Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Caution: Our Social Media Stories

Some might tell me to "lighten up," but out of concern for my profession, I'm going to ignore that thought and throw out a challenge for all educators who dabble in social media. Considering you're reading a blog about teaching, you're likely to be part of this audience I hope to reach. So without further ado. 



Ahh, teacher memes. These are two I've seen recently. First off, I recognize they're meant to be humorous and light-hearted. Secondly, I enjoy my breaks as much as the next teacher and admit I'm not quite ready to set that alarm and ignore my stack of fiction. But teacher memes, like the two above, shared amongst teachers and shared on social media to a wide and varied audience are two very different things.

What message do these two memes send to our patrons? What about parents? Students even? I think we can all agree it's not the one we want them to hear.

Let's also remember that unfortunately we have not won over our entire audience. Social media is mottled with tax payers who don't have to think very long or hard about the many reasons we're not doing our jobs well. Their angst is real, and they're rarely bashful about voicing their opinions. I can only imagine how memes like the ones above fuel their fires. 

I'm not saying we must now put on our pretty faces and pretend that teaching is all unicorns and rainbows. We all know its challenges, more so than anyone outside the educational world could ever imagine. We also know about the amazing and inspiring things going on in our schools and classrooms. Which is most important for our patrons to hear? We have a responsibility to tell our stories. If we don't, someone else will and they'll likely get it wrong. So please share. Tell your story, but use caution when it comes to social media. 

You never know who's listening.



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8 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I actually posted a similar sentiment in a teacher group on FB and said almost the same thing-if we aren't excited to come back to school why should the students be! Thank you Tammy for writing this-it's a great reminder that we can put the positives out there in the world.

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    1. Miss Trayers, I actually saw your post. We're thinking alike...again. :)

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  2. This is a good reminder and I do agree. I enjoy my breaks, but I enjoy the fresh start after each break. And I love those faces as they walk in and you can see that they missed me, as much as I missed them.

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    1. Em, that's what our patrons need to hear! :)

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  3. Hi Tammy
    I have a question. How do you feel about kids reading during free time at school when their independent practice is done, and what do you have early finishers do?
    Thanks!
    Ann

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    1. Hi Ann. The only thing my kids do when they finish something early is read. Always. :)

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  4. Totally agree with you! I really cringe when I see those because I know what many non-educators (taxpayers!) are thinking. As much as I rather keep my jammies on than go back, my kids would never know it. I email them on New Year's Day wishing them a Happy New Year and tell them how I am counting down the hours until we're together the next day. Then during Morning Meeting, I tell them I loved break but missed them so much and am glad to be back. They perk up and miss their jammies a little less!

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    1. Lisa, our messages are powerful. You're sending the best ones!

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