Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Perception is Reality
So my students know I have a Facebook. Actually, I am “friends” with many of them; it serves as an excellent way to communicate with them outside the classroom and to remind them of upcoming assignments and the like. Because they’re my Facebook “friends,” my students know my maiden name. Many assumed it was my middle name. We had a conversation about it today and I corrected them. One student asked what my middle name is and I told him. Another student immediately piped in how cool it is that my middle name is my best friend’s first name.
This comment confused me; I know my middle name and I know who my best friends are (yes, I said “friends;” I’m an extraordinarily fortunate person in that I have more than one best friend, which I do understand is grammatically impossible but I’m the English teacher, so get over it!). Perplexed by her comment, I asked this girl what she meant. She named my colleague and I immediately understood.
How funny is it that the students see me hanging around with one particular colleague (who, in fact, happens to be my best friend here) and immediately take that to be my whole reality?! A similar thing happened when the students first learned I had a Facebook. It was incomprehensible to them that I would have “friends” who were not students or other teachers! I tried to explain that I actually *do* have a life outside of school and that I had friends long before I became a teacher, but that just seemed to make their eyes glaze over!