My warning is simple and very clear: if you are employed by a school (or would like to be) do not post anything on Facebook which could be misinterpreted by your present or future employer.
The issue is not freedom of speech. The issue is electronic media. It is everlasting.
Facebook posts can be shared. They can turn up on Google searches. They can be used against you by people who don't like you. Even when you supposedly didn't give them permission to do so.
So against this sobering backdrop, let's explore what's involved with Facebook.
1. "But my privacy settings were ultra-strict."
That's understandable. You only want to share your information with your friends and family. But remember: once you post something on Facebook, it's out there. It's no longer private. If one of your 'friends' decides to forward that photo of you hoisting a glass of champagne on your 30th birthday, that simple act of 'sharing' could cost you your job. It has done that for several teachers according to news reports which I found.
It's not just photos which can get you in trouble. It's your comments about your work or your students. If you want to self-destruct, then by all means post something like "My parents are arrogant snobs". That fuse will take only a few hours to ignite the bomb.
No unions or bureaucracy
Public school teachers are unionized as a rule. This has its good points and its bad points depending on who you ask. Private school teachers are not unionized. As a result, you will need to be flexible and adaptable. Basically your job is whatever the school determines it to be depending on the exigencies of the moment and the day. One important consideration, however: if you are accustomed to telling an administrator "That's not my job." then perhaps you will need to look elsewhere for a teaching job. In a private school flexibility is critical. Everybody pitches in to get whatever needs to be done accomplished.
Another difference is that you won't have to deal with layers of bureaucracy to get simple things done. Private schools are generally small, close-knit communities where everybody knows everybody. Getting something fixed or some supplies replensihed is not ordinarily a big deal. Floating a new idea and bringing that idea to fruition is generally easier in a smaller school setting. Not so many people to convince.
Students who want to be there
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