Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not on FB, But My Kid's Preschool Is

I got the following email from DS's Montessori teacher today:

"Dear Parents,

I've created a private parent forum on facebook. The purpose of this
forum is to provide a place to share Spanish language resources,
promote parent interaction, and encourage each other in providing
Spanish instruction to our child/ren.

In order for me to give you access to this site, I need you to log
onto facebook and look for: [Teacher's Name] and ask to be added as a
friend. Once I have you as a friend (thank you by the way), I'll add
you to the parent forum. I'll also add a widget on the homepage of
the school so you can easily click onto the forum..."

I know, I know. Everyone and their mother is on FB. I note the assumption of such in the email's first line.

This sucks, because DH and I have basically made a pact not to be on FB while the kids are tiny. We will reconsider it once they're older. No judgments to those who are on FB and love it (which is like 80% of everyone we know)! This is merely a lifestyle choice we've made due to the fact we live in a ridiculously small town, and we want to zealously guard our privacy, and we want to spend less time online (says the woman who blogs)...

Anyway, I want to let the teacher know, and see what the options are for getting the info the school want us to have but without the hassle of being on FB. Ugh. I don't want the tone of my email to come across as "off" though, and I'm afraid it will. Gah!


NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

I agree with need for privacy. It is definitely lacking. Good luck with your letter. We're not on FB either...

mom2boy said...

It would be a slight hassle and probably not worth it depending on the level of activity the group ends up getting but you could set up FB just to get in that private group. I'm not sure I love the idea of school communication through fb even on a private page and I am on FB. Seems lazy on the school's part. I get an emailed newsletter and my classroom mom sends emails with changes and updates. Perhaps I should appreciate that more. lol Good luck!!

Got It, Ma! said...

There may actually be a way for you to view the forum without having a facebook login. Worth asking someone who knows more than I do. But there's probably also another way (maybe a private blog) that would make for a better and more accessible forum without requiring facebook membership.

I broke up with facebook about four months ago. One of the best things I ever did. I didn't realize how miserable it was making me. I would never go back, even for an educational forum for my kids. It's just my two cents, but don't give in.

I wrote about my decision to break up with facebook here:

Jac. said...

I think this is easily a case of saying something to make your point without making someone else be wrong. Really, all you have to do is email back and say.

Hi so-and-so - DH and I do not participate on facebook. What other option will there be for us to obtain the info that will be posted on facebook?

Your assumption that there would be another method of obtaining the info is no more egregious than the teacher's assumption that you would be on facebook.

Having said that, I'm on facebook - I don't post pictures or mention any one in my family by name, and I mostly use it to creep other people because I'm creepy like that.

the milliner said...

If you're worried how an e-mail may sound, I would talk to the teacher in person. Though I think @Jac's text sounds pretty neutral.

Cloud said...

I have nothing new to add... but I just wanted to say: we aren't on facebook either.

Blogging non-facebookers of the world, unite!

Anonymous said...

Facebook can be used for certain activities. I.e. promoting business is great via FB. Promoting your kids is not. Maybe teacher can create a blog? Ours has one and we get email updates if something is posted.

Anonymous said...

Our schools have had email list-serves instead that can be viewed as google groups or yahoo groups.

hush said...

Update: I emailed the teacher and he sent me a nice response saying I'm not the only parent in the class who is not on FB and that's ok, and that nothing super amazing was likely to show up on the FB forum, and if it did he would send everyone an email. So yay for that.

@NK - Amen!

@mom2boy - Yes, it does seem lazy. Then the teacher explained that some of the other parents who are on FB asked him about setting up a private FB forum, so that was the genesis of it.

@Got it, Ma! - Thanks for the link to your post on breaking up with FB. Great food for thought there.

@Jac - Thanks for that wording, which I cribbed!!

@the milliner - Next time I will try to speak in person instead when things are less chaotic than the 1st week of school - I feel like pick up is such an awkward time right now with all of the parents trying to introduce themselves.

@Cloud - Why was I thinking you were on FB? "Blogging non-facebookers of the world, unite!" indeed!

@Anonymous - Welcome! I would love it if the teacher started a blog.

@nicoleandmaggie - Email list-serves that can be viewed as google or yahoo groups are also things I'd be down with.

caramama said...

I actually love FB, and I totally hate to admit it. I hate their policy on things like privacy (or lack thereof), but it's been great for me keeping in touch with my cross-country and international family. I also love family groups and my book club group on FB, so I understand that other parents would like a group on FB for the class.

BUT it's really great that the teacher has another way to communicate to all the parents, including those not on FB.

And I love this line by @Jac. "Your assumption that there would be another method of obtaining the info is no more egregious than the teacher's assumption that you would be on facebook."

New Jersey said...

I think Facebook is a great tool, but the illusion of Privacy these days is most closely related to a pane of tinted window glass. I realize that as a Facebook user, I'm putting more out there than a non Facebook user. However, at the end of the day, anyone with a credit card can learn more than you care to know.

I do agree about the kids not having a page completely. I know a lot of fellow parents that can't stop posting the intimate details of their kids lives.

That being said, in 25 years or so, we'll all be so inter-connected with some wild new social systems that looking back, we'll wonder what was so scary about Facebook in the first place.

hush said...

@New Jersey - " I know a lot of fellow parents that can't stop posting the intimate details of their kids lives." Me, too, and I can't help but wonder if they will regret that choice once the children are old enough to voice their own opinions about it. I guess I'm of the "When in doubt, don't" school of thought.