Why I won't show my Classroom on Instagram...and you shouldn't either.

Would you want to give a tour of your house and let strangers know every area where they can access to enter your home?  Do you think this would create a safe environment for you and for anyone who lives in your household? This concept is no different when it comes to sharing your classroom on social media. 

Since I announced that I would not be sharing my classroom on social media, there has been a lot of people questioning this decision and I would like to clear the air. 

 

The climate of our country is not safe and I will not be held responsible for causing harm to my students or other staff members. 

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It’s extremely sad to say, but there are too many mass shootings in our schools and it makes me want to vomit.  There has been research that shows evidence that some mass shootings were planned by using social media.  Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury to think that other people have good intentions.  Statics support that we are not safe more and more.

 

I’m sure you’re telling yourself that only other teachers are the ones who are looking at your Instagram or Facebook.  But how can you be certain that it’s only teachers? When your Instagram is not private, it is out there for the world to see, which can provide information that can lead harm’s way to you, your students and co-workers. Would you want to be responsible knowing that people were hurt because you wanted to post a cute photo?

 

I don’t mean to seem harsh and this is a very uncomfortable conversation but as educators, it’s our responsibilities that we are keeping everyone who is in our building safe. 

 

I want you to take two minutes and think about your favorite teacher’s Instagram.  Ask yourself these questions:

 

·      Do you know where their doors are?

·      Do they have windows?

·      Will you be able to walk into their classroom and navigate successfully without being there before?

 

Now imagine a total stranger who want to harm you and your students saying yes to these questions? Wouldn’t that scare the crap out of you?

 

I do not have the mental capacity to know that the things I post on social media can hurt the students and staff members at my school. 

 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t post anything.  You should just shift your mindset the next time you post a photo of your classroom.  Maybe just focus on your bookshelves, talk about the specific pencils you use, or basically anything that won’t give away a blueprint of your classroom. 

 

When it comes to my classroom, I want to make sure that I create a safe place for myself and my students. 

 

So, here’s another truth of why I am no longer going to give tours of my classroom.  My principal flat out asked me stop doing it.  I’m not going to jeopardize my job because people are throwing a fit because they cannot see the layout of my classroom.  Not only did my principal asked to me stop, I also took it upon myself to ask my boss to look at my videos to see if it would provide too much information.  Some of my videos did, so I took them down. 

 

What are the things we can do to make sure that we are protecting our school?

I personally analyze my photos.  I ask myself the same questions from above and if I am able to say “no” to every single question, I will post it.   

 

It’s just our job as educators to do better to protect the privacy of those who come into our building every day.  It’s our job to provide a safe space.  I urge you to consider what you are sharing because you never know who is looking at your cute door post and could be planning something unspeakable.  We preach to our students to be careful about oversharing but are we ourselves following the same rules?  

Thanks for tuning in! Take a listen to this podcast episode for more information

Until next time,