10/11/08

Virtual Social Spaces and Teachers

I found this article about Facebook and teachers very interesting.
Inside this article is another one about My Space and teachers. Do virtual social spaces like Facebook and My Space put a teacher at risk and why? What are your thoughts?

14 comments:

Mr. Malley said...

This is an issue with substantial gray area. I don't befriend current students on Facebook, although I do accept friend invites from former students who have graduated from high school. This year alone I have given college reading/writing advice to 5 or 6 students so I think it's a nice way to keep in touch and continue on in the writing coach capacity established in class.

A tool cannot get a teacher in trouble. A pencil cannot get a teacher in trouble any more than Facebook can. People need to use common sense. Teachers, like politicians and police officers, have to hold themselves (at least publically) to a higher standard of ethical behavior. If a teacher is posting pictures of themselves doing keg stands or are scantily clad in their profile pictures then it is not the fault of Facebook or MySpace. That teacher lacks good judgement. Online space is public space. It's that simple.

As for the Ohio Education Association, it sounds like their recommendations are the recommendations of out of touch digital immigrants (possibly even digital aliens). Personally, Facebook has been one of the most welcome Web 2.0 surprises in my life. FB is an easy way to stay connected with people who otherwise would fade into the past.

FB is social networking. We have a network that needs to be more social, lol. Now, I don't know if it would work with us, because I don't know how dedicated are teachers are to spending time online. It works for my friends and I (and even more so for our students) because spending time online is part of our regular routine. My computer is in my kitchen, is always on and connected, and I am always just a few steps away.

Finally, I really like the person's point that we need to explicitly teach students appropriate online behavior. We are professionals working in the 21st century, and if we are helping our students develop literacy than we can't simply ignore these places where students spend so much time.

JS said...

I agree with mr. malley, there is much gray area, but I come from a different perspective. As an immerging teacher, but a student specifically, I feel this contradiction in using Facebook. I have never seen a former teacher of mine on FB yet, and I feel that that would be kind of weird. I feel, in general, that most students at a pre-collegiate level, probably aren't very interested in their teachers lifstyles or habits. I don't necessarily see the harm in accepting friend requests from current students. Even mr. malley agrees that the information exchange from these websites can be very beneficial. However, I have heard administrators inform teachers that they are not allowed to keep in touch with former students on school computers (why this is I don't know, but I feel it relates to FB in a way).

While most people are checking their emails for messages from co-workers, peers, or family, I'm checking my Facebook wall. Sadly, with the way technology is going, in months time we may not be talking about FB anymore, but perhaps something even more advanced that raises newer questions.

Mr. Malley said...

JS...thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with your final thoughts on FB. I now check FB before I check my email. And you're right...next year we could be talking about the next latest and greatest social networking tool. Heck, now that the 30 something crowd is on FB you know it's no longer cool. I can see younger people leaving in droves. "Aw man...my Dad has a Facebook account. I'm not going on there."

KF said...

I think that social networking sites have many positives and negatives. It is important to maintain communication with others, but there is a time when it can go too far. Teachers, for instance, should be allowed to have a Facebook page as they please. I just feel that it is not professional for current students to have access to a teacher's profile. I think if a teacher befriends a former student who is in college, that is fine because he/she is more mature. It is just not appropriate for teachers to communicate with current students through a network such as Facebook. Most people post photos on their page, and it is not a good idea for students and teachers to get involved like that.

I like having a Facebook and don't want to delete it just because I go into the teaching profession. If students want to see my profile and become friends with me, I will definitely not do it unless they are out of high school for good. It is fine to become friends with your students, but I know I would not want my students to see picutres of me and get the wrong idea. The biggest thing is that teachers have to remain professional about the situation.

Suzanne said...

I think the problem with My Space and Facebook is the gray area that Mr. Malley refers to. Because virtual social spaces with high intensity network capabilities are new on our block, the social ethics that surround them are being created as we go. In the meantime, the gray area can be a danger zone.

ch said...

I feel that Facebook and Myspace can definitely be a hazard in the classroom setting. Students should not have access to their teacher's profile. There should be a separation between high school teachers and their students. Maybe once students graduate it is more appropriate as a way to stay in touch with their past teachers and get help. When I graduated from high school I got some of my teachers email addresses which are proving to be quite useful.

