wasting bandwidth since 1999

Fear of Blogging

Vicki at Cool Cat Teacher points to several posts by a new teacher who is having second thoughts about her decision to blog about her experiences.

What I worry about is that because I’m a teacher, society may dictate that it’s inappropriate and unprofessional to be blogging at all about my profession. Now, in my opinion, what I’m writing about is completely unobjectionable, but how can I be sure? I’m a first year probationary (as are all first year teachers in Wisconsin) teacher – is it worth the risk that someone will find my reflections to be unbecoming of an educator?

She’s tentatively decided it is worth the risk, despite warnings to teachers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Scotland and elsewhere linked to in the comments.

But anyone who begins blogging about their job probably has some of the same concerns about how open to make their thoughts and opinions.

Vicki was very open with the people in her district.

I was up front with my administrators about my blogging and signed up the curriculum director as one of the first readers of my blog. I asked her to let me know if there was ever anything she was uncomfortable with me blogging and she never has.

I have to admit, I haven’t been nearly as open.

When I started five years ago, this process was still rather new and I just didn’t bother to tell anyone (“you’re writing a what?”). I also made the decision to exclude the names of both my district and specific people.

These days the people with whom I work most directly, including my boss, know about this rantfest and are very supportive (it means they don’t have to pay as much attention to my ranting unless they want to :-).

But I still add few if any identifiers when I blog about my job and I doubt the administrators farther up the chain in the district know (and/or care about) what’s going on in this space.

However, coming back to the teacher behind Reflection 2.0, I’m still not sure what to recommend to this, or any, new edublogger.

Especially one who is still on probation, which, in many school districts, means administrators can fire you for very little cause. Even blogging.

There is certainly a First Amendment issue here, but it’s difficult to pay the rent while running through the court system.

teacher, blogging, free speech

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for linking to my post! I just posted an update on the situation and I would love if you could include this http://googtweetblog.edublogs.org/2008/01/21/came-clean-im-coming-out/

  2. I think the read/write web is not evolved enough to put oneself out there. Nor do I think people have evolved enough either. It’s not so much censorship from the few. I can handle a few uninformed nutjobs. It’s the censorship from the masses. To paraphrase Reinhold Niebuhr, a “person” is smart, but “people” are scared, panicky dumb animals. I for one, am urging people to keep themselves safe behind a pen name. With a pen name, you can tell the truth to, and not just position for, your audience.

    Mark Smith
    clairvoy.com

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