Or can we be friends?
Core Knowledge Blog has a post on the issue of students and facebooking. I was thinking earlier today about that very question.
I give students my home number, but not my cell. I have office hours. I have met students at restaurants to study and talk.
But I have not friended them on facebook. And I don’t intend to.
One issue that students sometimes have with teachers is that they know too much of their private life. If they’re my friends on fb, they will know too much about my private life.
Also, some students don’t understand that being my “friend” doesn’t mean the grades improve.
So I don’t facebook my students.
I have, in the past, been friendly with students. I was actually friends for years with a student who had been in my composition class. I used to have all my classes over to my house for dinner together. It was fun, but some of the students didn’t get that I was still the teacher. So I don’t do that anymore. And I think that I am carrying the wisdom from that experience over to facebook.
I would love to facebook past students. I’d like to keep up with their lives and encourage them.
But I won’t friend my present students because the line between appropriate and inappropriate is just too blurry. I’d rather keep the gap bigger, just in case someone disagrees on where that line actually is.