Should Teachers Post Photos of Their Students Online?

There are several good reasons to think before you post.

A teacher liking and hearting images and posts on their phone.

Should teachers post photos of their students online? This is a debate that’s been around for a while, but in this time of pandemic, it’s taken on renewed urgency. On Twitter, the topic is trending after a user posted photos of a Zoom dance party where student names could be seen. Here’s what teachers are saying.

Kids aren’t props

One perspective to keep in mind is that even if you’re not consciously posting pictures of your students to get social media likes and follows, it could be perceived that way. Intention often means very little on social media.

You need to know your district’s policies

Even if your students’ parents have signed media releases, it might not include your personal social media accounts. Also keep in mind that parents often sign these releases at the beginning of the year, amidst a flurry of other paperwork, without fully realizing what they are consenting to.

Sharing any information about students, even just first names, could be a FERPA violation

In many ways, our classrooms and teaching are more public than ever before. Families can now observe what typically went on behind classroom doors. That’s a huge privacy issue in and of itself. Teachers need to tread carefully to protect their students and their careers.

Bottom line, proceed with caution

Posting photos to your class’s private Seesaw or Class Dojo account is probably okay, but even then you’ll want to be sensitive to families’ individual privacy preferences. In today’s day and age, it’s too easy for people to take screenshots thus allowing “private” photos to become “public.” 

What are your thoughts on whether or not teachers should post photos of their students online? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, should teachers use sarcasm?

Should Teachers Post Photos of Their Students Online?