Given the ubiquitous nature of social media, it is important for prospective and current teachers to be aware of the impact of a personal digital footprint upon their career. Teachers are held to a higher standard due to the public nature of their employment. Teachers represent the school district not only during the school day, but beyond the work day. The study surveyed school principals or hiring managers in Illinois, USA about the use of social media to screen or censure teachers. Approximately 2300 principals were contacted; however, only 80 responded to the survey. Of the responses, approximately 50 percent of the schools indicated a review of social media to make employment decisions. Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular social media platforms and the two that most potential employers search. Both platforms can offer a negative view of a potential candidate, as well as be used in grounds for discipline and/or termination of a teacher for inappropriate behaviors (e.g. unprofessional posts and inappropriate pictures). Further research is needed to determine the depth and breadth of social media screenings in regards to school personnel.
Davis, Tamra and Black, Hulda G.
"The use of social media to make personnel decisions in education,"
International Journal for Business Education: Vol. 156:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://ir.library.illinoisstate.edu/ijbe/vol156/iss1/5