USAToday highlights teacher blogs: Why do we do it?
Sunday's USAToday carried an article on teacher blogs. The article itself highlighted our very own Elementaryhistoryteacher, Folkbum, First Year Teacher, Joe Thomas, Dennis Fermoyle, and guest teacher extraordinaire Mr. Lawrence. First Year Teacher is the only one who remains "in the blogger closet" like me.
Nonteachers who write on education included Alexander Russo and Joanne Jacobs (more free advertising for her book, which is a sweet deal!).
Then there was a sidebar listing some teacher blogs--- and whoa, A Shrewdness of Apes was there! An interjection that unfortunately combined scatology and piety escaped my lips before I could stop... trying to cut back, you know.
Basically, the article pondered why teachers would blog. I'll tell you why I blog. I like the conversations that happen on blogs. I stumbled upon blogs by reading Kimberly Swigert, which led to EdWonk, which led to Mamacita and bunch of other great bloggers. I am a chronic commenter, and I had commented on a couple of blogs anonymously, when I realized there was more I wanted to say. I personally don't like commenters who completely hijack a blog-- it's like illegal immigration in cyberspace, if you ask me. I used to write all the time, essays and articles and poetry, but then career and kids and other obligations got in the way. Blogging helped me to reconnect with myself as a writer (I was already completely in touch with myself as an opinionated person!). So I decided to get my own. It was frighteningly easy.
Now, I personally try not to write too much about specific students, and if I do, I usually change some information around to make sure privacy is protected. But I have not talked about this blog with anyone at my school. Ever. I have a blog for my AP classes, and that, frankly, that is a way to save printing costs, help my students understand documents and vocabulary, and appease the environment for my big honkin' SUV.
Although I love my school, and I like most of my administrators as people, our school does not really care too much about what teachers think. Several administrators have little or no practical experience, and are subtly dismissive of teachers. Of my immediate teacher colleagues, there are not a lot of thoughtful conversations (that don't involve The Simpsons) from many of them unless they want something. I do take my vocation seriously. It seems like teachers are viewed by many who opine about public education as socialist sinecured slackers or amoral atheists or automotons who should read from a script and magically fix everything that is wrong with society and our children. So I get to speak here. And remaining anonymous is very important if I really want to be honest. I am not here to be bitchy, but I reserve that right on occasion. Further, our district is absolutely obsessive about PR. So I remain anonymous.
I have met more fascinating people through this blogosphere than I ever thought possible, people who are very kind and share my passion for education.
And that's why I blog. I imagine many others have similar reasons. I don't like people who talk, talk, talk but never listen. I don't like rudeness. Most of us in the Edusphere are not here to bitch, or provide grist for the mills of disgruntled homeschoolers or dissembling enemies of public education. I like to laugh, I like to share ideas, I like games, I like music, I love Oklahoma as only an expatriate can, and I love teaching. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading. Thanks for the conversations.