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Should You Be Facebook Friends with Your Teachers?

To be or not to be Facebook friends with your teachers?

Kathryn Knight Randolph

December 28, 2011

Should You Be Facebook Friends with Your Teachers?
As of July, Facebook reported having over 800 million users, according to the LA Times, which means chances are, your teachers are on Facebook too. So what happens when you want to “friend” them on Facebook? Some teachers accept friend requests from students while others ignore them. But regardless of whether or not your teacher would accept your request, it’s best to practice the following etiquette.

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Wait Until the End of the School Year Do you really want your teacher or professor to see all of your status updates, photos and wall posts? Even if you censor yourself, can you control what your friends and family post on your wall?

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At some point, you may need a recommendation from your teacher for a college application or a referral for a job or internship, and you don’t want your Facebook profile to cloud their perception of you. That’s why it’s best to wait until the end of the school year. In fact, many educators accept friend requests from past students, and they’ll appreciate that you respect their need for a separation between the classroom and their private life. Create a Limited Profile If your teacher or professor insists that you become friends on Facebook because they post material or relevant information for class on their profile, go ahead and accept. Fortunately, Facebook enables you to create lists of people from whom you would like to censor certain aspects of your profile. Ideally, you would just want your teachers or professors to see your “About Me” section as well as selected moments from your Facebook Timeline. To create a list for teachers and professors, simply follow the instructions here. Create a Separate Account Some teachers are already doing this, and students can follow this practice too. You can create a separate profile that is just for teachers and potential employers. This enables you to showcase the more serious, professional side of yourself, and prevents any teachers or future employers to make snap judgments about you based on your profile. Practicing these tips not only protects you but your teachers as well. Oftentimes, pushing the boundary between the classroom and private life can get students as well as teachers into trouble. Just remember that if you do friend your teachers, keep the virtual relationship respectful and censor what you may or may not want your teacher or professor to see. Are you friends with your teachers or professors on Facebook? Why or why not?

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