When I first dreamed of becoming a teacher, I never imagined that my life outside the classroom would be subject to scrutiny and adjustments to fit my life inside the classroom. I had my passions, my hobbies, and my personal life, but little did I know that these aspects would ever overlap with my teaching career. As I contemplated teaching at different levels, the advice I received from mentors made me realize that my private life could impact my professional one. Twenty-plus tattoos, a passion for competitive running, and hanging out at local breweries with my craft-beer enthusiast father suddenly became topics I needed to consider in relation to my students.
Should I avoid being seen running and training in public by my high school students? Should I refrain from community activities at local breweries that might lead to unexpected encounters with families? The answer, I discovered, was not as straightforward as I had initially thought.
These Reddit teachers (and a similar thread posted here) describe how teaching has affected their privacy. Do any of these resonate with you?
Be prepared in public
I stopped going to Walmart in my sweatpants and lounge clothes VERY FAST!
Keep your social media on lockdown
I like this teacher’s suggestion of keeping the community away from their social media.
by u/amymari from discussion Do you feel teaching has impacted your personal life/privacy?
Don’t live where you work
Not everyone has the opportunity to pick a job that’s in a different location than where they live, but some say this could help mitigate the issues.
Scrub your personal info from the internet
This teacher has had her personal safe space violated COMPLETELY!
They are at the brewery too!
This is a kind and gentle reminder that if a parent sees you at a brewery, they are there too! Don’t hold onto that unnecessary shame.
by u/Chasman1965 from discussion Do you feel teaching has impacted your personal life/privacy?
Times have changed
And so have the standards to which we hold teachers.
by u/saatchi-s from discussion Do you feel teaching has impacted your personal life/privacy?
“The FBI advised us to leave our home …”
This commenter had to change so much about their outside-of-teaching life. I empathize with this teacher!
by u/TeachOfTheYear from discussion Do you feel teaching has impacted your personal life/privacy?
There is the flip side
I like this take too! Maybe being an integral part of your students’ community isn’t so bad!
by u/DilbertHigh from discussion Do you feel teaching has impacted your personal life/privacy?
The Handmaid’s Tale, Teacher Version?
You’ve heard of these rules, right?
You can’t drink here!
I wonder why that position was open?
The thanks we deserve!
When living where you teach pays off.
As I wrote this post and reflected on the experiences shared by fellow teachers, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of emotions. It’s disheartening to realize that many of us have to alter certain aspects of our adult lives to accommodate the demands of our profession. The need to be cautious about our social media presence, make adjustments in our community engagement, or even consider job opportunities in different locations can take a toll on our sense of privacy and individuality.
However, amid these challenges, we can be encouraged! Some teachers have found ways to embrace their students’ communities as a part of their adult lives, fostering a positive connection between their personal and professional spheres. It’s crucial to strike a balance that feels right for each of us while maintaining clear boundaries that protect our privacy.
How has becoming a teacher affected your privacy? Let us know in the comments.
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