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Music Teacher Tip #45 - Being a Professional

Music Teacher Tip #45:

So, yet again, a Facebook group for music teachers has inspired tonight's post. It's about professionalism. If you want to move up in your career, be perceived as a trusted professional, and just be a happier person in general, here are some tips:

1. Don't post anything on social media that you wouldn't want printed in a newspaper or read on the evening news. While it feels private to post something from your living room, potentially hundreds if not thousands of people probably have access to everything you post. Even if you keep great tabs on your social media and have lots of privacy protections, anyone with access could screen shot your page and share it with anyone they like.

2. If you do post on social media, avoid bad language. Avoid pictures of yourself engaging in any behavior you wouldn't be proud to show your students or parents of your students.

3. When you share/complain about anything with colleagues, be careful what you say. Imagine that could be shared too without your permission because it can. Is your job security worth it?

4. Don't complain about your students on social media EVER! If you need to vent, do so to a therapist, significant other, or very trusted friend in a private environment. Your students deserve their privacy too.

5. If a colleague tries to include you in unprofessional behavior like bad mouthing a colleague, parent, or student, get out of that conversation and don't contribute to it.

6. If someone has done something that is illegal, unethical, or dangerous for children in your care, you are obligated to report it. Seek out a school social worker, counselor, or school psychologist immediately.

7. Unless it's for a purpose related to your job/school, don't post or answer posts on social media during work hours. Some districts have strict policies against this. Be sure you know what your district's policies are.

8. If you take a sick day, don't post or answer a post on any social media site.

9. If you have important information to share or something important to ask AND it's important for you to have a record of that communication, do it via email. I once had a principal approve a guest-artist visit in a private meeting with me. The day of the guest's arrival I was called into the office and was asked why this artist was here without her permission. Ugh!

10. If you do screw up, go to your principal immediately and privately confess. While they won't be happy with you, it will be better than them being blindsided by something unpleasant.

I hope this saves at least one person a little heartache or additional stress.

Happy teaching! ❤️🎶

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