Recently at TLN, there was a conversation asking members if they shared their blog with their county, their administrator, their colleagues? I was surprised to learn that some of the members don't. While their on-line presence and global audiences are HUGE, the teacher next door or their principal might not know what they are writing - for the entire world to see! I, on the other hand, am likely to send a blog post to you, even if I am complaining about you. I sent the Technology Director my blog when I complained about not enough bandwidth or not being able to Skype. I sent the literacy trainers my blog about the district's adoption of a Core Reading Series that was really not meeting the needs of the digital natives we are teaching. It's not that I'm trying to stir things up or cause controversy because basically, I'm a peace maker. I guess I just think, it is what it is. I don't usually write something that I wouldn't say to your face, so, if I've written about it, you might as well know I've said it directly in person or with my pen! After all, it can be quite difficult to "hide" on the Internet!
Besides, if I censor everything I say, what is real or different about this type of writing? It's in its honestly and timeliness that makes it unique and worth reading. Since I write on my own time and since the thoughts are mine, what could anybody do about it anyway? Does my "boss" have the right to censor what I say? On the other hand, while I think I am basically respectful, I do believe it is possible for totally inappropriate things to be written that would be totally offensive - is that okay? I'm not sure how I feel actually... However, it would be nice to have some guidelines from the county -some suggestions for appropriate behavior online or maybe... even a list of what might get you fired!
I like to think that I work in a county that values risk taking. I KNOW I work in a school that encourages risk-takers. I would like to think that those in our county that read by blog are smiling or applauding. I want to think they are proud that I, and so many of our teachers, have enthusiastically embraced this new form of networking and communicating. However, a friend asked me recently if I was retiring after a blog post she read because she couldn't imagine I could still be teaching if I was willing to risk such a stand. Often I have been told from teachers that have read certain of my blog posts that they were afraid to comment - afraid of what? Of having an opinion? Of engaging in thoughtful, open discourse? If that's the case, how sad is that?
Since I haven't answered any of my owns questions except with more questions, I guess I am left to continue pondering... unless YOU would like to share your thoughts so we can have a discussion. I'd love to know what censorship you think should be placed upon an employee? Is there a line that shouldn't be crossed? Should a "boss" be able to tell you what you can or can't write about? Should you follow that "suggestion"? How are counties dealing with this issue? Anyone have a list of suggested guidelines? I'd love to hear your opinion!