Whenever I blog, I cross post my writings to Facebook too. One of my connected Facebook friends even made the comment once that I was preaching to the choir. Oh….if only that were true! My Facebook connections include more than my connected counterparts from twitter. I am also connected to many teachers from my hometown who are in fact NOT educationally connected.
I live in a somewhat small town that is very much still under the dome of disconnectedness. There is no district wide “get connected” initiative. People generally still don’t get the pull of twitter or how it works beyond what they share themselves. Facebook is still the devil of education yet I am “silently socially connected” to many teachers where I live.
As a former employee of my local school district, sharing the good and the bad was heavily discouraged. With every post, like, tweet or blog I ran the risk of being “sent to the principal’s office”. As much as I wanted to write about my struggles as a connected parent, I could not. My decision to change school districts was partly influenced by my need to advocate for my own children as well as the children within my community. Social media has enabled me to do so.
One benefit of my working in a different school district is that I can share more about my growth without constantly looking behind my back. I can comment on ridiculous local decisions and speak for the throngs of teachers who cannot speak for themselves. I can also speak up for parents of students who may be experiencing lackluster educational decisions but are unaware of it. In essence, when I share I am doing it for them as well.
As I have blogged stories about my children and their classroom experiences, more and more of my local educator connections have seemingly drifted away. Being “friends” with me can possibly land them in heated conversations as well. It does feel amazing to get their feedback and support through the private messages that they send. They do not dare comment in public nor share postings.
The risk in doing so is too great.
I am an outcast in my own hometown. However, if my voice can help to raise awareness between teachers, parents and local stakeholders with the power to change the norm, then every word in every post is worth it.
The last private message that I received from a local teacher stated…”I am totally going to redo the way that I give homework now. Thank you.”