Can I really say that?

Posted: January 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

So, I’ve been thinking lately, but as my lack of posting here shows, I have not been writing about it. I could and have come up with all sorts of reasons, which I will not bore you with here.  Anyway, I decided to make a list of topics I would like to write about, if I could get myself going.  I love to make lists, which is a post for another day.

But, here’s what happened. A lot of the things I would really like to write about didn’t seem like a good ideas once I took into account the whole “public” part of blogging. I have to say here that I am probably more cautious in this area than many. I have read many interesting blog posts by educators that I would not have been comfortable writing. These were not posts that were insulting or offensive.

I’m not sure how much the public/private school thing impacts this discussion. I, like the vast majority of teachers in independent schools, have a year-to-year contract; I am no longer a member of union as I was when I taught in the Chicago Public School system.  I teach in a competitive independent school market where there are a number of top-notch schools competing for students. If any school’s enrollment goes down because they cannot attract students then there go the jobs. I know that I am completely foolish to write assuming that no one will see it. First of all, I used my name so that it would be more public on purpose and so that I would not be fooled into thinking that I could actually be anonymous anyway. Plus, I know for certain that at least a few of my current class’ parents have seen my blog.

As I said, I have a low tolerance for airing laundry of any variety, unless it’s real laundry, in which case I hang it all outside and my neighbors are welcome to see what color underwear we wear at our house. When I started writing this blog I wanted to write about more than just my classroom.  I was not looking to chronicle the  days and weeks of 5E. There are plenty of things that go on in my room that I am happy to relay to the masses my one or two readers. There are even plenty of mistakes that I have made that I have and would freely share. Where I am having second thoughts is in just those bigger issues that I was interested in from the start.

Here is a list of some topics that I have seen others write that I would be uncomfortable with:

  • Ideas about administration reorganization
  • Thoughts on how to maintain interest in teaching the same thing
  • Opinions about the requirement or lack there of for teachers to use technology
  • Teacher evaluation
  • Teacher pay
  • Teacher evaluation and its connection to teacher pay
  • Ideas about balancing supporting students and honestly reporting progress
  • Administration’s balance of supporting teachers and parents
  • Teacher frustration with student interest level

I may not be as young as I used to be, but it’s not as if I’m about to retire anytime soon. I like and need my job. I am in no way looking to go down in a blaze of any sort. So, I guess I’m wondering what other people think? How cautious are you, would you be, or recommend me to be?

  1. olivemom says:

    As a former teacher, and as someone who is now a parent of a student with her own teachers (albeit preschool teachers at this point–but they are no less important!), I would LOVE to be able to read and engage with them on a blog that talked about REAL stuff. Teachers are regular people who struggle, often mightily, day-to-day to make it all come together. I would always choose a teacher who wrestles openly, and with an open-mind, with topics like the ones you listed over a teacher who just thinks (or pretends as if) everything is magic and ice cream and lollipops all the time. Cuz clearly that teacher isn’t paying very close attention. I realize that parents who have not worked in education are probably less likely to understand this point of view, but I also think that allowing them to think about the same questions that go through a teacher’s head day in and day out is a great way of inviting them to be true partners in their children’s education. But all very easy for me to say when it’s not my livelihood we’re talking about. You go be a pioneer! Do it! 🙂

    • mseiteljorg says:

      Thanks Olivemom. I suspect that teachers both past and present are more likely to be enthusiastic about seeing what goes on behind the teaching curtain.

      Maybe I will try some baby steps and see how it feels.

  2. Cristina says:

    I think many teachers avoid these topics for various reasons (which are understandable) but …”if a tree is faling and there is no one around to hear it, did it really fall”?
    I don’t tackle them because I teach in a different system (I am Romanian) which is structured diifferently, but I would if I were you. Sometimes silence is actually becoming an accomplice to what is wrong in education.
    Be fearless. Even if you take baby steps. 🙂

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