How to deal with negative social media comments if you are a teacher

Negative comments on social media sites can be hurtful, but you know that you will also have to deal with them. It’s good if you can see them as useful to you and your future teaching.

The one thing you should not do is to react angrily to negative comments. Sit down calmly and ask yourself if the comment was justified. Negative comments can be helpful in that they can help to identify a problem. The last thing you want to do is to blast off a few tweets in answer to negative social media comments.

How do you monitor social media sites and the comments which concern you? Apps such as Hooter and Buffer can be useful. These apps enable you to monitor your social media profile.

There are, of course, different types of negative comments ranging from personal attacks and bullying to mild criticism of your teaching, the way you handled a particular situation and so on.

As long as a comment is not inappropriate, you should not delete it. Mask the negative comment with more positive ones – in other words, bury it. Keep a record of negative comments and use them positively in staff meetings.

You are able to delete comments other people have made on Facebook, but with Twitter and Instagram, you can only delete your own posts.

Bear in mind that your students could access your Facebook page, so only post comments that are suitable for their consumption. If you are angry about something, send a private message to friends. Don’t splash your vitriol all over Facebook. Consider using Google+ hangouts to communicate with your friends. Students are more inclined to use Facebook than Google +.

If students are posting inappropriate remarks about you on social media sites, your head teacher should be informed. Parents should also be informed by the head or head of your department. You should not complain to parents directly. Let your superiors handle the situation for you. The last thing you need is to become involved in a slanging match with a parent or parents. All inappropriate comments should be dealt with offline.

You shouldn’t ignore negative comments. Address them in a positive way. Don’t let them get to you. Remember that as a teacher, you are a professional and so should react in a considered, professional way.

You can’t do anything about negative comments if you are unaware of them. Consider using Google Alerts to stay informed of all comments about your school and yourself.

If you are criticised and know that you have, in fact, made a mistake apologise for it. Be prepared to accept deserved criticism. After all, none of us are perfect.

If you receive negative comments on social media sites, ask yourself if they ate justified in any way. Then calmly and circumspectly answer them. Don’t take them personally. For more news and views about teaching and job vacancies, go to our talentedteacherjobs.com website.

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