February 21, 2014By Christian Jones of South Houston High School
Ever had a teacher who shares way too much information? He (or she) talks about their weekend plans, who they're dating, or even talks about their family tree after you've asked one question about their grandchildren. Well, you're not alone. Quite frankly, this issue is getting out of hand, so the staff here at The Torch Online and I have come up with a few ways for those TMI Teachers out there to get back on topic in order to have a more productive class.
- Don't add your student on social networking sites. Sure, it's fine after they're 18, have already graduated, and want to keep in touch. That does NOT mean that you can accept a student's offer to have a Girl's Night Out with their college friends or ask them to meet you at Dave and Buster's for some buffalo wings. Just stop.
- Even if you aren't contacting your student's on social networking sites, keep your page appropriate. Keep foul language and risqué photos to a minimum. It can jeopardize your job and your relationship with your students if anyone found out.
- Speaking of relationships, DON'T HAVE ONE WITH YOUR STUDENT! Every day, there is a new story on the 5 o’clock news about a teacher taking advantage of their students. Before you decide to embark on this inappropriate relationship, imagine how your family will react to seeing your face or name plastered all over the news. You are an adult. The students are minors. There is no such thing as mutual consent when a party is under 18. You may decide to wait until they are of age and have graduated. Even though the relationship may not be illegal, your colleagues and other students may think differently of you and rumors about your relationship with a former student will be a distraction for current students. Your classroom should not be a marketplace to search for a potential or future mate.
- It takes a lot for teenagers to take an interest in something. So no, we probably won't care about your first grandchild taking their first steps, or the date your husband took you on. We respect you and know that you have a personal life, but that's not why we're here.
Think of the consequences and how each scenario can play out. You’re held by a higher standard as an educator. Everything you say and do can cost you your job, or at the very least make you a less effective teacher.