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To wish I could do my job AND have a private life... And not have pupils CONSTANTLY trying to find me online.

(69 Posts)
TypicallyEnglishMustard Tue 17-May-16 20:15:25

I know, we exist in a digital age, and obviously my pupils are online a lot. I am too, with fake names for everything, and high security settings, because that feels sensible to me. I'm a secondary school teacher.

But I am fed up of pupils constantly playing "Find the Teacher Bingo" online, with me and my colleagues. Maybe it's just my school, but it seems that lately they are OBSESSED with finding as many of the staff as they can. I confiscated a checklist from one Year 7. We are constantly reporting pupils trying to "add" us on social media to the safeguarding officers. Today, a pupil gleefully came to me to tell me that she'd found a picture of me from when I was graduating university, and had printed it out on the school printer... That's really weird, right?!

AIBU to think that I have a right to a bit of privacy in my totally separate, ordinary life, without constant witch-hunting behaviour from pupils? Has anybody else had experience of this in school, and is there anything that can be done about it?

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 17-May-16 20:19:15

Well, you probably do need to lock your settings down a bit, although none of my children have ever been interested enough to search for me!

At a previous school the kids did set up a Facebook page for a member of staff and added other staff members, who innocently accepted believing it to be their friend/colleague!

silverpenny Tue 17-May-16 20:20:50

hey miss - fancy seeing you on mumsnet! wink

SplinteryBottom Tue 17-May-16 20:20:58

I appreciate it's bloody annoying but it sounds incredibly resourceful. probably not what you want to hear

HermioneJeanGranger Tue 17-May-16 20:21:22

YANBU, that must be really irritating, but I'm not sure there's much you can do to stop people searching for you on Facebook.

I have to ask, though, how did the pupil have access to your photos? Your security settings can't be very good if they can save photos from your Facebook page.

The other option, of course, is to set up another account using a fake name.

TrinityForce Tue 17-May-16 20:22:43

OP already says she uses a fake name.

Pupil probably found the picture by seeing one of her relatives/friends photo of her.


Sounds awful, I feel sorry for you and other teachers in the same situation.

TypicallyEnglishMustard Tue 17-May-16 20:23:39

The photo wasn't from my Facebook page, it was from my university's website.

Security settings are as high as possible for me, not sure about my colleagues, of course. And everything within my control is under a fake name.

Catmuffin Tue 17-May-16 20:23:51

silverpenny grin

pambeesley Tue 17-May-16 20:24:10

I would have probably done that at school.

Me and my friends were so excited to find out where our drama teacher lived and we even knocked on his door ?!?!? shock

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 17-May-16 20:26:12

Your pupils sound like they've got a future working for MI5, then smile

NannawifeofBaldr Tue 17-May-16 20:27:27

I noticed about 18 months ago that all the teachers I'm FB friends with (about 25) started adjusting their names, either reverting to maiden names, putting in weird spellings or using first and middle names so I suspect this problem is not limited to your school.

You gave my sympathy - it must be deeply annoying.

HermioneJeanGranger Tue 17-May-16 20:27:38

Oops, didn't read your OP properly, sorry!

I don't really know what else to suggest, tbh. You can't really stop people searching for you on the internet confused

EmmaWoodlouse Tue 17-May-16 20:27:55

I'm a TA, and when I first started using Facebook, I deliberately used the long form of my real name, which nobody ever calls me by, because I thought the kids were less likely to suss it (most kids who try to guess think my short name is short for something entirely different). I still got requests from a few of them, oddly all the ones who seemed to hate me most at school! Now I've gone back to my everyday name and I just refuse all friend requests from current or ex pupils.

I know a lot of teachers who use first and middle name instead of first and last name, but I guess now FB is chasing up people they think aren't using their real names, that might have to stop.

HighwayDragon1 Tue 17-May-16 20:28:35

I use a fake name and have been found by kids from school. It's annoying, but really other than the high security and fake name what can you do?

FlibbertigibbetArmadillo Tue 17-May-16 20:28:42

I remember when it was exciting if you found out yout teachers first name

FlibbertigibbetArmadillo Tue 17-May-16 20:29:09


Waffles80 Tue 17-May-16 20:30:18

You need to start approaching parents about it - and your SLT needs to really come down on it.

What are they like? Will they take it seriously and take action against those stalkers in training who do it?

I've got tight settings, but a kid found a picture of my children on a relative's FB page. "Oh miss, your baby is so cute!!"

I went through the roof, as did senior leaders. Hasn't happened (to my knowledge) since.

BonnieF Tue 17-May-16 20:32:03

That's why I'm not on Facebook, and I'm not even a teacher....

TypicallyEnglishMustard Tue 17-May-16 20:33:43

Unfortunately, our SLT are very dismissive of this as an issue. Just tell us to report anything online to them, but I've never witnessed them dealing with it.

My brother, who ironically teaches at the same school as me, has been subject to some really inappropriate harassment from female pupils online. He's putting in a complaint about it tomorrow, maybe something will come of it all soon. A lot of us were discussing it in the staff room after school today. Many of us are sick of it.

SlinkyVagabond Tue 17-May-16 20:33:54

One of our teachers was found in five minutes from his old school and his university.
Another had a fake account with really unpleasant shit posted in his name, we had police involved, it was pretty grim.
All my teacher friends have security tighter than a gnat's. Then a former colleague accepted friend requests from her kids (former students) and other former students and it all went wrong.
Most kids at our school are well over fb and we have no interest in snap chat and Instagram. The occasional stalk request is met with a block and ignore.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-May-16 20:34:18

If you use Facebook at school and your settings allow it to access your location, then you will show up in the kids' "people you might know" list from being in the same place at the same time as them.

amidawish Tue 17-May-16 20:34:59

"Oh miss, your baby is so cute!!"

is this really so bad?

TypicallyEnglishMustard Tue 17-May-16 20:36:04

That's interesting to know, noble giraffe. I've personally never used Facebook at school, and my phone is way too basic to have apps/Internet! But I had no idea that that could be the case.

Ragwort Tue 17-May-16 20:37:08

Agree with BonnieF - do you have to be on FB - there is a real life out here you know grin.

I feel like googling myself now !

cardibach Tue 17-May-16 20:37:30

I'm a teacher. I'm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the first two under my real name. Occasionally, despite good security, a pupil was ask to be added. I decline and block. Problem over.
Yours sound a bit as though it's become a fashion/fad/craze so it's a lot more extreme than normal, but I still don't really see the problem. Just ignore, block and don't rise to it in school.

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