Blog Archives

Teaching & Social Networking – Is It Do-able?

This was a post I originally shared with my students on my teacher blog.  It is something that I’m particularly interested in, so I wanted to save it on my personal blog as well as a teacher reflection.

Right now, in order to check my (or the school’s or county’s) Facebook page, I have to put it in a special username and password.  Why?  Because Facebook, and other sites geared toward social networking – like LiveJournal or Tumblr – are blocked.  These sites are deemed too out of control, too unprofessional, too irrelevant, and too controversial to be granted general access past our district’s firewall.

Certainly, teacher/student Facebook relationships have raised a veritable hailstorm of controversy.  (When Teachers Talk Out of School – NYTimes.com).  Pshaw, even things that teacher’s post on Facebook to their own friends – about school or about their personal lives – have become questionable.

The list goes on and on.

Now another teacher, Viki Knox, is coming under fire for “anti-gay” comments that she made on Facebook, objecting to a school display for National LGBT History Month.  The high school display honored gay and lesbian authors and artists who have contributed to great works of art, music, and literature.  Knox, made the comment that “homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation.”  She also said that she was “pitching a fit” in response to the display.

You can read about it here…and here…and here…:

This has, of course, raised tons of debate – both supporting the teacher’s right to free speech and against the teacher, saying that she couldn’t possibly perform her job while holding and voicing such opinions.  But, this raises several questions.

  1. Can Facebook and other social networks have a positive place in school?
  2. Should they be banned outright?
  3. Should teachers be held accountable for what they do outside of school?
  4. Do teachers have a right to free speech?

What do you think?

(Respond below by clicking on the comment button.)

Excited

There are a couple of things that I am particularly excited about this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Weekend – so I wanted to make sure to write them down.

1. I’m very excited that I’m almost finished planning my classes for next semester. The utter despair I felt last week has been replaced by cautious hopefulness. I might even be ready to teach Creative Writing. Maybe.

2. I’m very excited that I got to try out my new Christmas Presents. Mom and Kin bought me an entire Carol’s Daughter set, including an awesome Rosemary Shampoo, conditioning Tui Hair Smoothie (Dare I display my ignorance and declare that I’m not sure what a “Tui” is? Nah…no one else needs to know that…), Hair Milk, and some good smelling Loc Butter. I could not use these products at Christmas time, because I had a hair appointment for just a couple of days later. So I sniffed them all and stored them under the sink for my next personal hair care appointment…which was yesterday! Jeremy declares that my hair smells like a soufflé – which isn’t true at all, I think he just likes saying it. It smells more like…what you would get if you mixed together Rosemary, Lemongrass, Oranges, Sugar, and Patchouli – mainly because those are the main ingredients in the products, I s’pose. So, I retwisted my hair, and it felt great – well conditioned – and looked even better. I even got the approval of my old beautician when Sedia and I stopped by her shop yesterday to meet up with my mom and sister before heading to my cousin’s baby shower at Golden Corral. Phew!

3. Which leads in to the third reason I’m excited. Today my hair is seven months old! And it looks good! And I still like it! And at seven months old, it’s learned a new trick. About two weeks ago, I discovered that when I shook my head, my hair moves too. It whips back and forth delightedly. I don’t think I’ve had my own “shakey” hair (as my sister would say) since…maybe 2002…maybe. I’ve had plenty of shakey synthetic hair, but this is all mine! And yesterday, after I retwisted my hair, I got ANNOYED with a loc that kept creeping down my forehead and into my vision. That’s right, my hair was in my eyes. Well, my eye. Well…the corner of my eye. But it was long enough to be annoying, and that’s progress!