I enjoy having my Facebook but it is not something I would share with my students. If my students need to get in touch with me I believe that an open blog space with set rules on my teacher webpage that is run through the school district is the most appropriate way to share information that might but vital to the whole class. This discussion areas would make parents feel more safe about their students and protect the teacher as well.

Charles said...

Virtual Social Spaces and Teachers

Posted by Suzanne at 6:05 PM

“Do virtual social spaces like Facebook and My Space put a teacher at risk and why? What are your thoughts?”

At risk for what? Risk needs to be defined for this situation.

Mr. Malley

“This is an issue with substantial gray area. I don't befriend current students on Facebook, although I do accept friend invites from former students who have graduated from high school. This year alone I have given college reading/writing advice to 5 or 6 students so I think it's a nice way to keep in touch and continue on in the writing coach capacity established in class.”

Why do you choose not to befriend current students? How do you know that a former student will not choose to reenlist? Maybe for another degree and come to take one of your classes once more? What is the difference between a current and “former” student? Also does age matter? Are you speaking of high school or college students? If college, there is a an adult student body, would you treat them differently than a fresh student? Why do you want to keep in touch with these students? Is there something about a student that will warrant your personal attention as opposed to another students?

“A tool cannot get a teacher in trouble. A pencil cannot get a teacher in trouble any more than Facebook can.”

Socrates was executed for using his tool.

“ People need to use common sense.”

Whose common sense? Yours, societies, mines, my mothers, my sisters?

“Teachers, like politicians and police officers, have to hold themselves (at least publically) to a higher standard of ethical behavior.”

I think the use of politicians as a backer is a poor one the media is rife with examples of failed public behavior. Again whose ethics are we to use? Religions? The established governments? Our own?


“If a teacher is posting pictures of themselves doing keg stands or are scantily clad in their profile pictures then it is not the fault of Facebook or MySpace. That teacher lacks good judgement. Online space is public space. It's that simple.”

So then teachers are to give up part of their humanity when they decide to teach? Who are you worried about offending with the knowledge that a teacher is human? Heros have to be obtainable, that have to be someone with flaws so that others can aspire. This is a continual short coming of our culture, in our history class we speak of Washington, but not of the man in his completeness. Students connect to younger teachers because they feel more in common with them. If I teacher relates a story of abuse it is possible that a victim of such action in their class might be more comfortable coming to that teacher.

“As for the Ohio Education Association, it sounds like their recommendations are the recommendations of out of touch digital immigrants (possibly even digital aliens).”

Do you propose that there are people who have a greater knowledge of a situation over others, and that it is the responsibility of those with knowledge to lead others? This would be a very scary idea as it would not allow people to stumble on their own and explore the world on their own.

“Personally, Facebook has been one of the most welcome Web 2.0 surprises in my life. FB is an easy way to stay connected with people who otherwise would fade into the past.”

This is a copout. If you wanted someone in your life you don’t need some informal and impersonal machine to keep you connected. You make the effort.

“FB is social networking. We have a network that needs to be more social, lol.”

Who needs to be more social? You have already said you will not accept current students, you have limited the immigration of socialness to you.

“ Now, I don't know if it would work with us, because I don't know how dedicated are teachers are to spending time online. It works for my friends and I (and even more so for our students) because spending time online is part of our regular routine. My computer is in my kitchen, is always on and connected, and I am always just a few steps away.”

Than you are of the belief that your dependence upon technology is the best possible way to communicate and remain social? I am curious to know if you spend as much time with face value of these people you want to be social with as opposed to internet time.

“Finally, I really like the person's point that we need to explicitly teach students appropriate online behavior.”

Whose appropriate behavior? Are we to limit ourselves to always attempting to be what others want or expect from us? To lie our lives nothing but shadowed mirrors to others desires?

“We are professionals working in the 21st century, and if we are helping our students develop literacy than we can't simply ignore these places where students spend so much time.”

Than you support going to strip clubs and bars with your students? I guess I misunderstood you when you stated that you did not accept current student’s request, and that you thought digital media was required for a relationship with your students.

JS

“I agree with mr. malley, there is much gray area, but I come from a different perspective. As an immerging teacher, but a student specifically, I feel this contradiction in using Facebook. I have never seen a former teacher of mine on FB yet, and I feel that that would be kind of weird. I feel, in general, that most students at a pre-collegiate level, probably aren't very interested in their teachers lifstyles or habits.”

