The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Education Blogging Manifesto

Over the past several months, I have blogged about my experiences as an educator, first in regards to my adventures in substituting, and now as a fourth grade teacher. At the same time, there have been many disappointing and downright depressing news items about my colleagues around the nation who have gotten in trouble for their blogs. I have had many friends and family members contact me to express concerns about my blogs and, after linking the various news items, they have issued dire warnings about the potential damage my blog can cause.

I have also been building up a collection of education blogs that I have linked on my site. I check these blogs daily. Many teachers choose to blog anonymously. Some go so far in their desire to maintain anonymity that they change names and genders of the students about whom they blog. I do not disagree with the reasons that these colleagues have chosen to be anonymous; however, anonymity has never been and never will be a part of my online presence. I work very hard at embodying the old Internet bulletin board/chat room acronym: WYSIWYG: What you see is what you get. I am what I am. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. All of this combines to explain why I use my real name when I blog.

Recently, I found an education blog that had a manifesto of sorts. I asked, and permission was granted, to adapt it for my blog. So here is my official manifesto on education blogging.

As an educator who chooses to blog, I have the following rights:
  • I have the right to use my blog to reflect on my teaching journey, honestly and openly.
  • I have the right to collaborate with educators from all over the world.
  • I have the right to wonder what is best practice, debate education policies/practices/teaching styles, and question what is not working within our system in general and my classroom specifically.
  • I have the right to use my blog to process a difficult day, as long as I stay within the limits of the responsibilities listed below.
As an education blogger, I have the following responsibilities:
  • I will never forget the purpose for why I’m blogging.
  • I will always write about my students in such a manner that if parents found this blog they would know that I respect every aspect of their child’s learning.
  • I will always write about my co-workers, including all members of the faculty and staff of the buildings in which I work, in a way that reflects their strengths.
  • I will not write anything that will prevent anyone, especially myself and my colleagues, from doing his or her job.
By acknowledging these rights and responsibilities, I will be better able to:
  • Communicate with educators, parents, and others from all over the world
  • Become more reflective in my teaching
  • Improve my teaching practices to best benefit my students
  • Find the silver linings inside the most frustrating of days
  • Keep a sense of humor, which, in turn, allows me to be a stronger teacher who comes back to work day after day inspired, energized, and ready for a challenge.

I try my best to stick to these, but I’m sure you can find posts I’ve written that may not follow these rights and responsibilities. But I do try. Sometimes I might think I’m following them and I don’t, and later I can see where I made my mistake. (Thank goodness for the edit button!) Know I’m trying, and if you feel I haven’t done one of these let me know. After all, I will always reserve the right to maintain my humanity, which means that I am going to make mistakes. I appreciate your support and your input.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Looking Forward to 2014 |

  2. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this and being open about your blogging experience. I’m an educational researcher now, but I taught briefly as an AmeriCorps volunteer and I know I would have benefitted greatly from having an online community. Yes, there are times when educators use blogs in the wrong way, but I’ve found that’s nowhere near the norm. I think that teachers are just as passionate about advocacy as they are about the work they do in the classroom. I’m so glad that technology provides a forum for advocating to other educators and the general public. Teachers’ voices are an asset, not a liability. Thanks again for sharing your perspective.

    April 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

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