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Propriety Pony March 10, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Literacy, Students.

rainbow pony   Students using Facebook and MySpace should be aware that school administrators take note. Students with creative e-mail address names should also be aware.

A school administrator shared with me in a meeting this week how some of his Principals have reported choosing one candidate over another based on their e-mail name. When two candidates stand identically in almost every respect and the contact address for one of them is yummymachine36 or foxy_von_humpmeister then the administrator will almost certainly cast that candidate aside.

This is a little reminiscent of those studies done in the seventies when researchers ask students to identify personality traits of people based solely on some subjective piece of information like a photograph. When researchers changed the photographs, the traits followed the subjective stereotype. The blonde woman would be “fun? while the woman with glasses would be “serious.?

These administrators would be the first to wonder aloud whether someone with a racy or raunchy e-mail address would be prone to making professional errors in judgment. We are reeling in Tucson from the revelations of a football coach engaging in a sexual relationship with a fifteen-year-old student. Lapses in judgment happen all the time and if sexy_momma25 or well_hung34 might be an advance indicator of potential professional impropriety, then administrators will certainly react.

I wonder about e-mail addresses created when students are still in grade school. They carry them through middle then high school. My free professional advice would be to change the address before rainbow_pony16 shows up on your professional résumé.



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