow up of that whole sequence.

My own views are fairly conservative on this. A teacher's life (should) not be an open palette for connecting to students. To me that is near masturbatory.

Not double checking each post, but in sum I agree with foxfyre.






ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 07:07 pm
@ossobuco,
and Deb - I was slow to edit.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 01:41 am
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
And I would think a teacher would be conscious that his/her on line communications might be made available to students as well as colleagues, professional contacts, et al. Posting pictures of a drunken party or other scenes that could be in any way compromising and posting compromising or too familiar information in general is not a smart thing for anybody to do, and most certainly not wise for a teacher to do.

What on earth is "too familiar information?" If an act is not criminal, it should not be treated as criminal. In terms of familiarity, I think my college professor sharing his personal struggles with his wife cancer provided more "familiarity" in terms of student-teacher relationships than if I was to see a picture of him drinking a beer.

You WANT it to mean something it doesn't have to mean.

aidan wrote:
I think it's just another degeneration of polite socialization.

Or an enhancement. One of the things about facebook in terms of one on one parallel personal interaction between RL and FB is that (typically) the people you friend you meet in RL first. This means, your FB interaction with them shadows your RL interaction with them, not the reverse like it is common with forums like A2K (or social sites like dating sites etc) where I might meet someone I've been chatting with for years, only to find our interaction does not mirror (or is even an honest expression of) our web persona.

I am using FB right now in place of email to plan a trip to Miami for instance. I can message like email, but I can additionally create an event were all attendees can report back with info on hotels, flights, etc. We can also discuss the event on the wall and post pictures.

I like getting party invites on FB because the day after the party, I can go to the party event page and find all the attendees (and pictures if I didn't know last names for instance) and friend them for future social outings.

OmSigDAVID wrote:
It strikes me as odd that anyone woud choose to publish
pictures of himself doing anything for which he can be held
to account, to his detriment, as I have read on this thread.

Perhaps there are other cultural divisions here too. I know I've stated my real name several times here on A2K. My avatar is a picture of me too. Maybe when the internet was frontier country and things seemed scarier, the appeal of anonymity was more powerful, but I think I'm pretty well representative of a newer web culture which desires a more congruent RL and web-persona.

Foxfyre wrote:
Yes such teachers make the world a better place. They taught us how to think analytically and critcally and how to observe from all points of view. They instilled in us an appreciation for excellence--real excellence, not watered down approval so that nobody is left out--and they inspired us to reach for it as well as understanding the respect and authority that comes from real credentials that are earned, not awarded. They taught us that all things worth doing are difficult and may require time, effort, and patience, but also helped us to achieve goals that gave us self esteem in a way that only honorably achieving goals can do. They were superb role models and certainly inspired a lot of us to become teachers. There were so many of those kids who went on to achieve great successes in life. We're all scattered all over the place now, but the internet has allowed many of us to keep in touch all these years later. And also some of those old teachers who are still Mr. or Mrs. in our eyes--no first names for teachers for us.

There was no internet at that time, but had we seen them disheveled, drunk, or in any kind of compromising situation in a photo or otherwise, they would have lost much respect and authority in our eyes. We needed and got much better than that from them.

So test it out Fox. If I look up to a teacher, and then I see a picture of them drinking at a party, are they no longer a role model? Do I no longer strive to be successful?

What about a old world where you didn't know your teacher's first names, is superior? If seeing adults be adults evaporates authority, then the authority was an illusion. I happen to believe that the respect for someone which grants them authority comes from something greater than simply not knowing how they aren't perfect.

Also, this is a discussion that (like most topics at A2K) gravitates towards extremes. The truth is that there are people just waiting to pounce at the fall of a hat. The picture of a teacher doesn't have to have them covered in vomit with their genitalia exposed, it can be as simple as them casually smiling and holding a drink. It's ridiculous. So either there is something wrong with the teacher (who isn't doing anything criminal), or there's something wrong with those who insist on teachers being some dishonest image of human expression and morality.

If it's not criminal, don't treat it as such. You may not want teachers to do it, but I think you can tolerate it. Those extreme cases where there is a actual reason it could effect a teacher's job, then it can be addressed.

This isn't some dark expose' on the perverse lush underworld of schoolteachers.
K
O
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:08 am
@Diest TKO,
I was just reminded of something else. I remember the first time a teacher cussed/used a swear word. Authority didn't break down. The class didn't add FUCKSHITGODDAMNPISSCUNTASSBITCH into regular rotation.

