Classroom teachers can’t publically admit in real time their fears and failures without having it thrown back in their face sooner or later by a parent, administrator or student.
And Chris ends his follow up with
The question for me always is, can we write about enough of our thoughts on schools to make blogging a useful and important tool for both ourselves and others in education. Is there enough we can share that blogging really is good for thinking about schools?
While there are many risks that we have to consider regarding the content that our students and we ourselves post to our Web logs, I think I’ve always felt that the potential rewards were worth it. Tom’s concern about making our thoughts public only to be used against us is legitemate. It’s one of the reasons I have stopped posting about my political opinions here because I know that they would raise more than a few hackles among the primarily conservative parents in my district. I tread that line very carefully in my classroom as well, obviously; journalism is a tough subject to teach without letting my opinions seep into my discussions. But even if I do occasionaly let my leanings be known, I’m also careful not to do it in a “you have to believe what I believe way.” I do it to challenge their thinking and their use and response to media. Still, it’s not the same as airing those same ideas here, because of the reasons Tom cites (although I wonder if any parents of my students have ever visited this site.)
I hope the answer to Chris’s quesiton is yes, we have enough that we can write about to make this a worthwhile effort. More than enough. I think the sharing that our group of eduBloggers has done over the past couple of years, even if it hasn’t been gut wrenching and provacative classroom narrative, has done much to advance our understanding of technology and teaching of writing. And it’s opened some new doors of thinking that I think will lead to great things. Yes, we have to be careful, but we also need to keep finding ways to write about what we’re doing in ways that can help one another grow.