The daily musings of a substitute teacher in East Central Illinois.

Education Blogging Manifesto

Over the past several months, I have blogged about my experiences as an educator, particularly in regards to my adventures in substituting. 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 BB 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 reflect on my teaching journey online, 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 in an online forum.
  • 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 work hard not to write anything that will prevent me from doing my job.
By acknowledging these rights and responsibilities, I will be better able to:
  • Communicate & collaborate with educators from all over the world
  • Become more reflective in our teaching
  • Improve our teaching practices to best benefit our students
  • Find the silver linings inside the most frustrating of days & know that we are not alone
  • Keep a sense of humor, which, in turn, allows us to be stronger teachers who come 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 don’t follow these rights and responsibilities. But I try. Sometimes I might think I’m following them and I don’t, and later I can see where I made my mistake. 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.

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