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October 19, 2017

Dear Families,

Pop Quiz…Do you know the following acronyms?




To be honest, 15 years ago, I never thought I would spend a significant amount of time researching and learning the latest trends in social media. When social media slang began to trend, my biggest struggle came in my attempts to explain why students could not abbreviate with slang in formal writing.

I would welcome those days back with open arms. In my opinion, the angst of those days pales in comparison to the web of danger weaved by social media today. According to an article by McAfee Securing Tomorrow, Today, “When selfie‘ becomes Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year, it is a good idea to pay attention to the emerging (and influential) language evolving online, much of it penned—or should we say pexted—by teens.” I couldn’t agree more. 

Navigating education amid the daily deluge of stress, drama, anxiety, fear, the list could go on and on, demands a constant awareness on the part of teachers. Simply delivering a beautifully planned, differentiated lesson is no longer enough. Between classes, a snarky Shapchat or sneaky Sarahah can derail the rest of a student’s day.

Today, the App store offers two more tools of torment, Sarahah and TBH. Each app allows students to send and receive anonymous messages. It does not take a degree in Rocket Science to infer the capacity for destruction of these apps. Last year, we implemented No Phone Friday. This year, we added Tech Free Tuesday. The best of intentions still fail to completely protect students from the pit that is social media.

I included several links at the bottom of this post. Iknow, right? It’s a lot. It’s likely too much. Or is it? I remember a jingle that played before every School House Rock episode during Saturday morning cartoons. It ended with “It’s great to learn because knowledge is power.” To be parents today, we need super power! Seriously.

Please take a minute to read one, two or all of these articles. Make your way back to the linked article from McAfee too. I do not suggest that I agree with every point in every article. However, I do know that each provides food for thought and an insight into the deeper world of social media.

Back to the quiz…Do you know what each one means? Go back through this article and look for the bold print…It’s like a little clue…

Honored to Serve You All,

Janet Worley

Food for Thought:

The Scary Truth about What’s Hurting our Kids

How to Use TBH, the Anonymous App

Sarahah Anonymous Messaging

Sarahah: What Parents Need to Know

What Parents Need to Know