Should Parents and Teachers be Facebook Friends?

Even if the parent and teacher were friends before, the online connection via Facebook could be mistaken as an attempt to curry favor.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to Facebook connections between parents and their childrens’ teachers:

This week’s Moms Talk question comes to us from Moms Council member Lisa Amey, who has a question that piggybacks on our recent Moms Talk conversation that explored whether or not it is appropriate for teachers and students to be Facebook friends. This week, Lisa is wondering how people feel about parents and teachers being Facebook friends. Lisa can see issues with this from both sides: Other parents might see any sort of online friendship – even if it predated the classroom connection – as an effort to gain preferential treatment. Or, a teacher may want to use Facebook as a place to vent and let off steam and an online connection to a student’s family member might impact that teacher’s ability to speak freely. Now we want to know what you think:

Should parents and teachers be Facebook friends?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Phillipsburg, N.J.  

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Salisbury Resident April 16, 2012 at 02:15 PM
C'mon people! Teachers are people, and people are allowed to have friends, correct? For a parent to even think about engaging in gossip obtained through an educational employee is where the problem starts. I find that most people who are afraid and concerned about gossip are those that contribute the most to the rumor mill. Let it be...and if there is a problem, then it should be dealt with, especially if laws are involved. That is why we have them in the first place - to help guide our behaviors. Teachers and parents, be friends! Its part of being in the community.
Lisa Merk April 16, 2012 at 11:19 PM
NO, I don't think they should be friends. If you were friends before your child was the teachers students - then you understand and know that person and humor etc. If you'd like to be friends with that parent/teacher after the school year, then start it then - not while the child is in the classroom.
Molly Smith (Educationmom) June 07, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Totally agree. http://educationmom.com/2012/06/07/should-i-be-facebook-friends-with-my-kids-teacher/
Molly Smith (Educationmom) June 07, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Totally agree. http://educationmom.com/2012/06/07/should-i-be-facebook-friends-with-my-kids-teacher/
Sue Berko June 11, 2012 at 01:12 AM
First of I do not think it's smart for teacher to have Facebook accounts period. There are too many things that could happen from having a Facebook account. I have many teachers in my family and none of them have Facebook accounts because what you put on the web is not private. Many employess are learning that their employers are checking up on them on Facebook as are potential employers. I've been taking Law Classes and all of my professors say if you have Facebook never ever have a picture of yourself that you wouldn't want your boss to see, never let anyone take your picutre with or even near a drink and never put anything on Facebook that you don't want your employers, family etc to find out about. Lots of people are losing their jobs because of Facebook posts and pictures. Once you put it on Facebook it's there forever people! So, if your a professional I think it's a bad idea to have a Facebook account because even if your careful with your pictures and post your friends might have something you don't want others to see or know about you and they can post on your page or tag you with a picture. Just a little friendly information.


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