Date of Award


Degree Name

Leadership Studies


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Childress, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Bobbi Nicholson

Third Advisor

Dr. Yvonne Skoretz


The purpose of this qualitative pilot study was to investigate the perceptions of educators regarding appropriate social media practices. Specific elements of appropriate social media use by teachers investigated include understanding of acceptable use policies and freedom of speech, the relationship between social media and professional development, and best practices for educators concerning their social media usage. Purposeful, convenience, and snowball sampling were used to select study participants. Study participants (N=24) were preservice teachers completing student teaching or mentor teachers for Marshall University College of Education and Professional Development. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 teacher candidates and 12 mentor teachers to gain their perspectives regarding appropriate social media usage by educators. Thematic analysis was used to organize and interpret the information collected. Findings suggest educators understand what are considered appropriate social media practices, including privacy settings, and professional language and communication between both students and parents. Further research suggestions include interviewing teacher candidates and mentor teachers from other states and universities, further investigating the difference in perspective of elementary and secondary teachers, and completing follow-up interviews with teacher candidates once employed.


Education -- West Virginia.

Educators -- Training.

Social media -- Usage.

Marshall University.

West Virginia.