How could I? (HA!) And as some of my students are probably reading this, I’m sure they will laugh, too.
One thing that has really blown my mind is students’ desire to know EVERYTHING about me. Literally. Everything. It’s a bit overwhelming, as I’ve told them every time they bring it up. And I try to tell them that I’m really not that interesting. But they insist I am (I have no idea why) and say that my “secretiveness” makes them want to know even more. With that said, I usually just quickly switch gears and say we are “moving on” (which they also say is one of my key phrases. as well as “does that make sense?”).
It appears that Google is their best friend. That’s right, Google. They love to google their teachers (or at least their English teacher). And they know how to search well…realizing that just typing up my name brings searches of beach vacations to light. They found my English Education Portfolio (which I am quite proud of if I do say so myself) and professional articles and sports clips from my softball playing days. They realized that yes, their English teacher has a “digital footprint.”
What does all of this mean? It means that my students are constantly analyzing everything about me, ha! Seriously! Another example of why confidence is key in the classroom! No, on a more serious note I think it shows that whether we want to or not, as teachers, we lead by example. Having a digital footprint isn’t a bad thing. But our students do not always think that everything they do online becomes a part of their footprint. Thus, a lesson came about from all of this googling taking place. I asked them the following: What do you want people to find when they google you? What would someone find? You need to remember that everything you do, whether you realize or or not, becomes a part of your footprint. You need to make good decisions and be “smart.” Again, remember, what would people find? These questions stopped a few students (seniors especially) and made them think. “Oh man, you’ve made me scared now!” And I told them it wasn’t about being scared, but they needed to think about their work — whether school related or not.
A few of my colleagues have asked me if it bothers me my students found my blog. And though at first my reaction was “Ummm…” I ok with the fact they found it. And I am glad I could point out the importance of having a digital footprint. My blog is my personal learning and reflection space. And I don’t expect all of my students to become avid bloggers, but I do want them to see that there are outlets out there that can provide learning/reflection spaces that are key to any college program, profession, etc. in today’s world. It’s all about finding what works for them…
And last but not least (because I know you all know me and my love for hearts and all things “girly” — not!), I do feel honored that I was given a Disney princess picture to hang in my room. What can I say…I don’t think the new decoration will change my lack of love for writing i’s with hearts (that just makes me cringe to even think about), but it made me smile. All about the little things!