Parents of teenagers have their hands full! You constantly walk the line between giving your kid freedom and keeping an eye on him/her. Many parents worry over whether to or how to monitor their kid’s usage of social media. If your kid is using Twitter and you would like to monitor his/her tweets, you don’t have to be a registered user of Twitter to do so.
If you have a mobile phone, have a text messaging plan, and know your kid’s twitter handle or name, simply enter the following number as the recipient of your text: 40404. That’s the short code for Twitter on all major wireless carriers in the US. Then type the word “Follow” and then their Twitter handle. Hit send. Here’s what it will look like if you are using an iPhone:
Be ready for a flood of tweets! If you quickly run up to your text messaging limit, you can text the “stop” and then when your new cycle starts, you can text the word “start” to resume monitoring tweets.
If you are reading this post and are not located in the US, you can visit this page to find your country short or long code to receive tweets as SMS.
It’s no secret that schools and parents have a vital interest in developing and maintaining a constructive relationship. They both want the best outcome possible for the student. Sometimes, though, we find ourselves in adversarial footings due to circumstances on the ground. A school is an organization and as such has to keep policies in place to ensure that the place runs smoothly. As educators, we have to enforce the policies, many of which we had no hand in creating, but nevertheless, they are a key component of our job descriptions. When families come up on the wrong side of a school policy, difficult, sometimes charged, conversations result. Sometimes, these conversations result in the school revising its policies, while at other times, these conversations result in the student changing his/her behavior. When I’m having one of these difficult conversations with a parent, I try my best to keep my temper in check. I do this by keeping in mind that the discussion is essentially about doing what’s right for the student. In my experience, parents want to do this as well.
Another way to minimize the frequency of highly-charged conversations between schools and families is to proactively build relationships. This is a challenge because there’s only so much time in a day and it’s physically possible to talk to each parents on a daily basis. We may not be able to communicate daily, but we are committed to creating opportunities in which cordial discussions between school personnel and families can take place.
Social media provides us a relatively easy and cost-effective way to communicate often with families. The challenge here is that many parents and educators feel like they have “missed the boat” on social media and don’t know how to get started.
My message here is that it is never too late!
If you take the first steps and get connected on Twitter, you will quickly find that there are many people who want to help. But the best way to learn about Twitter is by using it.
My goal is to help parents, teachers, students, & community members get on board with Twitter. I am organizing local workshops for members of the North Attleboro High School community that will take place when we return from the holiday break. If you are a member of our school community and would like some help getting started with Twitter, please fill out this brief questionnaire. I will set up workshops that will be held at school at times convenient to you.