Fall Home Tour

Inspirations and musings way too late at night.

I have a couple people in my life who are always doling out awesomeness.  They inspire me to be a better person, and more specifically, a better teacher.  They are both french teachers, by coincidence  and just in the past month, they've unknowingly placed little nuggets of information here and there that I've scooped up and soaked in and applied to my life.
Whether it's music, activities or general enthusiasm; I've found a way to be inspired by these two ladies.  I want to be like them and bring so much passion to my lessons and to my classroom because in all honesty, right now it just feels like I'm merely surviving.

So I take what they've indirectly shown me and I've found ways to spice up my lessons.  Once upon a time, I think I'd have no problem doing this, but in all honesty, right now I'm not there.  I need a way to make things more exciting.
I therefore started thinking about what is important to me right now, as a teacher.  And really it's not so much to teach the curriculum (which obviously I'm doing) but rather to show these kids how to be compassionate, loving, caring, respectful, contributing members of society.  But the question is really, how can I do that?

This brings me back to the one thing that stuck to me the most, which was an article that one of the said teacher friends reposted on Facebook, entitled "Why Teachers Should Blog".  I've asked myself that question a number of times, but it's mostly in the form of: Why am I even doing this blog thing?  After much consideration, it always comes down to the same reasons: a living memory book for myself, my family and friends or just a place that I can let it out and reflect, because while doing that I am forced to examine my life and make changes.

Being a teacher adds an interesting aspect to blogging.  I have no clue if my students read what I write or if parents or colleagues do either.  By blogging I'm exposing myself to the world and likely being judged for what I do or don't do.   And that scares me. But really it shouldn't.  Because if my students were to read what I write, maybe they'd see me more as a human and not just as the bossy lady they have to deal with everyday. 


As the author stated in the article:
Because to blog is to teach yourself what you think.

And sometimes what we think embarrasses us and we must then confront our thoughts and consider whether there are alternatives.

This is real maturity. Because real maturity is not about having the right answers, it's about having the audacity to have the wrong answers and re-address them in light of contemplation, self-argument, and experience.

This is made perhaps even more evident by the public nature of the blog, and that is one of the foremost reasons all teachers should in fact blog. Because to face one's ill conclusions, self-congratulations, petty foibles, and impolite rhetoric among peers in the public square of the blogosphere is to begin to learn to grow.

And to begin to understand that it's not all about 'getting it right', but rather is a matter of 'getting it'.

We live in a culture that tells us that you learn from your mistakes, yet which continually punishes and shuns those who make mistakes. It is teachers who have the power to change this. It is teachers who have the power to teach a generation that to fully live and to fully know one's self is to fully live and to fully know one's self in the public conversation. And that to be wrong or to come off as shrill is not always a bad thing; because those too are forms of experience and in reflection they too are to be learned from.

And so, we should teach this new generation to move beyond embarrassment and fear. This is not to condone manifestly insolent behavior online, rather in teaching the qualities -- the unique qualities -- of the globally connected public square, we should be instilling in students both a strident determination to take part in the unadulterated public debate and yet have humility.

I think both are achieved through the crucial practice of critical thinking and earnest self-analysis. And no where, if sincerely met with daily conviction, can both be better employed than in the practice of blogging.

And so, I firmly believe that all teachers should be bloggers. Because if Descartes is wrong, then the thrust of our identity is determined not by our inalienable and essential state of being but by the differences in idea and sense that we demonstrate through our interactions with others.

And teachers, perhaps more than anything else, are the medium -- or have the potential to be the medium -- through which students learn about all that which is 'other'. 


This brings me to an idea I had last night while thinking of today's blog subject.  Maybe I should have my students blog.  Maybe I would see a side of them and be able to connect with them more sincerely.  Maybe it would improve our relationships.
Or maybe I should just ask Mme. Bowes or Mme. Ginther about this.
I'm sure they're already on it ;)

Comments

  1. Hey Deena-I blog with my students and it's fantastic. They're in grade 6, so a bit younger than yours, but I really love it. There is a website, kidblog.org, where you can set up a class blog and do it in more of a controlled way.

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