1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Social Media as demanded by parents!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Sally006, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Don’t get me wrong here, I am using social media right now so I’m not against it. I enjoy reading updates and FB posts from friends and have even renewed old acquaintances via social media. But this is in my personal life. A very different set of circumstances to my role as teacher. Unfortunately, I fear that there is a totally unrealistic expectation on teachers and how they are expected to be using it in school. These unrealistic expectations come from both management and parents.

    A change of head at our place a few years ago introduced Twitter. Staff were encouraged to photograph and tweet “activity” on a daily basis. Kids reading, kids painting, kids experimenting. The philosophy behind it was that it kept parents informed and the profile of the school out there. Advertising ourselves you might say. Like all such things over time the practicalities of teaching got in the way of this so staff posted when something really exciting and out of the ordinary was concerned only. Even then they could only do so on school devices with WiFi. This Often ruled out off sight tweets. However, conscientious staff did post photos on the school website when they could. Then along came Class Dojo. That parent messaging service that goes straight to a handset. Sadly, in our place this has been a vehicle for regular snipes and gripes and today took the biscuit. We were on an off sight trip where photos were taken but WiFi wasn’t available. Straight back to a First Aid twilight at the end of the day. Exhausted. Not a minute to breathe. Just before leaving a colleague checked her messages. One from a grateful parent saying how much her son enjoyed the trip, the second from a demanding parent asking “where are the photos of the trip - we can’t see any posted yet!”. This to me is where social media in schools is all wrong. Too many parents think we are free and available to post like they do on FB all the time. No appreciation that actually we need to download pictures, check they comply with parental wishes before using on various platforms etc. The demands for immediacy is absurd. Unfortunately, it is encouraged by heads too you enjoy the limelight of the school. No one ever considers the burden it places on staff who are there to teach - not muck about on social media!! Is it just me or do others find the whole thing a complete pain in the ****?
    bevdex, towncryer, Alice K and 4 others like this.
  2. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    The last school I worked in had a dedicated member of staff (with an office & an assistant!) doing this. They were called, something like, ‘Community & Social Media Liaison Coordinator’. If staff wanted anything to appear anywhere that would be viewed by parents or the public, from school magazine articles to FB & Twitter, it had to be sent to this person first.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  3. WB

    WB Senior commenter

    This is another example of us being our own worst enemy.

    We have enough to contend with with Ofsted and the government but we then decide to do this to ourselves. Once you start doing this it’s very hard to stop; initially the parents are grateful but very soon it just becomes the expected norm and we have emails demanding more.

    At my school some teachers will respond to parent’s emails during weekends and evenings. Parents very soon expected staff to reply on the same evening. Some parents have emailed staff over weekends asking for action to be taken and an update email sent before the end of the Sunday.

    This is our own fault! We cannot blame Ofsted or the Government.

    Be careful what you volunteer for! When you’ve done it twice it’s no longer optional; it’s your job!
    Laphroig, towncryer, Alice K and 3 others like this.
  4. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    I would echo @WB on this. It is a school fault to try and cater to the few people who live their lives on the Twit or Face apps.

    One of our child’s school has taken to informing parents of ‘news’ about the maths department and homework on Twitter, and emailed parents excitedly about this ‘innovation. Sadly it’s neither an innovation nor a convenience. A termly catch up with the maths teacher is more than enough thank you, and for homework, please tell
    the child and ensure they have a method of recording it, don’t post on ‘social’ media.
    Sally006, Jamvic and WB like this.

    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter

    Off SITE!
    mothorchid likes this.
  6. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    TwitFace. Love it! Thanks @colpee That’s my new ‘go to’ moniker for both platforms now :D

    I resisted, in the knowledge someone else would do it. :p
    bevdex, nomad and colpee like this.
  7. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    My school was using Facebook and Twitter, then decided to add Seesaw. Everyone seems very enthusiastic, but I am sure some parents and pupils will expect endless updates/dialogue 24x7 and raised this as a concern.
    Jamvic likes this.
  8. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    In case anyone was wondering here’s the blurb.


    How it works

    Seesaw works on any device and any set up — 1:1 or shared!

    Students use intuitive tools to capture and demonstrate learning in a portfolio

    Teachers get valuable insights into what students understand without extra work

    Families see their child’s work and leave comments and encouragement
  9. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Give me strength.

    Our local high school puts some fairly inappropriate things on Twitter, which is on the front page of the school website, and has in the past included photos of children whose photo is not supposed to be published. It's a disaster waiting to happen, and an utter waste of time.
    Laphroig, towncryer, Alice K and 2 others like this.
  10. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    But surely if things don’t appear on TwitFace or TWhatsApp or InstaH’ then they’re just not real. Those things never really happened. No? Is that not how the world works now?
    towncryer likes this.
  11. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Being expected (by management as well as parents) to post photos etc during lessons while I'm supposed to be teaching really irritates me. I can't teach, upload photos, add comments and choose who can see the photos all at the same time. Any lesson time doing social media stuff is time taken away from teaching. Any time outside of lessons doing this stuff is time taken away from planning, marking etc.

