Every now and then, something happens that reminds me that I’m all grown up–Most recently, it was reading this article in the Washington Post.
As a kid, I had crushes on a few of my teachers. There was Ms. Mavian in kindergarten. She taught a different class, but she was always good for a hug at recess. (FACT: 5 years olds have sex drives–don’t fool yourself.)
Then there was Ms. Whitson in first grade. I’m pretty sure she came to us straight out of college. She wore a pink bunny costume for Halloween in 1984. Nuff said. I was a mummy that year, for the record.
Ms. Riley was my 9th grade history teacher. Caramel skin, jet black hair, shy smile, great grasp of current events. If I wasn’t wearing lime green Cross Colors jeans 3 days a week, I may have had a chance.
Fond memories, but now I realize that each of those teachers was younger then than I am now!
They didn’t have much trouble separating their personal and professional lives (I don’t think). You might spot them at the supermarket or church, but there was no Google, no MySpace. I couldn’t go to a website and discover Ms. Whitson liked tequila or Ms. Riley’s sexual orientation was “it’s complicated.”
Times have changed. To all the K-12 teachers out there: Your kids are visiting your social networking pages. You can set it to private, but to me, that defeats the purpose of networking.
Instead of shutting your students out, why not try cleaning it up? Walk the fine line. Yes, you are a fun loving adult who goes on dates, has opinions, listens to music, and even takes pictures in swimwear–nothing to apologize about or hide. But you are also a respectable and responsible role model.