Should Teachers Have a Social Life?Kelly Wickham
I have something to say about Googling teachers. My friend and fellow blogger, Heather, wrote a post that asked the question “Should it be off-limits to Google your children’s teachers?” Now, I’m going to be vulnerable for just a moment here: my first response was, “Of course it is! That’s not fair!” and then I recanted right away. Because I am nothing if not a tumbled conflicting mess when I’m having a disagreement with myself. I use Google before I hire a lawn service and visit a new doctor and that seems to be okay, right? What I realized, of course, is that it doesn’t bother me to be Googled. When I meet someone and they ask what I do my first response is that I’m an assistant principal of a middle school. That’s really what they want to know and my only issue with that is that it’s usually asked to gauge my economic status. However, on occasion, the issue of what I do as a writer and blogger comes up and I just tell people they are free to look me up. Google me. Go ahead. My first and last name will come up with my personal blog, Mocha Momma, before anything education-related. There’s really nothing to hide. Go ahead. Google me. I’ll wait.
I’m not implying I’m angelic and that my past is scrubbed clean, but I know what I put out there for people to see and I also know that there are expectations from me in my role. Since Google searches bring different results for different users I’ll share what came up for me:
An interview on Womens Health.gov which was a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health called Interview with a Champion for Teenagers: Kelly Wickham
My bio from when I used to write for U by Kotex where I wrote about female health concerns. Yes, that means MENSTRUATION. I’m not ashamed of that. Periods don’t scare me.
My About.me biography.
I think the thing that bothers me the most is that there are unrealistic expectations for our educators that we certainly don’t hold others to in their careers. I mean, what if I suggested that I didn’t care for 47% of my students and that I wasn’t going to worry about whether or not they learned anything? I know that’s a harsh one, but really? What would you think about my abilities to stay in my job and care for children?
I think this comes down to expecting perfection from our teachers. We hope they are happily married with 2.5 children, a dog, and an American made car and that they attend a house of worship, volunteer their time, and donate to charity. Okay, maybe that’s a bit far, but really, what are your expectations for teachers?
The obvious one that comes to mind is that you hope you don’t see pictures of your child’s teacher on Facebook doing a keg stand, but really, haven’t we all? (Actually, I never have. I’m too chicken and I fear that they’d drop me and I’d bust my lip and lose a tooth. Also, I didn’t have a typical college experience, so there.) But this picture I’m using kind of illustrates the image of a male teacher wearing a tie but then drinking a beer. That’s okay, right? So long as it’s not done in the classroom.
Is the problem seeing a teacher drinking alcohol? I’m not sure that’s it. I have plenty of Facebook friends who are teachers who have pictures posted of them with a red plastic cups but they are super private about who follows them. How, though, is that different from the parent who is a benefactor of a museum and goes to a benefit and is photographed for the newspaper while holding a glass of wine? Is it the party aspect? Both are examples of having a social life, but it seems like we put more parameters on how teachers should enjoy their social life.
Am I worrying too much about this and the issue of Googling teachers? Are teachers held to a different standard?
Read more from Kelly at her personal blog, Mocha Momma
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