Wow, the response to my last post about tweeting with the munchkins has been nothing short of overwhelming, in the best possible way. After 500+ page views in 3 days, I am a little nervous that NOTHING I write is going to measure up to that.
The attention drawn by that post has made me think A LOT about my online presence. While I do not use my real name here, my real name is “out there.” In the last few weeks, all 4 kindergarten classes at my school have created Twitter accounts, and my school community is increasingly aware of my involvement with a Twitter-based PLN of kindergarten teachers. After some soul-searching, I shared my last post (and some other posts ABOUT my post), with my boss. That post may lead to other collaboration opportunities, and collaboration with other ACTUAL PEOPLE does not lend itself well to remaining anonymous… And, of course, at the same time as I was wrestling with all of this, along came the case of Natalie Munroe, who was suspended from her teaching position due to things she wrote in her blog…
So, I have made some changes. I have carefully re-read and re-worded and re-thought anything that mentioned my colleagues, my students, or their parents. While every single word I have ever written here has always come out of love: for the children, and for the profession of teaching, that same love has compelled me to reconsider how to use this space.
It breaks my heart a little – telling honest, messy, complicated, joyful stories about CHILDREN was what compelled me to start a teaching blog in the first place. Writing out my struggles is a tremendous coping tool for me, and I received positive, precious feedback from others who read those stories. While I want to believe that anything I wrote about “my” kiddos always conveyed my heart-breaking love for them, I also love them too much to make them vulnerable here. I have kept the drafts of all of their stories, and perhaps one day will find a means to share them again, in a way that protects both the children and me (ideas, anyone?!).
The post about Twitter has opened up a world of possibility for me, and I am humbled by the recognition I have received for it. It is all a little tainted, though, by knowing that it has come at a cost.
For now: I am hopeful that my voice here will remain my own and that you will continue to read my stories… And, if you are a teacher who blogs: how are you dealing with all this? What is your approach to the questions of anonymity and confidentiality? What are your thoughts about Natalie Munroe? Remember: anonymous or not, comments are like crack to bloggers!
Happy Sunday to all, and happy long weekend to many.