What then do you feel students are interested in? Why are they on these social organizations?

“ I don't necessarily see the harm in accepting friend requests from current students. Even mr. malley agrees that the information exchange from these websites can be very beneficial.”

As a teacher what information are you exchanging with yoru students by sharing these personal moments of your life?

“However, I have heard administrators inform teachers that they are not allowed to keep in touch with former students on school computers (why this is I don't know, but I feel it relates to FB in a way).”

This rule would not seem to encourage any sort of working relationship or mentoring relationship.

“While most people are checking their emails for messages from co-workers, peers, or family, I'm checking my Facebook wall. Sadly, with the way technology is going, in months time we may not be talking about FB anymore, but perhaps something even more advanced that raises newer questions.”

Why do you think of this as sad? Do you not think of this as a valid progression? That new technology should be used as it becomes available?

KF

“I think that social networking sites have many positives and negatives. It is important to maintain communication with others, but there is a time when it can go too far. Teachers, for instance, should be allowed to have a Facebook page as they please. I just feel that it is not professional for current students to have access to a teacher's profile.”

Could you please offer some reason as to this thought? If it is an emotional based one, as in boo facebook, I am unable to understand, but if you have reasons that use logic as a base, maybe you can share your ideas with me.

“I think if a teacher befriends a former student who is in college, that is fine because he/she is more mature.”

So when a student leaves your classroom they are more mature? You do not believe that there are students out there that are more mature than their professors?
“It is just not appropriate for teachers to communicate with current students through a network such as Facebook.”

Why?

“Most people post photos on their page, and it is not a good idea for students and teachers to get involved like that.”

So teachers are to have an air of superiority to their students? They are to remain inhuman and intangible to their audience?

“I like having a Facebook and don't want to delete it just because I go into the teaching profession. If students want to see my profile and become friends with me, I will definitely not do it unless they are out of high school for good.”

So there is a line between you and your students? You are on a pedestal they have to do something in order to prove themselves to you? What of the student who drops out, or becomes pregnant and leaves, or who enlist in the military?

“It is fine to become friends with your students, but I know I would not want my students to see picutres of me and get the wrong idea.”

What actions are you documenting, what words are you displaying upon your FB that give any idea other than what you are? Maybe the problem isn’t others seeing you, but seeing you for who you are?

“ The biggest thing is that teachers have to remain professional about the situation.”

Does professional=aloof in your eyes?

Suzanne

“I think the problem with My Space and Facebook is the gray area that Mr. Malley refers to. Because virtual social spaces with high intensity network capabilities are new on our block, the social ethics that surround them are being created as we go. In the meantime, the gray area can be a danger zone.”

Is this form of communication between people, a way in which they are free to express themselves without fear or breaking some social more a situation that has great possibility. Is it not still pure?

ch said...

“I feel that Facebook and Myspace can definitely be a hazard in the classroom setting.”

Why?

“Students should not have access to their teacher's profile.”

Why?

“There should be a separation between high school teachers and their students.”

Why?

“Maybe once students graduate it is more appropriate as a way to stay in touch with their past teachers and get help.”

Why?

“When I graduated from high school I got some of my teachers email addresses which are proving to be quite useful.”

This would seem to suggest that your previous statement regarding teacher student contact might not be entirely accurate.

“I enjoy having my Facebook but it is not something I would share with my students.”

What about your character are you afraid to share with those around you? Are you not showing some mask to your students if they only see a part of your character? Does that selective showing of self not indicate disrespect for those who you choose to alienate from your life?

“If my students need to get in touch with me I believe that an open blog space with set rules on my teacher webpage that is run through the school district is the most appropriate way to share information that might but vital to the whole class.”

It’s a terrible idea to think then that a student might have a personal problem they do not wish to discuss with the class. Or that they would want to bring something to you in confidence. And safety.

“This discussion areas would make parents feel more safe about their students and protect the teacher as well.”

What if the student needs to feel safe from their parents?

Mr. Malley said...

Charles, whoa now. That's quite a lot of questions. Some are fair, some are antagonistic, and some have me scratching my head.

