As the scope for social media and online growth continues to widen, more people are becoming accustom to the means of portraying themselves in a positive and private light online.
Others are more expressive with what they choose to share – some of this is good, but some of it can be bad. This doesn’t just stop at what you choose to share either, everything you purchase, interact with, comment on and like forms what is called an ‘online reputation’.
This isn’t exclusive to an online space though, with things discussed and brought to light online often spilling over into everyday life and what some might describe as the ‘real-world’. Negative connotations attached to you or your school’s online reputation could very well come back to have an adverse impact on immediate and future prospects and aspirations.
The importance of preserving a positive online reputation
There are multiple reasons for maintaining a positive reputation, both for yourself and the respective school where you work.
Firstly, as we briefly outlined above, real-life and online standings are more often than not, co-aligned and can subsequently impact upon your future career should you choose to seek alternative employment.
Much in the same light, sharing defamatory or taboo posts, interacting with prohibited or controversial pages or using aggressive or upsetting language to fellow users is evident for others to see and, in turn, has the potential to significantly damage your school’s reputation. Parents will naturally attribute the actions of a staff member to the school they teach at too, meaning that a negative online perception could influence pupil admissions moving forward.
Once something gains traction on social media and online, it’s often nigh-on-impossible to prevent it from snowballing further, even if you do remove the comment or post. So, with this in mind, it’s imperative to always consider the wider impact of what you are sharing online before posting.
In the past, there have been cases where teachers have lost their jobs as a result of their actions online. Headlines such as “Teacher sacked for posting picture of herself holding glass of wine and mug of beer on Facebook” and “Teacher sacked for posting provocative selfie on Facebook” were published in the national press.
Enhancement initiatives for your school
It’s not all negative though! Online and social media posting, and interaction has the capability to bring many positive strands with it, should you do this in the correct fashion.
Parents will appreciate you keeping them up to date with school news and events, besides showcasing pupils’ work and achievements – this highlights your commitment and investment in them and their learning.
Engagement is also key. Something as simple as a positive post welcoming future students or staff members ahead of a new term goes a long way, as does exhibiting your school’s achievements.
Develop your understanding
Click here to find out more about our ‘Annual Online Reputation Course for Schools & School Staff (2019-20)’, which provides further guidance and advice on the subject of online reputation.