Social media issues can be challenging. It’s a field that is in a constant state of flux. Facebook changes its algorithm. Twitter offers a new feed. One network wanes while another jets off into the stratosphere. And just when you think you have it all figured out, suddenly your high schooler comes home talking about some new chat service that nobody over the age of 20 has EVER heard of before.
Social media issues can be a real danger to both children and the teachers responsible for their education. Teachers are the people who spend 5 to 6 hours a day with your child. They need to know how to navigate the social media waters, just like the rest of us. When social media issues like bullying happen it spills over into the school environment. Last September we dealt with a serious social media incident here when someone set up a fake Instagram account using my daughter’s name (spelled incorrectly.) It was an upsetting time for everyone.
In the hallway, one day during school another teen showed by daughter a fake Instagram account in her name. The fake account called many classmates Fat, Ugly and worse. Thankfully my teary-eyed grade nine daughter knew enough to go that day to a trusted adult in the school. She called me as well. Police were then also called to investigate. Although my daughter’s school did not yet have an Instagram policy one year ago, they handled the whole experience beautifully. The other child eventually confessed and we went through a restorative justice process with the teen. School staff supported us throughout.
Social media issues like bullying should not happen, but they do. Fortunately, Ontario teachers are fully equipped with the knowledge of how to deal with social media issues and how to keep them from occurring.
Ontario College of Teachers Advises Teachers
The Ontario College of Teachers has developed an advisory board to help teachers understand the impact that their own social media accounts can have on their students and their students’ parents. Although the College believes that e-communication and social media can and should play a large part in the relationship between teacher, student, and parent, the College also recognizes that there are inherent pitfalls that should be avoided.
The aim of the advisory is to educate teachers, reminding them that as professionals in a highly public field, they are always “on”. Just like doctors, nurses, lawyers, and other public professionals, teachers must adhere to a strict standard, whether it be at school or on their social media accounts. In fact, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that teachers “do not necessarily check their teaching hats at the school yard gate”.
The main takeaway from the advisory on social media issues is this: Teachers should conduct themselves on social media as they would conduct themselves in person. Which is something we should all do, really.
Ontario College of Teachers – A Complete Resource
In addition to providing teachers with an advisory board to help them navigate the waters of social media and social media issues, the Ontario College of Teachers is also an excellent resource for parents, as well.
Find a Teacher Page
The Ontario College of Teachers Find a Teacher page is a public register providing parents with information on every certified teacher in the Ontario public school system. Each teacher’s record includes:
- Date of initial certification
- Current status with the Ontario College of Teachers
- Any applicable disciplinary history
The Ontario College of Teachers The Standard e-newsletter is all about helping parents learn more about teachers. It’s another way that both teachers and parents can be connected on social media issues. The Standard e-newsletter includes:
- Information on College services to help you learn more about teacher qualifications
- Information on how the College ensures high standards in education
- College reports on trends in education
- Information on changes in education legislation
Social Media Issues – Not an Issue for Ontario Teachers
Social media issues aren’t an issue for Ontario teachers, or for you, thanks to the Ontario College of Teachers. The College works diligently to ensure teachers are aware of potential social media issues and prepared when a situation crops up. In addition, the College is also committed to keeping parents connected to Ontario’s school system and its teachers.
For more information you can also follow the Ontario College of Teachers on their social media accounts.
Twitter – @OCT_OEEO
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OntarioTeachers
Sign up for their newsletter and stay informed –
English: Newsletter for Parents
Thrifty Momma’s Tips worked with The Ontario College of Teachers and Main Street Creative to bring this post to you. It is a sponsored post, and as such I received compensation. My opinion is always truthful.