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Hi all! This week I decided to delve into Snapchat life. It may not be as entertaining as Ben Rosen’s, but feedback is welcome. I did, however, address monotony of everyday life with the title… (self-five). Anyway, I already am a user of Snapchat, but I soon learned I was very much a novice. By the way, if you want to follow me and connect with me on Snapchat, give me an add using my username: lodgelopel below! I just swiped down from the top of the middle of the main screen on the app.

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So! I increased my Snapchat skillset! Awesome! Very much helped in building positive relationships and connectedness in the classroom! Observe My Snapchat Story of the day below (note that you can download your own stories if you’d like, which I have done and uploaded).

Note: we have a media release waiver that these students did, in fact, have completed.

The discussion that followed after making these snaps was following people you are interested in on Snapchat – one kid cited that they posted inspirational quotes or speeches that were awesome to read in the morning. When we talk about a personal learning network, this can be part of it. I think what we don’t always have a curriculum for is the social skills and emotional development that comes through (and should come through) this.

I think it’s important to stay up to date on these social media sites as it “keeps us young” as teachers. Most importantly, it helps us connect with students. In a more defensive sense, it helps to better understand what we’re up against or should be prepared for. When I first began teaching… I was in Snapchats made by students, unknowingly. Once I installed Snapchat, I better understood it, subsequently starring in the occasional Snapchat, mostly when it wasn’t in conflict with direct teaching time. I laughed, the students laughed. Connections!

But hold on one paper-marking moment!

It’s important to note the teacher-student line of “we are not friends”… but we can be connected, professionally, of course. Some people may have different lines of this. To my students: when you’re graduated, maybe we can be friends, it’s nothing personal. You have a life you may not want to share with me, perhaps there are things I don’t want to share with you… we need boundaries and expectations. What are your boundaries and expectations?

Privacy.

Privacy is important. When a student wants to show me a picture, I always tell them I will look away until they are ready for me to look as they search through their gallery. Sometimes they have photos on their phones that they may not want me to see… there’s some digital learning to respect of privacy (both ways) within this. Some things are a given, respectfully private, but where is the line? Is an 100% private life outside of school required both ways or should we avoid activities that may not be worth sharing all together? What have we got to hide?

I remember fellow teachers who might use Snapchat with their friends (or Facebook before), documenting all their shenanigans and if those events came up in interview processes or were exposed, people would be upset that this privacy was compromised… however, I think if we live life wholly as a teacher (inside school and out) it leaves us less susceptible to this issue especially when considering how connected our world is. Or come to terms with practices we do outside of school time and not be ashamed. Potentially, people could see everything we do. Rather than the idea, “only post what you would want your grandmother to see”, try to “live the life your grandmother would want you to see”. Not to say I am not guilty of some things that I wouldn’t want to document or show, but in terms of growth and being aware of what we might be showing, this may be a fundamental part of personal development.

Questions, comments, concerns? Perhaps I am too liberal in my connections with students, let me know!

– Logan Petlak

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