Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Teacher’s Blog Spells Bad News

I found this article today:

While we can use it as another example of what not to say on your blog, it raises a really interesting point.  If you post or publish something that is perceived as objectionable or offensive by others, is the problem theirs or yours?  Asked a different way, what is considered adequate anonymity in postings and content to not warrant this sort of backlash if someone vents frustrations in a semi-public way?  In reading this article, and we cannot go to the source since it was already taken down, the teacher believes she was venting to family and friends about her job.  She did not mention her self, school, or the specific students her comments were describing.  The fact that students were able to connect the blog with this teacher and took offense to the content is why she found her self in trouble with the school board she works (or worked) for.

We know the best types of communications are real communications in social tools.   It is generally accepted that representing your brand or self in a very genuine way is encouraged.  So at where does the line in the sand exist when we change from being real and honest to being belligerent and degrading?  Is it really so different than verbal communication?  Can we expect any sort of privacy when the internet is seemingly never forgetting?  Perhaps email communication, private wall posts on Facebook, or selective use of the teacher’s social network would have been more appropriate avenues for her to vent such frustrations than her publicly available blog.  I can not say for sure, but one thing is clear to me.  When you are charged with the shaping of our youth and take on the noble profession of educator, the public eye will be very critical of all your actions.

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