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Community Guidelines

At TeachersConnect, we value your expertise and honor your struggles.

The TeachersConnect community is intended only for educators.  It is important to us that you feel safe, comfortable, and respected in the community at all times.  To enhance the dialogue, we’ve put together some simple guidelines for engaging in the TeachersConnect community.

We know that discussions are a way for everyone to bring their experience, knowledge, and vulnerabilities to the table. At the same time, we realize there are many schools of thought within the field of education – some that transcend our political and cultural lives. We want to support this diversity of thought and encourage you to bring your true self to discussions while maintaining respect for each other’s differences.

When making moderation decisions, we will take these guidelines, as well as the context in which posts are made, into account and provide feedback to the contributor as needed. We wanted to make these guidelines public and be transparent about our moderation process and why certain posts are removed.

We also recognize that this is your community as much as it is ours. We want you to help us uphold a high standard of quality for conversation in the discussions.  These guidelines can help you and the rest of the TeachersConnect community have an enjoyable experience online; however, should you ever encounter something that is negatively impacting your experience, please let us know by using our online form here.

In short

  • Feel at home.  This community is intended specifically for educators, so you are safe to ask questions and provide honest answers.
  • Be a good citizen. Interact, connect, and treat others with respect.
  • Stay on topic. Keep your content relevant, positive, and solutions-focused.
  • Know the boundaries. Your activity on TeachersConnect is subject to these Community Guidelines and the TeachersConnect terms of service. If you stray away from appropriate usage, we may take action on your account, which could include deactivation.

Things to do

  • Have an authentic identity. People connect to other real, authentic people on TeachersConnect. When people stand behind their opinions and actions with their authentic name and reputation, our community is more accountable and so are your posts. Our real name requirement creates a safer environment for everybody.
  • Be respectful. We’re a diverse global community of many types of people, with different beliefs, opinions, sensitivities, and comfort levels. Please be polite and respectful in your interactions with other members and consider your audience when posting publicly. If you’re unsure whether content is appropriate or consistent with the Community Guidelines or the TeachersConnect Terms of Service, please err on the side of caution.
  • Engage thoughtfully. You have the opportunity to help shape your online community. Contribute thoughtful content, report abusive content if you see it, and encourage rich, fulfilling engagement and interactions with others.
  • Share your expertise or ask for input. Encourage discussions and contribute original content, questions and thoughts to your community. Chances are someone else has the same question as you or could benefit from your knowledge, opinions, or personal experiences.

Things not to do

  • Don’t bully or harass members of the community. TeachersConnect isn’t a place to harass, bully, shame, impersonate, or intimidate others.  This includes the use of hate speech, which directly attacks a person or group on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, disease, age, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. We’re a global community of people with diverse beliefs, opinions, and backgrounds, so please be respectful and keep hateful and incendiary comments off of TeachersConnect.
  • Don’t be obscene. Sexually explicit and vulgar language and images are not welcome.
  • Don’t behave maliciously. Members of TeachersConnect must follow our Community Guidelines and the TeachersConnect Terms of Service. Don’t attempt to defraud, impersonate, threaten, harass or harm another member. Don’t invade another member’s privacy or spam another member or the community. Don’t try to trick people into sharing their personal information, steal anything (like copyrighted or trademarked material), or break into places you shouldn’t be. Don’t post links to sites that contain viruses or malicious programs or that interfere with the operation of TeachersConnect and its members.
  • Don’t use the community as a sales platform.  Please do not solicit other members for personal gain.  This includes selling or professionally promoting goods or services as well as requesting donations.
  • Don’t use the community to rant.  We want to keep our community a positive, healthy environment primed for the sharing of ideas and information.  While we all have “those days” that you just need to talk about, be sure to keep the conversation solutions-focused and certainly avoid calling out any members of your school community.
  • Share personal information about students.  This community, while intended to be for educators only, is still a fairly public space.  For that reason, it is essential that you avoid sharing any personally identifiable information about students or colleagues without explicit permission.  Please see the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for more detail.

Things TeachersConnect will do

  • Support the community. We will ensure that we promote community, collaboration, and discussion on TeachersConnect. We will provide assistance to individual member queries directly through the support section of our website.  We will also listen to the ideas and suggestions of our community members to help us build and improve the functions and features of TeachersConnect where applicable.
  • Maintain a safe environment. We care greatly about our members and their ability to have safe, rich online experiences. That is why we seek to ensure that this is a closed community specifically for educators to make those important connections and share ideas. While we cannot be present for every interaction and upload, we look to our members to report abusive and potentially harmful content. You can report content violations by using our online form here.  After we are notified of a potential violation, we will review the content and may take action. We may make exceptions to these policies based on artistic, educational, or documentary considerations, or when there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action.

We do our best to ensure fair outcomes, but if we conclude that you are violating these guidelines, we reserve the right to suspend accounts, or remove content, without notice, for any reason, but particularly to protect our services, infrastructure, members, and community. We reserve the right to enforce, or not enforce, these guidelines at our sole discretion, and these guidelines don’t create a duty or contractual obligation for us to act in any particular manner. We also reserve the right to amend these guidelines using the procedures set forth in our Terms of Service.

