When Young Teachers Go Wild on the WebThanks, Peein' Crapira.
Public Profiles Raise Questions of Propriety and PrivacyBy Ian ShapiraWashington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 28, 2008; Page A01
Let me be more grown-up about my repugnant stare toward the screen, not because I have to be, but because I want to be.
To summarize: the article shakes a cold finger at young teachers for their proclivities to use the Internets for anything outside of the world of education. The author even goes so far as to lambaste a teacher for posting a picture of her friends flipping off the camera. I'm sorry the picture offended the author's sensibilities, but come on.
Here are some responses I have to the article:
1) My sense of humor is often "overtly sarcastic", but please do not also label it "unintentionally unprofessional". Every word in this blog and on my Facebook and Myspace profiles were born of intention. I do not post garbage online and later say, Whoops! Unless I'm drunk.
The intention with these forums is not to exude professionalism, but to stir up ideas in myself and others, and to have some fun while doing it.
2) When young teachers post sarcastic, revealing perspectives of their lives or sense of humor online, it is not "acting like young adults", at least not in the way implied by the author. Toilet humor is not reserved for teenagers. Just turn on the television and see for yourself.
3) For that matter, words befitting the Urban Dictionary are also not reserved for the young'uns. There is a difference between the language we use in our classrooms and what we say to each other off campus. A Special Education teacher can certainly love her students and a few hours later message a close friend with, "Hey Retardo". Yes, I know I've commented on language use and abuse before, but she still has a right to use the language she wants if she is not teaching and simply out living her life.
4) This quote deserves some kind of recognition that I am uncertain how to give:
Click on [the teacher's] "summertime" photo album and see a close-up of two young men flashing serious-looking middle fingers.
Seriously? Young teachers should be scolded for posting "serious-looking" pictures of their friends flipping the camera off?
5) I do think there ought to be some reservations with what a teacher posts online, but these are simple common-sense precautions that any grown-up should take with uploading on the web. I'm featured in a good number of pictures and movies that no one should ever see, much less my kids and their families. This media will be kept out of impressionable students' hands so long as I keep any and all Berkeley friends out of the San Jose area until I'm done teaching. Stupid jerks with their stupid cameras.
6) Do not question my motives for teaching. I hate that. I'm not in it for money. I'm not in it for fame. I'm not in it for access to the cool kids' house parties when their parents go out of town. There are more important things in life.