Should teachers friend their students on facebook?

facebook-hacking-1040cs051612Certainly Facebook has altered the meaning of the word “friendship”. Once your friends were the few selected in time, rather than the many, very often little less than complete strangers, that appear on a Facebook page. If perceived success depends on the number of happy faces that you can boast as friends, well I am out, because to me it seems all so cold, impersonal and superficial. My students have tried to explain to me all the potentialities of this tool, but I am not easily convinced. Some of them, I admit, had really good points. One in particular made me ponder, as he professed that thanks to Facebook I could contact again the friends I have lost track of in time, school mates for example. Hmmmm, I mused, maybe I faltered for a while, but then I promptly recovered and said that if I had lost touch with them, there should have been good reasons after all; you know, for me friends are still the few selected ones and those I don’t see any longer, maybe just didn’t pass the test :). Furthermore I don’t like being tied to the past.

facebbokHowever, I have a Facebook account: with a fake name, of course. Few months ago I wanted to go and see some pics on a on-line newspaper, but I wasn’t allowed, unless I had a Facebook account. Ok, why not, I said? I created one with my mother’s name and somebody else’s surname to preserve my anonymity. I have to admit, apart from having access to pictures, it was fun after all. I started to work a little on it in my spare time. I made an avatar of myself, loaded some pictures, shared posts I liked, but it was only when some of my closest friends and colleagues made the great mistake to friend me, that I really understood the real potentiality of the tool: intelligence. Reading the comments and scrolling the lists of friends I could know who knew who, the degree of intimacy, things in common etc……For example, before talking behind somebody’s back, you can make sure that the person you are talking with is not his/her intimate or if you like somebody and you have the occasion to talk to him/her, you may check the list the things, books, movies he/she likes and start a conversation. From this point of view Facebook is genius.

Big-BrotherI couldn’t refrain from checking some of my students’ pages as well, and one day I jokingly told them to pay attention to what they wrote as “big sister teach” was actually reading them. They tried to find the account, but I knew I was perfectly safe behind my anonymity. I was just teasing. But one day, there is always one day, I just couldn’t really resist from commenting something written by one of my colleagues that BANG, found out, and after a few secs I received my first friend request. From a student.

I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t even tempted, because I don’t think that students and teachers should be friend, even on Facebook. We can have a friendly attitude but we cannot be friends. In this age of confusion, roles have to be clear. On Facebook the line of what is appropriate in a teacher-student relationship is often blurred and therefore dangerous. I guess it is very difficult to be yourself over Facebook and keep the respect of students at the same time. Of course social networks are extremely helpful for both students and teachers, I can’t deny this, but on a personal level, it isn’t acceptable for them to socially interact.



146 thoughts on “Should teachers friend their students on facebook?

  1. Dear teacher,
    Facebook belittled the word “Friend”. Students and teacher shouldn’t be friends, otherwise the confine between students and teachers would be overstepped.
    Francesco M. 3°A

  2. Hi teacher,
    I hate facebook, boys have been changing their relationship since facebook became so popular. Guys often spend lot of time in front of a computer withouth trying to see any real friends. But this social is also very helpful , in fact I registered on it. I also think that if a teacher wants to speak with one of his students outside school there isn’t any problems, on the contrary this is a great thing for me. The relation between students and teachers can’t be like the relationships among boys but it can be great and for me it is important that a guy has a way to connect with his teacher.
    Federico 3A

  3. Hi teacher,
    In my opinion students and teachers shouldn’t be friends on facebook during school years,but then it may be a good thing. Facebook allows you to keep in touch with everyone,and this is the reason why I registered on it.

  4. Hello teacher,
    as far as I am concerned, facebook is a very useful social network. The reasons why we join it can be different: to socialize, search information, sharing interests. Then the first great merit is to have simplified the communication with people from the other side of the world and today thanks to webcams we can also seem them! Moreover we can make new friends, peep the profila of a boy that we like and many other things. In addition to this, however, I think that teachers can have their profile, but should not accept the friendship of their students! I think between a teacher and a student there should not be relationship based on friendship because in this way the teacher would lose its role and being respected . Students could be curious about the teacher’s private life and in this way they could change their opinion on him.
    Federica.S 3 a

  5. Dear teacher

    I haven’t used fb for some time but I think being friend with a teacher on facebook is positive, because there would be more communication but facebook is used to talk wirh friends, and I believe the relationship between students and teachers shouldn’t be of that kind.

    Tommaso III A

  6. I think that teachers and students should not be friends during the school years because they should respect the roles. Once finished school I think that they can be friends on facebook to stay in touch.
    Vittorio P. 3A

  7. Dear teacher,
    I read your post and I like what you wrote… I agree with all you said.
    In my opinion Facebook is a great communication way and it has a great potentiality, but often it is used in the wrong way. For this reason I think that teachers and students shouldn’t be friends on Facebook.
    Even if my middle school headmaster is my friend on it.

