In a recent post, I alluded to occupational constraints regarding the personal use of social media, put in place in what has turned out to be my last teaching job.
Reminds me that at the other end of my teaching career, at the start, there were no “social media” prohibitions, but there still were “social” impositions.
In one of the first “conversations” (listening sessions) I had with my student teaching cooperating teacher, she made it a priority to offer me some potent off-the-record unsolicited advice, which I paraphrase:
“Definitely do not frequent local taverns (today’s bar lounges). You don’t want parents seeing you with a drink in your hand, not during the school week, and not even on weekends. And, preferably, don’t drink in public, even elsewhere. You never know. Parents socialize out of town. One of your student’s parents might see you.”
(No, I did not start teaching when Laura Ingalls Wilder taught.)
Fast forward to today. Certainly, in sociology speak, norms and mores change…
While I doubt there are restrictions on teachers’ drinking in public; nevertheless, nowadays, being arrested on DWI charges can result in the loss of a teaching license.
While it might seem ludicrous to suggest that public drinking was something seen as unbecoming to teachers (particularly, I suspect, to female teachers?), in some sense, I guess, the spirit of the prohibition could be thought to be flattering–not that I am suggesting we return to those customs and mores.
Educators were held to a higher standard of social behavior, given the enormity of the impact they have on the character development of youth. An impact that continues today.
What do you think? Why should or shouldn’t educators, as role models, be held to high(er) standards of public behavior?
What were the norms and mores governing social behavior in your line of work? How did you feel about them?