With all the stories in the media about kids posting inappropriate information online – and all the warnings about the consequences down the line – you might think they would have learned something by now.
Or maybe that their teachers would at least be paying attention by this time.
The Post seems to have found an epidemic* of local teachers who are posting “overtly sarcastic or unintentionally unprofessional” and “risque” material on social networking sites.
But the crudeness of some Facebook or MySpace teacher profiles, which are far, far away from sanitized Web sites ending in “.edu,” prompts questions emblematic of our times: Do the risque pages matter if teacher performance is not hindered and if students, parents and school officials don’t see them? At what point are these young teachers judged by the standards for public officials?
Good questions. But I’m not sure this teacher is particularly bright with her answers.
“I know that employers will look at that page, and I need to be more careful,” said Webster, adding that other Prince William teachers have warned her about her page. “At the same time, my work and social lives are completely separate. I just feel they shouldn’t take it seriously. I am young. I just turned 22.”
Considering how many lawyers we have in this area (along with a corresponding number of paranoid school administrators), it’s pretty much a matter of time before this person gets fired.
However, I’m not sure it really matters (and not because she may have lousy judgement).
Many beginning teachers don’t really see their time in the classroom as a career, more as simply a job to hold for a while until they decide to do something else.
Studies regularly show that more than 30% of new teachers will bail out before their fifth year, so likely they’re leaving anyway.
And that probably also says something about the way our society views the teaching profession in the first place.
[*Of course, an epidemic to the Post could be as little as the four or five examples they located for the article.]