I love to write. That’s why I decided to throw this thing up there on the Internet. Maybe some people will read what I write. Maybe nobody will. Regardless, I will write because it is what I love most of all. Tied with reading, that is.
I read a number of other blogs. I will admit — sometimes I am jealous of what other people write. I would love to have the freedom to write whatever I want, but I can’t. I am held to a different standard, and I just can’t figure out if it’s fair or not.
I’m a teacher. That means I have to be careful about what I say and do publicly. For instance, if I have a rough day at work, I need to not say anything about it in a public forum. I can’t do anything that might appear to be critical of the students I teach or their parents or my colleagues or my superiors. Teachers in other parts of the country have been disciplined and even fired for doing just those things. Mind you, sometimes I’ve read stories where teachers deserved it! Check this one out: http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2012/07/05/12581309-teacher-compares-student-to-orangutan-on-facebook-could-lose-license?lite This teacher definitely screwed up! But I fear that if I have a bad day at work — say I caught some kids cheating on a test — and I write about how disappointed I am in those kids, I could get in trouble for that, even if I don’t mention anything that can identify the students. It could be said that I am presenting students in my district in a negative light or that I am displaying a poor attitude toward students for expressing disappointment. Is that fair? It doesn’t feel fair. In fact, we were even told that it would look unprofessional to post things online that say things like, “Looking forward to summer vacation!” or, “I don’t feel like going to work.” The thought was we would look negative about our job and therefore the kids we teach. I get on Facebook every day and see lots of people post equivalent statements — “I hate Mondays!” or, “Only one more hour then it’s Miller time!” or even, “So tired of my boss getting on my case.” Why can’t I say those things if I want to?
I do write an education blog (http://renbog.blogspot.com/), and I can assure you that I am sometimes nervous about what I write because yes, some things I say could be construed as negative or complaining about my job. I hate feeling like I have to act a certain way or avoid saying or doing certain things just because I am a teacher. Obviously, I know that I need to use common sense — I’m not saying that I need to be naming names in online posts blasting students, parents, or colleagues. But if I want to write about a frustrating day at work, should I be able to do that without fear of punishment? I think so.
What do you think? Should teachers be held to a different standard simply because of what they do for a living?
You are an awesome writer and should not be afraid to post in your blog!! I know where you are coming from though! This whole world has taken anything and everything that people say to a whole new level. Many workplaces are taking a stance on the whole ” social media” and are now stating that ” we” can be punished ,and or terminated for what we post. Since when does our private life outside of work affect our work!? Of course, if we are threatening someone , I can understand, but silly pictures, or showing oneself having a good time! Nonsense! Even blowing off a little steam is harmless, going to your statement.. Miller time! No harm in that , IMHO.
Everyone needs an outlet to express emotions, so writing them down is much better than what others do, acting on them violently! I feel that if a teacher, lawyer, judge, doctor or anyone for that matter , needs to blog about a frustrating day they should be able to ! Why is our freedom of speech revoked! Do not keep taking away our rights! We live in America! As long as no one is outwardly being threatened , there is no harm! Any professional individual knows how far they should go in expressing how they feel without divulging too much information. Sometimes people need to vent! When I worked Pysch, it used to be the same issue. It could be the worst day , and I would come home and wish I could just let loose! However , I could not say a word! Patient confidentially and all so I had to hold everything in ! That is not healthy, but that is what had to be done. So sometimes writing was the best option! Or saying Thank God its Friday!
So bottom line , teachers are human too , as long as they are not naming names and continue to be professional , keep your mental health in check and blog! We need good teachers and they need to be able to release just like the rest of us! That is my humble opinion!
I say no could that be discreminating? I think it is.