To post or not to post?

I’ve decided to address a very controversial issue in my blog post. Well, it seems it is not controversial at all for most of the people, but it is something that has puzzled me for a while. This is not going to be a very long post as I do not have any answers to the questions I would like to raise.

We are all online all the time. Most of us have a Facebook profile, post pictures on Instagram, tweet, blog, have a Pinterest account, have a LinkedIn profile and so on. However, we are all very worried about online privacy or so it seems. Most of us set up our privacy settings the secure way, that is, we want to be out there but we want to be safe at the same time.

But, what happens when it comes to posting our students’ pictures? Shouldn’t we worry about other people’s privacy, as well?

I know a lot of teachers who like sharing pictures of their students so that other people can see what they do in class. When I look at these pictures, I keep asking myself a lot of questions… Do students really want to be there? Do they know their teachers post these pictures on Facebook, Instragram, etc.? Have they let their teachers do it? What about children? Do their parents know about it? Have they given these teachers permission to do so?

Some time ago I found out that all city-run public schools in Caxias do Sul in Rio Grande do Sul ask students (who are over 18) and parents to sign a document in which they state that they give teachers and the school permission to use their pictures and their children’s pictures in school newsletters, on blog posts, etc. This has helped raise teachers’ and students’ awareness of how important it is to talk about it.

So, what’s your opinion about it? I would love to hear from you as I’ve been very concerned about it.

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Michele Schwertner

Michele Schwertner has been an English teacher for over 25 years. She holds a B.A. in TEFL. She is currently teaching private lessons.

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