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Would it be possible to use a different name whilst teaching to avoid being found on social media? I

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by evelinam, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. evelinam

    evelinam New commenter

    Many videos cannot be removed due to lost login details. These posts(there are many) include my full name and quickly appear once my name is searched. Would it be at all possible to use a different name in school to avoid students finding these posts? I look very different now to how I did then (7 or so years ago) so I’m not so concerned with being recognised, but I am becoming increasingly worried about my old posts being found. Many are from my university days and do not paint me in a great light at all.

    I’m spending a lot of time trying to access these old accounts but having little luck. At the moment I have a 3-5 day wait until google assessing my request for access to the accounts which host the videos and posts I posted. I feel very remorseful, embarrassed and regretful for posting the content publically without thinking about the future consequences. I’ve worked so hard to get this far and I want to feel confident in the classroom, not worrying that students or staff will uncover old videos or photos of me- I really love teaching, and I don’t want this to hold me back. If i am unable to remove the content, I wanted to know what other avenues i could go down in terms of avoiding my name being searched by students. Any advice?
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @evelinam the longer title you used on Teacher Q&A has been truncated by the system on this forum. It read in full:

    Would it be possible to use a different name whilst teaching to avoid being found on social media? I used to blog and make music and posted a lot of not so professional content, difficulty removing it.
    I don't really have an answer for your dilemma. In principle anyone can change their name. There's an official government explanation here of how to do it. I'd guess that you would need to get a formal Deed Poll, but that's not a major undertaking.


    But I think you are asking something different. You want to keep your name for all purposes other than being a teacher don't you, and just be known as a different name in school? I've never come across that, I don't know how a school would respond to such a request. And I can foresee endless practical problems. What name would you want to be paid in, for example? If your real name were John White but in school you were known as Bill Brown your bank accounts would have to be in the name of John White (as you'd have no proff of ID to open an account as Bill Brown). So you'd need the school to employ you under a contract of employment as Bill Brown but payroll to process salary to John White?

    I guess all things are possible in theory, but once you explained to the school why you wanted to do it they'd rush off to look for themselves wouldn't they? Would they find anything that would result in them not offering you a job?
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
    chelsea2, JohnJCazorla and evelinam like this.
  3. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    Well you could get married!

    A member of staff at a previous school went by his middle name, so for example his name was Peter Michael Benson but he went by Michael Benson. I suppose you could do that and then kids would be searching the wrong first name.

    Are these posts anything other than silly and embarrassing? Because if not, I would recommend a ‘so what?’ attitude and a discussion about how the internet is the memory of the world should anything be found.
    evelinam, 576 and Rott Weiler like this.
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I don't think there is any law against it, although your school would need to know your real name. If it is that important, perhaps you could change your name legally. Obviously, your old records will have to be accessed for DBS purposes.
    evelinam and Rott Weiler like this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I'm going to assume your name isn't Eve Linam, and that when I search google for that name, none of them are you?

    If it is a desperate situation and you would lose your job, should any such thing be found, then changing your name by deed poll would seem the best answer. But even then, application sometimes ask for former names and you'd need to be honest.
    evelinam and Rott Weiler like this.
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    And DBS applications always do. Plus, they would need references for the old you. Changing your name could solve the issue of students looking you up, but not your employer.

    I don't think there is any way of stopping students and colleagues looking you up on the Internet if they know your name. I am also assuming that it is not the same as your user name.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Schools will always ask for former names I'd have thought as it's needed to do a DBS criminal records check and to get references.
  8. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I would be very reluctant to employ anyone who wanted to use 2 names for that reason. however, i have known teachers who got married, but kept their maiden name so as not to confuse students.
    evelinam likes this.
  9. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    I know several people who have different names for professional or personal purposes. Lots of reasons for doing this, but haven't come across the above reason before. As people have suggested, you will need to be upfront with the school about previous names etc but I'm not sure that have to know why. Someone might be able to tell you otherwise, but I can't see why you can't request to be known by xxx at school.
    evelinam likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Showbiz is full of them...

