NJEA Members: Cautions for social media platforms
As educators, we are held to higher standards than the rest of the working world. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously. Be safe online and never post anything you wouldn’t want read out loud at a school board meeting.
- Make sure you read and follow your district’s social media policy (if your district has one).
- Carefully consider what personal information you reveal online. Make sure to keep your cell phone number and home email private. Regularly check your privacy settings.
- Do not affiliate your social media accounts with your work email address.
- Never post information about the day-to-day routine of your job online, especially about students. Never post anything you mean to be funny about your boss or students.
- Consider carefully how what you post could be interpreted. Humor, especially sarcasm, is extremely difficult to convey.
- Never post during work hours or using work materials. Even “timed” posts could be interpreted as having been posted by you while you “should” have been working offline.
- Be careful with abbreviations. Twitter mandates 140 characters; many times you have to shorten or abbreviate your message. Make sure you re-read your post carefully before you submit it.
- Don’t let emotion overwhelm common sense. Be careful when using capital letters as this is considered to be shouting.
- Be judicious in posting photos online, especially if they are not something you would want to be shown at a school board meeting. User policies can vary–you may be allowing the company the right to use them any way they would like. Never post photos of yourself holding alcoholic beverages or wearing provocative clothing.
- Monitor photos in which you are “tagged.” When someone uploads a picture of you and tags it with your name it can be viewed unless you have properly set your privacy settings. In addition, be careful of photos in which others are behaving in a risqué manner as you will be seen as guilty by association.
- Do not “friend” or “follow” students or their parents. If you are using social media for education-related activities, make sure to have it approved in writing by your supervisor and create a different account. Do not use your personal account.
August 4, 2011
Abridged for County Teacher of the Year Training, June 6, 2013