09 June 2009

Reflections in a Glass House

In my years (!) of blogging, the subjects I've explored, the kinds of posts I develop, and the types of blogs I most cotton to have all changed with time. This has been (and occasionally still is) a place to vent frustrations and let loose of things which would otherwise induce insomnia and further crankiness.

What I've learned, however, is how to take those ugly pieces and look at them from a standpoint of what is within my control. It's not enough to just rage against the machine. It isn't enough to play the perpetual victim. My job is not something that is done to me. Ditto for any classroom/district position I have held. This is not to say that every decision which affects my work is within my hands, but I can accept responsibility for the parts that are. I'm a work in progress as is well documented in the archives for this blog.

I'm starting to notice that I am distancing myself from edublogs that are little more than pity parties. I fully support their right to post whatever they choose...I just wonder how many times someone can blame all of the problems of a classroom on the administrators/students/parents before there is some sort of realization that as a teacher, you have the power to make some choices. Feel like your students are nothing but lazy? What will you do to change that or motivate them differently? Fussing about how parents are absent from your classroom? How will you reach out to them in new ways? You think that every decision your admin makes is the wrong one? If you think you can do a better job, then get off your butt and be a principal or take on some other leadership role. But to read post after post where everyone but the teacher is wrong about education doesn't engender sympathy. It just makes a teacher sound bitter and readers feel sorry for their colleagues.

Maybe the problem with glass houses is that they aren't reflective of what's inside. Instead, it's simpler to just look outward and assume that all of the sources of our problems are on the other side of the walls. Perhaps instead of throwing stones, we'd all benefit by stepping into a mirrored room once in awhile.


Hugh O'Donnell said...

We've been thinking along the same lines, and you've done a fine job articulating the thoughts I've had for the last couple of weeks. You may not have noticed, but I trimmed my blogroll for the first time in a while.

Some of my links didn't link back, and wonder of wonders, most of those blogs were pity parties. I guess I don't "resonate" with the parties who pity themselves.

I still have some links that don't link with me, or don't link with anyone (how's that for ego?), but I've left them up because they seem to have unique content.

Fact is, I enjoy a good discussion with open-minded folks, not those who play the authority card ("I've been teaching for 28 years and I know better than you do"), or aren't open to questioning themselves.

I get especially annoyed with those "educators" who rip me a new one, but can't take a little heat themselves.

When I first discovered edublogs, SG, I said I was happy to have run into you here in electrospace. I still am.

The Science Goddess said...

I view the blogroll as a list of "recommendations." Whether or not those recommendations return the favour isn't a big deal to me---but I have also been trimming and revising my blogroll to get away from the purely negative spaces. I'm glad those bloggers are out there doing their thing...but at this point, I need supportive and creative ideas. Perhaps others do, too.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

"...but at this point, I need supportive and creative ideas. Perhaps others do, too."

I'll second that motion. :)