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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

My Biggest Post Ever - Why Teachers Should Friend Students on Facebook

On January 18, 2010 I posted Why Teachers Should 'Friend' Students on Facebook.

It has had over 10,000 visits, counting my Posterous and two Blogspot blogs.  It started (or continued) a conversation about the relationships between teachers and students.

Yesterday, was the third anniversary of John's untimely death.  His friends, and yes me too, miss him.  When I saw some of his friends (my son was one of them) post remembrances on the Facebook status, I had to take a break, a deep breath, wipe away a tear, and say a prayer for his mom and dad as well as his sister and brother (both of whom I taught).

As I prepare for the new school year, I have asked former students to help me as I am doing something for the first time.  I am having Parent Nights for each of my five classes; kind of a private open house.  I will need translators to communicate with many of the parents.  I went to Facebook, asked for help in my status update, then sent Private Messages to a few former students.  The response is overwhelming.  Remember, I teach middle school, so there are a few years that separate my time with the ones I have asked. So, I wasn't sure anyone would be willing to help a teacher they haven't seen in 5-10 years.

Students who have graduated college are coming to help me.  Students are helping before they go back to college.  Students are willing to drive from over an hour away to help me too.  Then I had two high school seniors who asked what they could do to help.

When we as teachers see that our students are people who will contribute now, and stop with the "they have potential" sentiment, then we will make the differences we hope to see in our schools.  Thanks Facebook, for helping me (daily) recall that education is about relationships, not just curriculum.

Posted via email from Room 755

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