    Yes, it only takes a couple of minutes at a time to photograph an individual working, select a photo, type a comment and send it to their parents but that's time I could have used to work with a child on something they were struggling with or extending a child who needs stretching. Now multiply that couple of minutes by how many pupils are in the class. That's an awful lot of time not spent teaching.
    colpee, Jamvic, Alice K and 1 other person like this.
  12. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    I couldn’t agree more. I argued against Dojo especially when I was the recipient of continuous unpleasant messages and when this and other issued resulted in me being off sick with WRS. This got as far as Head and Governors agreeing to dismantle the whole thing but colleagues who liked it persuaded them not to! You are exactly right in what you say and to this day I find colleagues lack of empathy and the “I’m alright Jack” mentally unbelievable.
    WB, towncryer, Jamvic and 1 other person like this.
  13. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Yes yes ok. Full days trip and a 3 hour twilight - give me a break!
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I think a school twitter account is a great thing but the input needs to be managed properly. I cannot believe a school would just give carte blanche to all their staff to just post as and when they like (with the on-site proviso).
    It's fine for one or two tweets to appear daily and a couple of pictures, because if you limit content then you sustain interest.
    It's no wonder parents would demand stuff faster-irrespective of the platform- if the school allows that many tweets to appear in such a short spell of time-the school itself has created the very impression of immediacy which OP is objecting to, I don't see it as an impatient trait of the parents at all.
    colpee likes this.
  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    After a merger between the organisation I work for with another we were told has a similar philosophy a year ago almost to the day, most of my colleagues from our former organisation are still trying to get our heads around where the similarities lie.

    It didn't take long before we picked up the signals that it was less of a merger than a takeover, as everything we did in the way we used to is now being replaced with the way the organisation we merged with did things.

    Of particular note and most puzzling is the method of internal communication of policies etc.

    The organisation I originally joined had an intranet that there isn't a TES member would declare as being highly professional, but this has been replaced with Workplace, a spin off from Faceache, which although still configured as an intranet is just as inane as Faceache is.

    When I log on to my work computer in the morning, I won't be at all surprised if I find some 50 emails asking that I check out what what my new colleagues have posted on Workplace. There's rarely one worth reading.

    It mostly the same sort on nonsense people post on Faceache. Pictures of their last meal or contrived photos of what a good time is imagined to look like. It would be great if I could configure the system to not trouble me with all this nonsense, but sadly, that would be a poor decision, because every so often an important new policy we need to be aware of gets posted among all the other rubbish.

    Delighted as I am that my new colleagues are getting acknowledged for what they do for their elderly residents, in the form of bunches of flowers and tins of biscuits or boxes of chocolates, I don't really want to know about it.

    We used to have a policy where gifts of this nature needed to be declared and to be frank, I liked that, because it made it simple for me to refuse accepting that sort of thanks for doing a job I'm paid to do.I know for a fact that the time will eventually come when I have to retire. I also know for a fact that those who rely on my being there will miss me and fear for their future if my replacement has career ambitions above their welfare.

    I wouldn't mind betting that when I eventually decide to retire, some idiot in HR will be checking out the social media profiles of the job applicants and giving some sort of coded plus, plus, plus rating for the interviewers based on the proliferency of their Faceache activity and the number of likes they received to weigh against their suitability for the job.

    All this nonsense could stop overnight, just as we could rid ourselves of being ruled by governments that have no intention of doing us any good if we only stopped voting them into power.

    The society you end up with is dependent on the aspects of it you support.There is an alternative to continually banking your head against a brick wall in the hope that if you do it frequently enough, the world will magically become better, you know.
    Laphroig, Sally006 and towncryer like this.
  16. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    My school is the complete opposite. We're not allowed to take photos,send photos, or use our phones while teaching. I am so glad about that!
    Unfortunately ,if such policies did come into place I know some members of staff who would be tripping over themselves to be the best...I can even picture their faces as I type...the same ones who enthusiastically join in PD nonsense activities and ,even worse, suggest things that we could all be doing which add even more to our workload ...those annoying people who take the rhetorical äny other business"at the end of meetings literally..
    As long as such people exist. these inane policies will continue to flourish.
  17. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    As I’ve said previously, I agree my own institution opened the floodgates here. However, staff did as they were told in the main and those of us who objected are soon marked as being the trouble makers going against the trend. The reason for my post was to see if others are in the same situation or not and if so how they are coping with it. Most of you have responded in that way and I thank you for that. I am still baffled that others are less than sympathetic or supportive and resort to the usual teacher blame game or worse still, rather than engage in debate, want to nit pick on errors. I’m seriously starting to wonder about folks on here. Suspect they’ve been sucked into the same sort of sniping and belittling that we are getting from parents. Solidarity? Clearly not. I’m from a different era I suspect.
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Does the school provide smartphones and pay for the contract? If not, tell them to go forth & multiply, I suggest.
    Sally006, Laphroig, gruoch and 3 others like this.
  19. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I once emailed my daughters English teacher with a general query. She responded less than 24 hours later apologising for not responding sooner. I felt so sorry for her that she felt under such pressure to respond to me quickly that I never emailed any of the teachers again. If I was a classroom teacher now I would strongly object to having to do social media.
    towncryer and FrankWolley like this.
  20. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Am I the only person who thinks GDPR might be an issue here?
    If schools really think this stuff is so important, they need to hire a PR person. It's not part of a teaching job to post endlessly on social media.

Share This Page