To Friend or Not to Friend

May 21st, 2015

When I was a kid I knew nothing about my teachers. My parents knew relatively little about them. I remember eavesdropping on my mother and another parent talking about a male teacher obviously trying to figure out if he was married.

Teachers were that opaque. Like super heroes they had private lives they vanished to.

Now a teacher can be my friend on Facebook. I can lurk into their lives as I do with everyone I’ve friended. I will see photos of them on beach vacations turning their pale white skin to sunburns. I will read their rants about their children and how difficult they are and how they can’t wait for them to go back to school. I’ll read between the lines in an exchange between them and their siblings – there’s a jealous brother and a perpetual disappointment of a sister.

So I can friend my children’s teachers. I did once. But I won’t again. Because I don’t need to know the little details of their lives. It doesn’t make me feel more secure about what they are teaching my children. In fact, knowing too much hurts my relationship with them, which is a professional one. We aren’t friends. Even if Facebook says we are.


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