Sunday, October 14, 2012

Open Letter to High School Students

Dear Students,

I'd like to start by saying that between the ages of 14 to 18 a certain sense of impenetrable intelligence descends upon you, and you feel as though anyone over the age of, say, 24, has no freaking clue what they are talking about.  I know the feeling, because I was your age once too.  (Alert!  Alert!  She said a familiar "old person saying"  Shut eyes immediately!) 

No secrets with Twitter.  Good for teachers. 
Bad for students.

Anyway, I should get to my point, which is that teenagers (namely you) seem to feel that they know everything, and that old fuddy-duddy teachers, like myself, have very little knowledge which they can impart upon their already all-knowing minds.  However, at my old age of 34, I'm aware of how little I actually know.  This scares me.  So, on occasion, I try to give you important lessons that will help you succeed in the world. 

Lesson of the Day:  If you don't make your Twitter account completely private, anyone can see what you wrote, including disparaging remarks about teachers. 

I know teachers seem unfailingly nerdy, but we do know a thing or two about technology.  And yes, I twitter-stalk myself.  I want to know what my students (yes, you) are saying about me. 

Most recently, I had the pleasure of reading an entire conversation between two students about what a hard teacher I am.  (Yay!!)  What is amusing is how they discussed that they knew I had a Twitter account, and that it would be very awkward if I were to read their conversation.  (Too late, ladies)  However, they made no attempt to hide it, no attempt to make their accounts private, no attempt to remain anonymous. 

Sadly, I've read Twitter remarks about teachers which were very inappropriate.  I comment on them occasionally, just to scare the ever living daylights out of the kid, but I'm not sure it actually does any good. 

So, now we get to the whole point of this open letter.  I guess it is just to remind both of us that we have to be careful what we put out on the Internet.  Nothing shared in cyber-world is safe.  For example, if the two girls who did the Twitter posts about my class read this, the elephant would enter the room.  Do I care?  Of course not.  I already had a great time dropping heavy innuendo's during class that I'd seen their post.  If you are in my class and picked up on some tension, you know to what I refer.  The students probably already know, unless they let their minds wander, which is entirely possible. 

Still, students, you teach me new things every day.  As I mentioned before, there is much I don't know about the world.  Even you can remind me there is always something to learn.


Mrs. Harar

Beth - 1  (I learned!)
Twitter - 1  (Very informative!)
Unprotected Twitter Posts About Teachers - 1  (Poorly Planned, But Still Very Informative)

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