    Francesco G 3A

  8. Dear teacher,

    Facebook is a very useful thing because we can share interests and communicate with people (also on the other side of the world). I think that if a teacher becomes friend with one of his students, the relationship between the teacher and the student would no longer be the same. So I think that if a teacher wants to communicate with one of his students, he has to find another way to do it, using emails or skype.

  9. Dear teacher,
    first of all I would specify that I don’t have a Facebook account, because very often this is used for purposes other than those for which it was designed. Having said that, in my opinion, the relationship between teachers and students must remain confined within certain limits; communication between teacchers and students must then remain substantially formal.
    For this reason, I believe that the best way to communicate between professors and students is through email.
    Andrea B. 3A

  10. Dear teacher,first of all I would like to say that I use Facebook only to follow some pages and not to chat with my friends, however, I think that students and teachers shouldn’t be friends on Facebook.It could be embarrassing also because I also believe that teachers and students shouldn’t tell out (????)school.
    Lorenzo M 3A

  11. I think that during the five years of high school (or even more) teachers and students should not be friends on facebook, because I think that it would not be correct. But after the high school it would be nice to hear from an old teacher again.

  12. Hi teacher,
    I don’t use facebook a lot but I think it’s a very good means to communicate with other people, especially those who don’t leave near us. But it also has some negatives aspects; I think that teachers and students shouldn’t be friends on facebook because their relationship should be limited limitated in the school and not in a social network.
    Gabriele c. 3A

  13. Dear Teacher,
    I think that the relationship between teacher and student must remain within school limits. Therefore I agree with you and for me a student should not befriend a teacher, also on facebook. In fact facebook generalized the word: “friendship”, but I think it is very useful especially to stay in contact with friends who are far away.
    Nicolò C. 3A

  14. Dear teacher
    I think that students shouldn’t have teachers like friend on facebook, maybe beacause we aren’t friend and because reading the posts published the teachers might understand that we are not doing our homework.

    Amir A. 3’A

  15. Dear teacher,
    I read your post, I agree with you, in particular when you said that if you have lost contact with some people there must be a reason . As my mates said, Facebook is very useful, for example I can chat with a friend of mine that last year moved to Scotland, or with a girl that I knew last summer when I was in Ireland to work and tried to learn English 😁 .
    Elisa V. III A

  16. Dear teacher,
    I think that there should be a certain distance between teachers and students in order to maintain respect and privacy about teachers’ personal life, which would be impossible with social networks.
    In fact a teacher has to be a role model, a mentor not a friend. The relationship teacher-student outside the school can exist but it should concern scholastic topics such as deepenings, debates and suggestions to face critical moments. Facebook is not the suitable way to achieve this purpose but a personal relationship would be better.
    Giulia C. III A

  17. The question is “should-teachers-friend-their-students-on-facebook” and so the answer is very easy :No, because they are not friends in real life so why should them be on a social network?

    Roma-inter 4-2

  18. I don’t often use Facebook because I don’t like it:there’re many stupid things that don’t have sense….but I think that this website can be helpful to create new contacts with other people. Why could not a teacher be one of them?

  19. Dear teacher
    I think that teachers shouldn’t have a friendship with student, because they can see if we are doing homework or chatting in facebook.
    Another point is that teachers and students have not a friendship.

    Edoardo C. 3a

  20. Dear teacher
    I am convinced that teachers and students shouldn’t be friend on Facebook because there must be a distance between them. This is because it should be embarrassing and i guess that any student will agree with me. Basically Facebook was created to keep in touch with friends, and not with teachers.

  21. I live in a different country from my children and I use it to keep in touch. But sometimes it really worries me to see what they have written on their walls.

    I know it is playground talk or pub talk between each other and in a way not for my ears or maybe my eyes

  22. Since I realized that even teachers have facebook, when I know a new one, I try to find him on fb. But I don’t want to have my teachers as friends on facebook, beacuse I think that students’ privacy has nothing to do with school life.
    In fact, if my teachers see my posts published, they understand I hang out with my friends rather than studying.

    Martina S. II A

  23. Hi teacher,
    I don’t use facebook a lot but I think it could be pretty useful. I don’t think teachers should have students as friends. It doesn’t mean that the teacher cannot use facebook to give homework, help and inform the students but friendship on facebook means something more, it can break the barrier between students and teachers.