Navigating the App

App Sections

Discover Section: Browse and search posts, ideas, and stories from any teacher on TeachersConnect in this feed. Comment on posts or tap “Helpful” and “Me Too”  (see below) to react to them. Control what content you see by adding interests (see below) when you tap the Interests button. Any posts you create will be posted in Discover.

Q&A Section: Browse and search questions from teachers on TeachersConnect. Tap “Answer” (see below) to answer a teacher’s question. Tap “Me Too” on a question to let that teacher know you have the same question as them. You will be notified when that question has new answers. Any questions you ask will be posted in Q&A.

Post: Create a post or ask a question. Creating a post allows you to share your ideas, resources, stories, and more with the TeachersConnect community. Asking a question allows you to get answers from the TeachersConnect community.

Connect Section: Search and browse teachers that you would like to connect with. You can connect with teachers who are teaching similar grades and subjects as you, fellow alumni from your teaching program, or teachers who have the same interests as you. You can follow these teachers to see their posts in Discover, and start messages with them to exchange ideas and collaborate with them.

Me Section: Edit your profile, view your notifications, read your posts, and see who you are following along with who is following you.

Buttons

Helpful Button: Tap to let a teacher know you think their post or comment was helpful.

Me Too Button: Tap to let a teacher know you feel the same way or have the same questions as them.

Answer Button: Brings up your keyboard to answer a teacher’s question.

Interests Button: In the Discover section, you can tap this to add your educational interests that will influence what posts and topics you see in Discover.

Attachments Button: Tap this while writing a post or comment to add photos or videos from your camera roll. When a number is above the attachments button, that means you have something attached to your post or comment.

Create Post Button: Tap to create a post that will appear in the Discover feed for all teachers on TeachersConnect.

Ask Question Button: Tap to ask a question that will appear in the Q&A section for all teachers on TeachersConnect.

Anonymous Button: Tap to make your question anonymous when posting it. No one on TeachersConnect will know that you are asking the question. You will still be able to see that you asked the question. Tapping the switch again will turn it off, and your post will not be shown as anonymous when posting it.

Other Controls

Sort Menu: Tap to sort items in a list (such as sorting posts or sorting a list of teachers).

Filter Menu: Tap to filter a list of items to a specific type (such as filtering a list of questions to a list of most helpful questions).

Camera Slot: Tap to add a photo or video.

Filling Out Your Profile

Overview: The more information you make available in your profile the better other teachers can learn about you. One area of particular importance is your interests. When you select an interest the app surfaces more posts on that topic for you in your feed.

Steps:

  1. Click the ‘Me’ button in the right corner of the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Click on “Profile” in the menu.
  3. You will see many different sections of your profile. Click any of the red pencil icons to edit the section next to it.
  4. on the edit page you can press the trash can button to delete something or press the ‘+ icon’ in the top right corner to add to that section.
  5. Once you have added or deleted what you want press ‘save’.

Creating Your Account

Overview: The first thing you should do after downloading the app is create an account. Requiring every member of the community to create an account helps us ensure that only teachers and people who work with teachers can enter the community.

Some of the information you enter as you create your account will be visible to the rest of the community, for example, what grades and subjects you teach. This information helps other teachers get to know you.

Steps:

  1. When you first open the TeachersConnect app you should see a green ‘create account’ button. Press it.
  2. Press one of the three buttons to indicate if you are a teacher, in training to become a teacher, or involved in education another way. If you have any questions about which to press click the grey ‘? icon’ to learn more.
  3. You will see a brief explanation of why we need you to answer a few questions. Click Next.
  4. Fill out your Name, Email, and Password. Nobody else in the community will be able to see your email or password. Clicking the ‘? icon’ will bring up an explanation of why we need your email address. Click Next.
  5. Answer each of the following questions by typing or selecting your answer. Once you select an answer you will need to press the ‘select’ button in the top right corner.
  6. When you finish answering the questions you will have the option of choosing a profile picture. Other teachers are more likely to trust you and collaborate with you if you have a professional looking photo. Select one or press skip in the top right corner.
  7. The last step is to review “Your profile”. This screen shows your profile exactly as it will appear to other community members. Review it and add any additional information you want to share with other members of the community. Then press finish!

Downloading the App

Overview: To join the TeachersConnect community you must first download the TeachersConnect app. Use the following instructions to download it onto your phone.

Steps:

  1. Navigate to your phone’s ‘app store’. If you have an iPhone that is the Apple store and if you have an Android phone that is the Google Play store.
  2. Press the ‘search’ icon and type ‘teachersconnect’ into the search box.
  3. Select TeachersConnect from the list. You should then see the yellow TC icon with the name ‘TeachersConnect’ next to it.
  4. Press the ‘Get’ or ‘Download’ button. Your phone may then require you to put in your Apple or Google password. TeachersConnect is a free app so don’t worry! Even if it asks for your password you won’t have to pay anything.
  5. Once the download is complete you are ready to create your account and join the community.

What does TeachersConnect do with the information collected?

We use the information to tailor your experience to you and to limit the distraction of conversations that are not relevant to you. For example, if you teach AP Chemistry, we’ll make sure that your TeachersConnect experience isn’t dominated by strategies for early literacy instruction (unless you’ve identified early literacy instruction as a particular area of interest).

TeachersConnect also provides the data to organizations and companies who are working to improve education. For example, we partner with Teacher Preparation Programs to provide them with data to improve their programs. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information about what we do with the data we collect.