When I started blogging I didn’t know I was going to put it all out there. Granted my husband could have probably predicted it, after all, he lives with my honesty every day. And yet, quickly into my blogging journey I realized I couldn’t hold back. That I felt the need to start a dialogue about not just the amazing great things that I couldn’t believe were happening, but also the crazy bad things where I was embarrassed or had to go home, take a deep breath, and go to bed.
Too often when we blog we don’t share the ugly. We don’t share the mistakes we make, the lessons that blow up in our face, or the doubts we carry as educators. I get it. I also worry every time I post something that shines a negative light on my own performance as a teacher. I wonder if someone is keeping track of my failures. Keeping track of how something didn’t work out. Yet, I keep pushing “post” and I keep sharing. Why? Because I ‘m human. I make mistakes. I am growing. And I am learning.
As teachers we are not expected to be perfect, we are expected to be learners alongside our students. We are expected to be responsible, to create incredible learning opportunities for the children we are lucky to teach. Yet we cannot account for everything. We cannot plan for the many things that can work against us. And we have to admit that.
Rafranz Davis wrote a powerful post discussing how when we present only the good we create Stepford classrooms that others will never feel they can live up to. We create a false impression of what education looks like every day, every moment, in our rooms. That doesn’t help much. I would be exhausted if I only blogged about the great and then was worried someone might walk by and catch the bad.
I blog to grow and I blog honestly because it keeps me accountable. I blog about the bad to start discussions, to help others realize that many of us make mistakes, many of us have lessons that fail, many of us don’t have all of the answers. That doesn’t mean I don’t blog about the great, how can I not write about the incredible things my students do? But it means that I don’t pretend the bad doesn’t happen. I don’t hide it, nor do I want to. To grow fully as teachers, we must embrace our past mistakes. We must study them and learn from them. Why not start a dialogue and do it publicly, perhaps just some of the time, so that others can grow with us?
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” can be pre-bought now from Powerful Learning Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.