  24. Dear teacher,
    I think that students and teachers shouldn’t be friends on Facebook for a personal reason. I wouldn’t like my teacher to see my photos or what I do when I’m out of school.
    Beatrice R. 2A

  25. My opinion is that it depends on teachers whether the friendship with students is possible or not. For example there are some teachers that prefer to socialize with their students and teachers, more strict, that prefer not to socialize with them. But in any case I think that Facebook is not adequate to make friendship between teachers and students because you may find much information that it better to hide.
    Tommaso G. II A

  26. Dear prof,
    In my opinion facebook is a really useful tool because teenagers can socialize with it. But teachers are people who must be respected and facebook,without privacy,doesn’t allow that. For me it is strange to see teachers who speak a student on facebook but maybe I’m wrong. Therefore I think that it can be dangerus and convenient at the same time.
    Giacomo P. 2°A

  27. When I read the title I already formed an opinion and after I finished reading I agreed with the teacher’s ideas. In fact teachers and students can’t be friends ,especially on Facebook. I think that in the classroom there should be a friendly relationship ,a good atmosphere ,respect for each other but all this under the control of the teacher. On the contrary on Facebook everything is too personal and privacy is lost. On the other hand it would be good to have the chance to comunicate with the teacher on e-mail if the students have problems, because at school during the lesson there isn’t time.
    Lucia D.V. II A
    I was going to start ‘Dear Stefania’ but after reading the text I changed my mind.

  28. Dear teacher,
    I think that students and teachers should not be friends on facebook.The relationship between teachers and students, in fact,is not like between two friends, and a student woludn’t want to see photos or posts of a teacher and vice versa. Students and teachers shouldn’t be friends on facebook also for a privacy issue.

    Riccardo P. 2A .

  29. Dear Prof,
    I never use facebook, but if I must use it,I know that it could be useful for giving homework, information and help. But my privacy is important for me : teachers and students have to keep their roles separated and facebook does not allow that. This is why I don’t approve it.
    Matteo B. 2°A

  30. Hi teacher,
    I don’t spend a lot of time on facebook cause I think that’s boring so I only scroll the home page searching funny videos.
    In my opinion on facebook we should add only our friend and I think we should not have this kind of relationship with teachers because in this way would not be respected certain important roles.
    Maybe after school we could be friends on facebook and why not in real life too?

  31. Hi teacher,
    I think Facebook help us tuo keep in touch with “old” teachers that we don’t see very often.
    In my opinion I prefer not to mix private and school matters, so I think teachers should have students as friend on Facebook after the end of the school.

  32. In my opinion the choice of having a teacher as friend on a social network or not is a personal choice.
    Maybe having a teacher that is your friend on facebook could improve the communication between you and the teacher or maybe nothing could change.
    For me it doesn’t matter because I can almost say that I never use facebook.
    I don’t think that it can make the difference and I say that students and teachers shouldn’t be friends on facebook,for reasons like privacy and others…

  33. I use facebook to write and share things that I like, my passions. If my teacher is interested in what I usually write, why can’t be friends on facebook?

  34. Dear teacher,
    I don’t think that teachers and students should be friends on Facebook because on this kind of social network there isn’t the privacy that there should be between a teacher and a student.I also think that could be pretty embarrassing both for teachers and students to see what they post on the internet.

  35. Dear teacher,
    I think that students and teachers shouldn’t be friends on facebook for various reasons: first of all because teachers and students would be on the same level of two friends and this isn’t right, furthermore school and private life would mix. I don’t want the teacher see the photos and the posts that I want to share only with my friends as well. However, I think that facebook is a good way to communicate with our friends and I think the teacher should give their friendship to “old” pupils, that are the students with whom they haven’t any school relationship.
    Sara Minotti 2°A

  36. Dear teacher,
    I think that students and teacher shouldn’ t be friends on facebook because in my opinion school life and personal life should be separated. Moreover I don’t want teachers to see my photos and my posts on facebook. However betwen teachers and students there has to be a retionship of mutal respect and estimate.
    Laura Margherita Pace II A

  37. Hi teacher,
    In my opinion students and teachers shouldn’t be friend on Facebook because the relation between teachers and student are different than the relation between two students or two teachers.
    Roberto B. 2ºA

  38. Hi teacher,
    In my opinion, students and teachers shouldn’t be friends on facebook because facebook is used
    to chat or share photos and events with friends, and with a teacher it could be embarassing.
    Anyway is a personal choice, on facebook be friend of a teacher might be helpful for someone or embarassing for someone else.

    Alessio I. 2°A

  39. Dear Teacher
    I think that students and teachers can be friends on FB but it’s useless. In summary I aggree with A.Dionisi: I don’t now why they shouldn’t be friend on FB, but I think that is much important a real and true friendship between students and teachers anyway with the respect for the roles.
    F.O. II A

  40. hi teacher
    I think that a relationship on social networks among students and teachers is feasible only for sharing appointments, general and school matters.
    On the other hand I do not see feasible sharing of personal information by students and teachers because this could affect the role of the teacher itself.

  41. I think that the teachers and the students should be friends but not on Facebook because the privacy si lost.
    Carolina silvestri IIA

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