Regarding Socrates, I don't think his penis got him in trouble. I'll have to look that up on Wikipedia, nyuk nyuk nyuk. In all seriousness, it wasn't his voice that got him in trouble, it was the things he was saying. See the distinction? Also, I hardly think that we can make a clear connection between posting inappropriate pictures of yourself on the internet and being critical of government and society in the service of that society.

As for the common sense, ethics, and the big questions, I'll let you pursue those in Philosophy 101. When I say common sense I mean that which is pragmatic. Agreed upon acceptable norms of behavior. Agreed upon by your sister. And your mom. And the lady down the street who has one too many cats. And the local grocer. So chill.

Thirdly, your post is bad form. You seem more intent on proving your intellectual or moral superiority than in engaging in honest discussion. A litany of questions does not a good discussion make. Socrates called and he wants his style back.

Okay, now let's get started.

1.Teachers do give up a lot when we decide to teach. I do not equate my humanity with pictures of myself doing kegstands or dressing in leather chaps, but I digress. Teachers are role models. While we should not purport to be perfect, we still have to watch our act in public. We serve customers...parents, community members, students, and these customers have certain expectations of us. If you don't believe me, look at any district handbook. Generally, we must avoid being arrested for drug possession, swearing in the hallways, public lewdness, etc. If our name shows up in the paper for DWI, our standing in the school community will be tarnished. Also, if you haven't noticed, the media seems to make a big deal out of teachers who break the law. If you don't believe me, Google it. If you're still not buying it, then, by all means, go to the nearest kegger, take some pictures, and post them on the internet. But, be cautious, because school districts and businesses scour MySpace and Facebook first, and many conduct private investigations into your life and cyberlife. I'm just saying that you need to be cautious.

2Regarding the Ohio School Assocation, my comment merely reflected that often School boards and schools take the easiest route possible, which is the massive banning of social networks. They do this out of fear. When we act out of fear, we limit opportunity. My personal guidelines for Social Networking is not an act of fear, but a way to carry myself in the world that I am comfortable with.

3As far as your point that FB is a copout because some people move to the margins of life, you're being ridiculous. I know you're living in idyllic college land, and maybe you're still clutching your senior yearbook and tracing your finger over your best friend's promise to "KIT, B/F/F", but in the real world life intervenes. People don't come around as much anymore, because they have kids and jobs and they move away. If you turn the steering wheel a little in your twenties, by the time you're in your thirties the car has gone on a completely different road. This does not mean these people are not important, and this is what a site like Facebook can do. Reconnect the dots. Respond to this point when you're at least thirty two.

4You wrote "to lie our lives nothing but shadowed mirrors to others desires?" That's a nice sentence. Really...that's pretty deep. Shad-ow-ed Mirr-ors. Impressive. Anyways Nietzsche, I think I'm missing your point. There's this thing called society. And another thing called the real world. Somewhere in there people semi-agreed upon acceptable norms of behavior. I think we do need to explicitly teach appropriate norms of behavior, both real and cyber. Obviously no one in your life has taken that time.

5Regarding bars and...ummm...strip joints? Taking an argument to the extreme does not equal effective rhetoric. It may earn you an A- on that 8-10 page paper on gender roles in Jane Eyre, but in real life it just makes you look like a pompous windbag.

chelseyy said...

I strongly believe that virtual social spaces put not only teachers at risk, but also anyone who uses them. Putting personal information about yourself on the Internet comes with many risks. If a teacher were to establish an account with a virtual social space, they would have to be extremely careful about who can access their information and what they put on there. Risqué pictures involving alcohol and adult activities can jeopardize a teacher’s career.

Anonymous said...

I never get involved with online discussions because of precisely what has happened here. Instead of a discussion someone turns it into an attack. This I believe parallels the same risks of virtual networking sites. People are bolder online in how they treat others. It's easier to attack a nameless, faceless person who may be halfway around the world.

But this time I couldn't resist.

"So then teachers are to give up part of their humanity when they decide to teach?"

No, instead a good teacher becomes a role-model for humanity and humaneness. And that means making choices that might not be necessary in other careers.

My students need someone who they trust to help them when they are trying to deal with a drug habit. My students need someone they know will take them seriously when they speak of the home that they go home to every night that I cannot even imagine living in. Photos intended for sharing between family and friends and not my students would destroy the trust that is necessary for me to point these students in the direction needed to get help.

