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Reaching students through a new medium

November 19, 2015

Today, social media is thought of a new way for teachers to interact with students. This means it is becoming more common for a teacher to check up on their students’ social media accounts.

Some might consider the interactions online between students and teachers to be inappropriate and unnecessary. However, the ways of our teachers are fun, safe, effective, and engaging.

Some of the most “Twitter famous” teachers around the school are IB and social studies teacher Matt Geerts, social studies department head Dave Diehl, and math department head Aaron Harding.

Each of them have their own unique claim-to-fame. Their different and special ways that are displayed on Twitter help their students see them in a different light.

“Twitter is a way to build another relationship with students and find a common ground with them. It allows students to get to know me better,” Diehl said.

After commonly interacting with each teacher, junior Casey Stokes has formed her own opinion of the teachers’ accounts.

“I think that Mr. Geerts’ tweets are nice, like a hand full of rubies. Quantity. They’re impressively common and still really good. Mr. Harding’s [tweets] are like a big diamond. Quality. Their rarity makes them better. And then we all know that Mr. Diehl’s tweets are the best. They have quality and quantity,” Stokes said.

However, with the teachers’ growing fame comes a new set of responsibilities. Each teacher takes precaution in order to set a good example.

“Almost every kid uses Twitter in some way, and I think it’s important that teachers model the correct [way] to use social media,” Harding said
With the growth of social media comes a larger chance for students to make mistakes. Words and actions have impacts, even more so when they are online. This is because the internet is considered to stay pervasive forever.

“Students need to understand that any Tweet can reach a large number of people quickly. So think about what you post,” Geerts said.

The comfort that comes when someone is behind a screen could become the reason a graduated student doesn’t obtain his career. Something that might be seen as a light-hearted joke now could be considered a serious offense.

The fact that everything said, posted, and shared online cannot and will not ever be permanently erased is an important to remember.

“I’ve seen kids post photos of them drinking, smoking, holding up drugs to the camera. I know I’m going to sound self-righteous when I say this, but you kids are doing stuff on social media that you are going to regret. Ask any 23-year old fresh out of college who is looking for a real job. They will tell you that social media will kill you,” Diehl said.

When a post is made online, it stays online. Any joke, argument, or picture might seem appropriate now, but it has the potential to come back up. Filtering media before its posted now can be a better strategy for the future. It’s important to remember that the internet is forever.

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