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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 TeachersConnect

Community Feed: Browse and search posts, questions, ideas, and stories from any teacher on TeachersConnect in this feed. Click on cards to see them in full view, where you can view and create comments and answers. Any posts and questions you create will be posted here. (Whenever you want to return to Community Feed, click “Menu” on the top yellow navigation bar, and then the “Community Feed” tile).

Top Navigation Bar: Click “Menu” to get access to your personal tools and resources to connect with other teachers on TeachersConnect. Click “Search” to search the Community Feed for posts and questions.

Menu: This sidebar houses all of your personal content. You may access your profile and teacher preparation program, as well as complete actions like creating a post, asking a question, and logging out. You can also click on “Community Feed” to return back to the Community Feed of TeachersConnect anytime. On mobile devices, slide your finger from the right edge of your device to the left edge to reveal the menu.

Search: Keyword search for posts and questions from the entire community.

Create New Post: Share an idea, resource, lesson, or story with all teachers on TeachersConnect (this will be posted in the feed). They will be able to see your post in the feed and start a conversation by commenting on what you share. Attach up to 4 photos to your post.

Ask a Question: Share a teaching question with all teachers on TeachersConnect (this will be posted in the feed). Use the Anonymous switch to maintain your privacy when asking sensitive questions (your posted question will not show your name or profile picture, see below for more information). Attach up to 4 photos to your question. Shorter questions are more likely to be read.

Profile: View your posts and teacher responses. You can view other teachers’ profiles by clicking on their name when reading their posts, comments, or answers.

Edit Profile: Update your personal information, teaching experience, and education. Add any teacher communities that you belong to as well.

Helpful Button (Thumbs Up): Click to let a teacher know you think their post, comment, or answer was helpful.

Me Too Button (Raised Hand): Click to let a teacher know you feel the same way or have the same questions as them.

Answer Button: Click to type an answer to a teacher’s question.

Attachments/Camera Button: Click this while creating a post, question, or comment to add photos or images.

Creating Your Account

Overview: The first thing you should do on TeachersConnect 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 for creating an account:

  1. Go to www.TeachersConnect.online on any device: your phone, tablet, or computer. Click the red ‘Sign Up’ button.
  2. Click one of the three buttons to indicate if you are a teacher, in training to become a teacher, or involved in education another way.
  3. You will see a brief explanation of why we need you to answer a few questions.
  4. Fill out your Name, Email, and Password. Nobody else in the community will be able to see your email or password. Click Next.
  5. Answer each of the following questions by typing or selecting your answer. Once you select your answers you will need to click the Next button.
  6. The last step is to review your profile information, and then check the box that says “I agree to the TeachersConnect Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.” Then click Finish!
  7. Re-enter your email and password you used to sign up in order to sign into TeacherConnect.

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.