I do not want to be viewed as a friend to my students. We are friendly, but I am the professional and adult. I am the one they turn to when they can't go home, when they want another drink, when they have to go to court for a felony charge.

"Heros have to be obtainable, that have to be someone with flaws so that others can aspire."

True, so let my flaw be that I'm not sure where to turn when a student brings me a story of needing help. Let my flaw be that I may be left speechless for a moment after learning of a student's situation. Let my flaw be my compassion. My compassion that provides that trust between myself and my students.

Lastly, I find it sad that in a discussion among teachers and/or pre-service teachers a bully shows up. This is the same bullying that I and many others fight against every single day.

Mr. Malley said...

Anonymous: I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about online discussions, and I admit my guilt in being more bold than usual. You are absolutely right, and thank you for being a good online discussion role model.

Charles, I went over the line and I am sorry. I admire your willingness to question. Don't lose that. In our profession it will serve you well, especially as there are many teachers out there who teach like they were taught and do not question. Even worse, there are teachers out there who have packed it in. Keep on questioning.

Charles said...

Mr. Malley



“Regarding Socrates, I don't think his penis got him in trouble. I'll have to look that up on Wikipedia, nyuk nyuk nyuk. In all seriousness, it wasn't his voice that got him in trouble, it was the things he was saying. See the distinction? Also, I hardly think that we can make a clear connection between posting inappropriate pictures of yourself on the internet and being critical of government and society in the service of that society.”

I do not understand the distinction. Especially in regard to the application of technology that allows your voice to become digital print. The things that are being said are still the same. In regard to this, I think that the truly scary thing is not teachers doing keg stands but teachers disagreeing with a current policy, and is this not a problem of the internet age?


“As for the common sense, ethics, and the big questions, I'll let you pursue those in Philosophy 101. When I say common sense I mean that which is pragmatic. Agreed upon acceptable norms of behavior. Agreed upon by your sister. And your mom. And the lady down the street who has one too many cats. And the local grocer. So chill.”

Pragmatic can be many different things to many different people. The article this discussion is based off of indicates that. The States has a different view of pragmatism than you yourself do. So my question was one of how can we decide who’s view is the correct view for the situation. Here we have your views being in direct contest with the states views. As someone approaching entry into the education field, where we are tasked with the responsibility of the minds of our future generations how do we teach them to be critical thinkers and choose the right pragmatic view?


“Thirdly, your post is bad form. You seem more intent on proving your intellectual or moral superiority than in engaging in honest discussion. A litany of questions does not a good discussion make. Socrates called and he wants his style back. “

I have never claimed superiority of anything over anything, and I would not dare too ever. Furthermore after seven years in the military I can firmly state that my morality is very worthwhile of questioning, and again I would never state that any of my ideas are better than anyone else’s. This is why I ask questions, so that I might see things from someone else’s box and grow, where as if I relied only upon my own ideas growth would almost seem impossible. Socrates can have his style back as soon as I find one that works better.



“Okay, now let's get started.

1.Teachers do give up a lot when we decide to teach. I do not equate my humanity with pictures
of myself doing kegstands or dressing in leather chaps, but I digress.”

I used those as extreme and easy examples, what then about the soldier who has spent years uncovering corpses in a desert and has photos of those images upon their facebook or mypace? This makes the population in general uneasy, which is why I am seeking a pragmatic method for decided upon who’s morals and ethics to integrate into the classroom.


“Teachers are role models. While we should not purport to be perfect, we still have to watch our act in public.”

Are teachers judged then in a different light than other people of role model status? Parents, celebrities, or politicians?


“We serve customers...parents, community members, students, and these customers have certain expectations of us.”

Why do we not serve knowledge? To serve the state is a scary idea, and again I am sure you will see this as extreme and mock me for it, but in communism teachers serve the state.

“ If you don't believe me, look at any district handbook. Generally, we must avoid being arrested for drug possession, swearing in the hallways, public lewdness, etc. If our name shows up in the paper for DWI, our standing in the school community will be tarnished. Also, if you haven't noticed, the media seems to make a big deal out of teachers who break the law. If you don't believe me, Google it. If you're still not buying it, then, by all means, go to the nearest kegger, take some pictures, and post them on the internet. But, be cautious, because school districts and businesses scour MySpace and Facebook first, and many conduct private investigations into your life and cyberlife. I'm just saying that you need to be cautious.”

