Dear fellow teacher bloggers,
First of all, high fives all around for sharing your experiences, your struggles and your voices. Too often teachers are seen and not heard, so I commend you for dusting off the old soap box and telling it like it is.
A word of caution when blogging about one’s classroom:
Don’t be an idiot.
(Was that too blunt?)
You know me. I’m not exactly one to be gentle with my words. Unless I’m talking to little friends, and then, somehow, I am able to sugar coat. Occasionally.
Regardless, when you decide to blog about your life as a teacher, you need to be responsible. That means no blogging about the kiddos in ways that are negative, offensive or revealing!!! No using names or other identifiable features of anyone you work with. (Bonus- coming up with nicknames can be amaze balls. Um, “The Weave?” Best. Nickname. Ever.) Why am I writing about this today?
Funny you should ask…
I was checking my email and saw something from my uncle who pointed me in the direction of a new teacher blog. As I was on Mommy Duty, I added checking out this blog to my List of Things To Do During Nap Time (a list that is offensive in length, by the way). Later, during nap time, I checked my email once again only to receive a link to this article which describes how the very same blogger my uncle told me about has been suspended for making inappropriate comments about her students.
In one entry, she writes, “My students are out of control. They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”
While this this woman may have had a bad day, this was a baaaaad idea. Sister friend, there are just some things you need to keep between you and your cocktail. I know we all have rough days where we don’t see the point of working so hard or we feel like everyone, including our students, is working against us, HOWEVER, that does not mean that, as teachers, we should go on record and in print bashing our students. We have a responsibility to protect our students and, in my opinion, be their advocates and champions. It is our job to find something to love about them, find their strength and encourage their success.
Calling your colleagues lazy, whiny and annoying? Probably not the best idea although (cough cough) I’ve been known to do that in the past (WITH NICK NAMES!). Calling your students lazy, whiny and annoying? Uh, no. Just no.
When we, as teachers, speak our truth through our blogs, we are adding our voices to the conversation. It is a wonderful thing and can be a powerful tool to share ideas, frustrations, opinions and resources. HOWEVER, we need to be guardians of that voice (and our children). There are too many haters out there just LOOKING for a reason to point a finger, fire our asses or call us incompetent. This is a volatile time in education, we don’t need to go looking for trouble, my friends.