I have always wanted to be a writer. I began in 6th grade writing a novel. It grew to be around 400+ handwritten pages long. No, I was not a prodigy. It stank. I was 12 and attempting to write about espionage and ghosts. It really stank. But I wanted to be a writer. Later, I wanted to be a journalist. Then I discovered George Plimpton. I watched him on the T.V., and his job appeared to me to be one of trying a whole bunch of crazy and daring and intriguing things and then writing about them. So, I wanted to be a George Plimpton type journalist. But life happens and I became a writing teacher instead.
It has taken me 43 years to write publicly. Although, I haven’t decided if this will actually BE public writing since I am in control of whether and to what degree this is published. Maybe, after this class that I am taking that made me begin a blog that I was thinking about beginning anyway, maybe, I won’t share it publicly at all. But maybe I will. If you are reading this and you are not in my “Building Online Collaborative Environments” class, then apparently I took the leap to publicly publish this. Be gentle.
So what do I have to say? What am I beginning? I think I have a unique perspective about education that needs to be shared. I’ve been in education for 30 years. I’ve been a classroom teacher for 25 and a teacher leader on the district-level for 5. And I’m now returning to the classroom with a view of education that many teachers never get to experience: a bigger view, a clearer vision of the whole operation and its parts. That’s a little unnerving.
I truly wonder if this will help me to prioritize much more effectively than I did my first go ’round: what do I truly need to focus on and what is really small potatoes? I also truly worry that I might be more prone to frustration and anger. I now know that many things that teachers are required to do in the classroom are really just the fancy or whim of someone higher on the ladder: administrator, director in the central office, politician. I now have knowledge of these “requirement” that are actually unnecessary distractions to the vital work of teaching. These are the issues that will populate my blogs.
If nothing else, sharing my personal observations about these issues in this blog, public or private, might just be the only thing between me and a pink slip. Join me.