Again keg stands are not my concern, things that people are being sheltered from are my concern, pictures of the acts humans are capable of, words of people who have been destroyed by a government. It is not overly popular to post accounts of the extermination of the native people by our government, so should I post this who’s principles am I following. It’s easy to say you can’t have porn of yourself as a teacher on the net, but these are simple animalistic traits that I do not think really even matter. Knowledge is what matters, and knowledge can destroy someone with far greater malice than a drunk party. McCarthyism is another example of this.


“2Regarding the Ohio School Assocation, my comment merely reflected that often School boards and schools take the easiest route possible, which is the massive banning of social networks. They do this out of fear. When we act out of fear, we limit opportunity. My personal guidelines for Social Networking is not an act of fear, but a way to carry myself in the world that I am comfortable with.”

Then you are not obeying the standards of society but your own, you are not serving your consumers based upon what the officials they have elected have passed regulations upon, but on your own guidelines. I mean no offense but this seems to contradict your earlier statements.

“3As far as your point that FB is a copout because some people move to the margins of life, you're being ridiculous. I know you're living in idyllic college land, and maybe you're still clutching your senior yearbook and tracing your finger over your best friend's promise to "KIT, B/F/F", but in the real world life intervenes. People don't come around as much anymore, because they have kids and jobs and they move away. If you turn the steering wheel a little in your twenties, by the time you're in your thirties the car has gone on a completely different road. This does not mean these people are not important, and this is what a site like Facebook can do. Reconnect the dots. Respond to this point when you're at least thirty two.”

Careful, I have made no personal attack upon you and you know not who I am, nor have you asked. Any perceptions of attack is simply your perception of written text, and yet instead of asking why you might have this perception you have flamed at me. If you would like to inquire about what the American, German, British, Canadian, Iraqi or Afghan governments think of me. Or maybe you are a man of academics and would care more for what your own college as well as my parent college thinks of me. I can only hope and pray that the road of my life is ever changing as I am about to cusp the crest of 30.


“4You wrote "to lie our lives nothing but shadowed mirrors to others desires?" That's a nice sentence. Really...that's pretty deep. Shad-ow-ed Mirr-ors. Impressive. Anyways Nietzsche, I think I'm missing your point. There's this thing called society. And another thing called the real world. Somewhere in there people semi-agreed upon acceptable norms of behavior. I think we do need to explicitly teach appropriate norms of behavior, both real and cyber. Obviously no one in your life has taken that time.”

Sir I apologies for my lack of a grasp upon the English language as deep as yours is, but I have made no claims to grasp the language in its entirety, and if you have such a strong understanding of it I wish that instead of acting my superior you would offer to share your knowledge. As to my being taught anything about societies norms, I guess the reservation as well as living upon military installations might have clouded my interaction with the world. Again though, if you have such a vast wealth of information and knowledge why do you taunt me instead of attempting to teach me?


“5Regarding bars and...ummm...strip joints? Taking an argument to the extreme does not equal effective rhetoric. It may earn you an A- on that 8-10 page paper on gender roles in Jane Eyre, but in real life it just makes you look like a pompous windbag.”

I have made no claim to be attempting to produce any rhetoric; I have asked questions in an attempt to understand your own rhetoric. I do not know who Jane Eyre is, but if there is some body of work that you would recommend to me so that I might attempt to understand what you are trying to relate to me I would appreciate it. I apologies that one who ask questions is considered by you by you to be a pompous windbag, when you are supposed to be a teacher. I am almost horrified to ask if this is how your treat your students who ask you questions.

”chelseyy (or Mike) said...
I strongly believe that virtual social spaces put not only teachers at risk, but also anyone who uses them. Putting personal information about yourself on the Internet comes with many risks. If a teacher were to establish an account with a virtual social space, they would have to be extremely careful about who can access their information and what they put on there. Risqué pictures involving alcohol and adult activities can jeopardize a teacher’s career.”
Do you believe it is right that these images, or words, or ideas should put a teachers career at risk? What does it mean to be a teacher that these types of things would put them at risk?

”Anonymous said...
I never get involved with online discussions because of precisely what has happened here. Instead of a discussion someone turns it into an attack. This I believe parallels the same risks of virtual networking sites. People are bolder online in how they treat others. It's easier to attack a nameless, faceless person who may be halfway around the world.