    Do you think Elton John changed his name for the same reason as the OP is thinking of doing so?
    evelinam likes this.
  11. evelinam

    evelinam New commenter

    Thank-you for your responses, they've been very helpful. The content posted online has been a mix of different things; some just music videos which aren't bad as such, just a little cringey. The others were made during university, so alcohol, singing and dancing around, skimpy clothes, smoking are all present. I am very embarrassed these videos even exist. I have taught abroad since leaving university with no problems, but I expect it'll be different in the UK and students will take more of an interest in my personal life, particularly secondary school children. I don't mind so much about staff knowing my name- I would hope adults would be a little more understanding but even so I'm nervous, because as I'm familiarising more and more with the teaching community (or perhaps just reading too many colleague horror stories on forums) I'm worried teachers could be judgemental or use my online past against me for whatever reason.

    I would be happy to just have a different name whilst in school. A different surname for example. I wouldn't want my surname and initials to appear on my log in profile (this is where students tend to see your first initial) so do you think the school would be able to do this for me? Border_walker your comment is one of my concerns. I'm worried that by explaining this situation schools will be put off by my application. I currently work with primary school children and my DBS all checks out, really if you search my name you will find videos and a lot of selfies which have been distributed from other websites. It was during secondary school and university that I began posting my photos a lot and users from all over the world started distributing them. Now it's just tremendously difficult to get rid of them.
  12. evelinam

    evelinam New commenter

  13. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    Hmm ... everyone has a history and a few skeletons. [​IMG]
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    We can't guess whether a school would be happy to allow you to use a different name that has no legal status. If you bring it up before you are appointed, then the school may well see it as a negative. If you wait until you have got the job, you have guarantee that they will agree.

    I am no expert on this, but I gather that it is possible to get information deleted from Google searches, meaning that the stuff you mention won't be found that way, although it remains out there for anybody who knows where to look. This article explains it. https://www.cnet.com/news/you-can-now-ask-google-to-remove-links-about-you/ . It seems possible that you might benefit from this. Worth a try?
    evelinam and grumpydogwoman like this.
  15. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I'm not really sure what advice to give but there must be so many people in your situation. We all do silly things when young ( that's the fun of being young ! ) but unfortunately your generation is the first to be growing up with social media history for all to see. I suppose as the years pass the videos will move down in the search engine listings.
    chelsea2 and evelinam like this.
  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    There would be nothing illegal in telling your school that you want to be known [this name] at school, even though your 'real name' is [this different name] and they will have made the DBS checks in your 'real' name.

    Of course you may want to come up with a different reason for wanting this;)
  17. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    I’m not sure that students will be as interested as you think. But if they are...
    So, the pictures/ videos. Skimpy clothing. Topless? Smoking. Drugs? If all ‘bits’ are covered, you are only smoking and drinking (at over 18) and you are not dressed as a Nazi or in a KKK outfit then I honestly wouldn’t worry. Apply for a job. Be yourself. If some immature 14 year old searches for you, finds something, identifies you and has the balls to tell you then your reaction? ‘Yep I was a muppet when I was 18. Hope you’re not! Right, turn to page 27 and do questions 1 to 4...’
  18. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    FWIW, my party piece used to be getting the puppies out on a night out and dancing in a ring of fire (DJ record cleaning fluid and a lighter - don’t ask!) I also used to find it amusing to use the white line in the middle of the road as a ‘tightrope’ at chucking out time - how amusing that must have been for drivers. Thankfully social media and camera phones did not exist in the 18th Century when I was young. My point is that school staff, even ancient ones like myself, have been there and done that and are unlikely to judge you for ordinary growing up behaviour. Don’t let this stop you doing the job you want to do.
    sabrinakat, evelinam and Piranha like this.
  19. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I know 3people who have taught using different names to their ‘legal’ names. Presumably their schools had no isssue with it! One had recently separated from her husband, so went to her new school using her maiden name to prevent awkward questions when they eventually divorced. Another had a name she considered embarrassing so went by her mother’s maiden name. The other I can’t remember The reason, but it wasn’t her ‘real’ name. I also know a number of married teachers who still use maiden names at school.

    I think the issue with the videos you mention, is that not only do you not want kids seeing them, you also don’t want your new employers seeing them! And due to DBS checks, you can’t avoid giving your real name. So it only half solves the issue...best to press on with recovering the lost log in details I’d say, and try to get them taken down.
  20. evelinam

    evelinam New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your responses, i've been worrying endlessly about this for a very long time and I feel a little less lost with the situation now. I am wondering if the ability to change your name in school is only allowed if you're switching back to maiden name, that seems to be a theme here. But I think I will try my best up to get anything i can removed before I join the school, then when I'm further along in the application, discuss the option of using a secondary name.

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