Education

Teacher Blogger

Teacher Blogger

Sarah has recently begun her first contract as a certified teacher at a high school in Vancouver. The position allows her to teach Physical Education and coach one of the school’s basketball teams, which is exciting for her, as she is able to bring together her love of working with students and her passion for fitness. She is not sure, however, that she will teach for her entire career. In fact, she thinks that in the future she might want to work as a personal trainer or run her own personal training company. She has thought about doing this since she began working part time as a fitness coach a few years ago to help her pay her tuition at UBC, something she is continuing to do as a new teacher to help pay her student loan debt.

Snapchat Mishap

Snapchat Mishap

After being encouraged to take advantage of communication apps as a teaching tool with her high school Social Studies classes at the beginning of her practicum, Jessica decided to make teaching accounts on a few different apps and websites in order to engage her students. Having looked her up online prior to the start of her practicum, Jessica’s school advisor suggested that, if she wanted to use social media, she should probably make her current accounts private and consider creating new accounts to use with her classes. After discussing the idea and getting permission to create school-related social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat with the school administrator, Jessica made the accounts under her name Ms. Yu.

Rate My Teacher Candidate

Rate My Teacher Candidate

After hearing stories about teachers being disciplined or criticized for online posts, Mateo decided not to use social media during his practicum. He was not a regular user of social media anyway, having only a Facebook account that he posted on occasionally. Between using the highest available privacy settings and continuing to post very little from the account, Mateo felt confident that he was unlikely to run into any problems related to social media while teaching. While completing his practicum, he knew other teacher candidates who had multiple social media accounts and were more active online. They would sometimes express concern over the potential for certain posts or pictures to have a negative effect on their reputations as teachers and Mateo was grateful not to have the same worries.

Questionable Comments

Questionable Comments

Before beginning their practicums, a group of teacher candidates who were placed in the same school to teach created a private Facebook group and a group chat through text so that they could share resources, discuss their experiences, and plan times to get together outside of school. Because they were all trying to monitor their use of social media in order to avoid breaching any policies, they decided to communicate through these private groups, as opposed to posting on any public profiles. Recognizing that they could help one another succeed by monitoring their social media interactions, all of the teacher candidates agreed not to post comments about each other or share any photos from their parties without asking for permission, especially if they were drinking alcohol or wearing revealing clothing that they would not wear while teaching.

Pop-Up Problem

Pop-Up Problem

Shira is always looking for creative ways to engage the grade 3 students she is teaching in her practicum. While searching online for fun ideas to incorporate into one of her upcoming art classes, she comes across a lesson plan that involves painting using toy squirt guns, which she thinks her students would enjoy. While her students are working on their math problems, Shira decides to search for inexpensive squirt guns she can purchase to use with the lesson. She uses a personal laptop that she brought to school because her school advisor is using the classroom computer for her own work.

Dating App Debacle

Dating App Debacle

Knowing that decisions about social media use can be difficult for teachers, new teacher candidate Jonas has taken action with regards to his social media accounts in an attempt to avoid crossing any professional boundaries during his practicum. He keeps his Facebook and Instagram accounts set to private and he has started using pseudonyms, as he knows that privacy settings on social media platforms can change without his knowledge. He has also explained to students who have asked to follow or “friend” him on social media that he will not do so, as he believes that communication between a teacher and student through personal social media accounts would not be appropriate.