But this time I couldn't resist.”
I am myself, over a pretend world or what is considered to be the real world. Nothing changes I am just this much fun in the flesh :)

“"So then teachers are to give up part of their humanity when they decide to teach?"

No, instead a good teacher becomes a role-model for humanity and humaneness. And that means making choices that might not be necessary in other careers.”
Is this a personal projection of what makes a good teach? I ask only because through my limited experience with students and peers it seems that they are much more concerned with a teacher who is approachable and human, not superhuman. If this is a personal ideal how have you come to this understanding of what it means to be a teacher?


“My students need someone who they trust to help them when they are trying to deal with a drug habit. My students need someone they know will take them seriously when they speak of the home that they go home to every night that I cannot even imagine living in. Photos intended for sharing between family and friends and not my students would destroy the trust that is necessary for me to point these students in the direction needed to get help.”
I do not understand how photos would destroy a trust? If you were a teacher at say a private institution and you had pictures of yourself at a gay rights rally I understand that the institution could possibly frown upon this, if you had picture of you abusing children I could understand why a child might fear coming to you for assistance. Then again though, I do not personally believe that either of these things are anything that should be justified. I am not really able to understand why anyone would be anything that they feel the need to hide? As such I find it difficult to come up with an argument that successfully justifies an action.
“I do not want to be viewed as a friend to my students. We are friendly, but I am the professional and adult. I am the one they turn to when they can't go home, when they want another drink, when they have to go to court for a felony charge.”
Why do you not want to be viewed as a friend? I know why I wouldn’t want to be viewed as a friend, but those are only my reasons and you seem to have a very established and thought out reason here that is most curious to me.


“"Heros have to be obtainable, that have to be someone with flaws so that others can aspire."

True, so let my flaw be that I'm not sure where to turn when a student brings me a story of needing help. Let my flaw be that I may be left speechless for a moment after learning of a student's situation. Let my flaw be my compassion. My compassion that provides that trust between myself and my students.”

I mean no offense and I understand that you probably don’t know me, but how can you claim these as your flaws? These are the type of things you tell a job interviewer when they ask what your biggest flaw is and you provide them with one that is only a flaw on the outside but that you know will not be taken as a flaw but as a strong personality trait. Have you lead such a life that you have never miss stepped? It might be possible that these are your only current “flaws”, but has it always been so?



“Lastly, I find it sad that in a discussion among teachers and/or pre-service teachers a bully shows up. This is the same bullying that I and many others fight against every single day.”
I am confused as to if you are calling me a bully so I am not really sure how to respond to this one, if indeed you are calling me a bully than I will say I am nothing more than who I am, if not than I apologies for this last comment.

“mr. Malley
Anonymous: I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about online discussions, and I admit my guilt in being more bold than usual. You are absolutely right, and thank you for being a good online discussion role model.”
As surprised as I am sure you all will be with this I disagree, if for whatever reason you feel more bold than fine have at it, these thoughts you have thrown at me, and these ideas that are being put out there will help me direct my thoughts and my explorations. I willingly admit my selfish interest in this matter, but as it appears that I am surrounded by people who have been in the field for a number of years and are partly responsible for the entities they produced during those years I am most curious as to how they decided their methods and ways justified or correlated to the essence they were partly responsible for producing

“Charles, I went over the line and I am sorry. I admire your willingness to question. Don't lose that. In our profession it will serve you well, especially as there are many teachers out there who teach like they were taught and do not question. Even worse, there are teachers out there who have packed it in. Keep on questioning.”
Um, I have never been really good with things like this and so I am often left in a strange situation. I don’t enjoy it when people praise me or say they like or approve of me, I feel that it takes something away from me. I am not looking for anyone’s approval; I am myself simply for the reason that this is who I want to be. So um, thank you?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Charles, I am referring to you as a bully and in your latest post you continue to do so. I will no longer read, nor contribute to this thread due to your enraging comments.

Charles said...

"Anonymous said...

Yes, Charles, I am referring to you as a bully and in your latest post you continue to do so. I will no longer read, nor contribute to this thread due to your enraging comments."

How is it that I enrage you? If you do not like what it is that I have to say that's all well and good, but why would you stop listening to the thoughts of others?