My Japanese teacher cussed like a sailor actually. Usually to tell us that we weren't disciplined enough. She had a high standard for us, and challenged us to do more; to excel. I worked harder in those classes than any other class.

Her (their) authority didn't break.

Teachers authority comes not from a undispelled notion of perfection.
K
O
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 04:59 am
@dagmaraka,
Dag asked:
Quote:
why pass judgments on how 'degenerate' it is if you don't exactly knows what it offers and what use it has?

That's a good question. I shouldn't have.
I guess I have somewhat instinctively negative feelings toward it just because
(a) I constantly see kids today missing out on real, actual, face-to-face socialization because they're sitting in front of a computer on face book
and it has affected their conversational skills and manners in a negative way.
(b) I felt manipulated when I tried to find out what it was about. I thought I should have been able to see my friend's page without making a page of my own.

But I grant you, I'm basically uninformed about it, and as such, shouldn't have inserted my negative judgment on facebook in general.

But as a teacher - I just wouldn't go there with students. There are too many instances of Myspace and facebook pages being used by teachers with less than stellar motives to gain access to children and I think parents in general would have a tough time finding any sort of positive use or need for it.

I know I would not want my daughter or son talking to their teacher via facebook. Especially if I didn't have access to their accounts. I would want the teacher to talk to my child where what he or she said could be viewed and by me or some other adult (like other school personnel).
Sad to say - but I wouldn't even want my daughter to stay after school alone with a male tutor really - and private e-mail conversations via facebook or anywhere else would make me extremely nervous.
The teacher should be careful to keep everything above board too. Although I guess at least on facebook every written conversation provides documentation of what is said, right? Or can those conversations be deleted?

Of course, once she's of age and wants to talk to her tutor or anyone she wants, anywhere she chooses, that's her right and privilege.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 05:09 am
@aidan,
Diest wrote:
Quote:
The picture of a teacher doesn't have to have them covered in vomit with their genitalia exposed, it can be as simple as them casually smiling and holding a drink.

I think a lot depends on what age the students are. I wouldn't drink in front of my students- not even a glass of wine.
I do drink in front of my own children, but never irresponsibly - they've never seen me drunk.
Does this mean that I think people who drink are evil? No- but I do take my responsibility as setting an example for children seriously - especially in my role as a mother and a teacher.
When you're a teacher, you have no idea what sort of homes or backgrounds your students are coming from. And if you say to them, even without words, via an innocent picture - 'Drinking is okay' - you might be delivering that lesson (even if you're drinking responsibly) to EXACTLY the wrong kid.
You just never know and you can't be too careful (in my opinion).
Our school nurse used to smoke in front of the kids and I thought she was making the wrong choice to do that. She wasn't handing them cigarettes - no - but she was sending a message.

And in terms of myspace and facebook being used irresponsibly by teachers - I found out about a colleague of mine cause he got busted...and this is someone I'd never have suspected. And I'm an adult.
There's just too much space for misinterpretation even if nothing's actually taking place.
As a teacher - I'd stay off it.
0 Replies
 
stach
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 12:08 pm
Back to the original problem, which was not exactly having a facebook account plus students there as friends but more philosophically - what role models are we adults anyway?

For example how would you like to wisely introduce your kids or students to the fact that sexual life is part of the world of adults. How would you like to introduce your own children to the fact his or her parents have porn magazines or watch porn on the net without
shocking them? Is it wise to wait until they start doing the same things when they grow up and does it mean they won't be disappointed? Or is it better to do it the "Scandinavian" way and talk about sex as early as they can utter their first word?

Religion is also in interesting thing. For a Catholic, being a parent or teacher role model
will be more or less defined by Catholic values. So there will be no talk about sex, let alone porn. The problem is we are living in the world of very mixed values, even extreme values - fear of religion on the one hand and sticking to conservative religious views on the other hand. I myself am a Buddhist, but a kind that is not known much / a kind of anti-religious Buddhist. So in my view it is important to act and speak in a way that will not cause too much mess be it in someone's mind or material world. But I have Catholic friends and they are great people. Some of them very liberal.

Being a role model that would act as if the world was divided into right and wrong only, as if it was this kind of hell-heaven model, would be strange for me. But of course, some things are wrong, and some are right. It is wrong to lie, kill, lead a wild sexual life,
get drunk all the time, etc. It is right to clean the house, dress properly, be on time, speak kindly to strange people etc. We should be role models in these clear examples, everything else is probably up to our intuition what is ok and authentic.
0 Replies
 
 

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