Commitment to the Profession

  • Learners

    Teachers have a professional obligation to develop and maintain professional relationships with learners based on the best interests of those learners.

  • Parents/Guardians and Family/Whānau

    Social media provides a great opportunity to collaborate and communicate with parents and whānau.

  • Society

    Teachers who model good social media use will grow learners who apply positive, respectful values in their interactions on social media platforms.

  • The Profession

    As a member of the profession you should seek and respond to opportunities to share knowledge and discuss concerns.

The profession is a knowledge-building community. As a member of the profession you should seek and respond to opportunities to share knowledge and discuss concerns.

  • Engaging in ongoing discussions with colleagues can help when you are unsure whether you should share, reuse or respond to content. Talking to colleagues about your activity on social media platforms means you aren’t acting in isolation and exposing yourself to a potential ethical dilemma.
  • Check whether your learning centre has a policy on social media use and always act in accordance with that policy. If there isn’t one or the existing policy is outdated, bring it up for review at a staff meeting.
  • Be aware that once shared, content posted on social media platforms can be re-shared by many.
  • Consider your digital ‘footprint’ and the fact that people you don’t know may judge you based on how you are portrayed online.
  • Think about how you want to be presented, both in your own posts/photos/videos and those you are ‘tagged’ in by other users. Be aware of how it may appear to colleagues, parents/guardians, learners and society in general and consider whether it is consistent with how you want to be viewed as a member of the teaching profession.
  • Up-skill yourself - many social media platforms have helpful tutorials and guidelines on how to set up groups, establish privacy settings, and how ‘friends’ or other users are able to share information that you post.
  • Check the terms of use of each social media platform that you use to make sure you know how the service provider may access, re-use or republish the information you post.
  • When posting information created by another author or organisation, you should clearly acknowledge their ownership and the source of the information. This is advisable regardless of whether the information is clearly copyrighted in the original source or not.
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Questions to think about
  1. How do you think Ms Smith’s colleagues would react to what she has done?
  2. What about her students? Their parents?
  3. What difference would it make if she had shared the post with fewer people?
  4. Who else might see and share the post?
  5. As a teaching professional, do you think her credibility has been affected?
    What impact could that have?
  6. What do you think would be the next steps she could take to rectify the situation and re-establish her professional relationship with Mr Jones?

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Questions to think about