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What The Tech? Teachers & Facebook

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Remember when you'd see one of your school teachers outside of the school and think "whoa, she's a real person?" 

That doesn't happen as often anymore as students can find their teachers on social media and get a good look at their personal lives.

Whether it's the teacher on vacation, hanging out with their friends or, you name it.

A teacher's private life is public unless they take some steps to keep spying eyes from seeing things on their Facebook wall.

Most school districts have strict policies against teachers and students being Facebook friends but they don't have to be friends for things to get awkward.

Over the past several years dozens of school teachers have been fired or suspended because of what they've posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

So before the first bell rings for the new school year, here are some things all teachers should review on their social media accounts:

1. Review privacy information. This is done by clicking on the question mark at the top of the Facebook page. It will give you the option to review who sees your posts. By default it is set to public, meaning anyone can see the posts or photos, even people who aren't on Facebook. You can change it to posting only to friends or to certain friends you decide. This will prevent someone from searching for a name in Google and seeing all of the posts from the teacher.

2. Review who can see your past posts. This is also in privacy settings. Young teachers should really look at this because there might be posts or pictures when they were a student in college. You probably don't want students to see you partying with friends in a frat house. You can choose to make every post in the past accessible to only your friends.

3. See what people see when they find your Facebook page. This one is under "who can see my stuff". Click on the view button to see what's visible to anyone who finds your Facebook page.

4. Your Facebook page can be discovered when someone does a Google search for your name, unless you change that setting in privacy.

5. The National Board of Teachers urges educators to never list the name of their school in their profile or even mention it in posts. The Board also urges teachers to "never ever post photos of your students to social media."

While there doesn't seem to be an organization that keeps track of teachers who are fired or disciplined because of social media posts, I found several dozens in news articles over the past several years.

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