Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Audacity of Blogs

I am caving and have started a blog. I mean, since I won't get a Facebook profile, a blog is probably the next best thing, right?

The purpose of this blog is primarily to facilitate things for my Easterner-in-Exile friend, who likes to steal my teaching stories and pass them off as her own. Now she can be the life of the party without even having to talk to me.

Having a blog seems somewhat audacious. Like, who am I to think anyone cares about the little stories in my head? Who is really going to read what I write? But I think that is very 90s of me. This century, we all are supposed to think that everyone wants to read every little thing we do and say and think.

I have been reading some teacher blogs in order to get inspired, to discover the norms of this strange bloggy world, and to see how others go about this. Looking at other edublogs has made me notice that there are a lot of teachers out there who have a lot to complain about. I am not saying this to complain about teachers who complain too much. I just notice that a lot of (presumably) smart and talented teachers seem to be working in atrocious bureaucracies, administered by idiots relying on failing educational policies. This is not a situation to be made light of.

Luckily, although I teach in a country operating under the "standards" of No Child Left Behind, I don't have so much to complain about. (At least not this year.) I work with dedicated, thoughtful professionals in a school with a mission I really believe in. Compared to the things my fellow teacher-bloggers write about, I have almost nothing to kvetch about. So this will not be a complaining blog.

On the other hand, it won't be an overly dreamy blog that makes teaching look like a perfect job and first graders look like they should run the world. Teaching is a hard job. And first graders are like the rest of us. Sometimes they do great things, and are smart and lovely; other times they give in to temptation and do bad things and hurt each other -- or make their teacher crazy, which might be worse. Anyone who leaves those parts out makes you feel a little guilty for ever having dark thoughts.

I imagine I won't write so much about school politics and what goes on outside of the classroom. (Except for the gardening and the bird walks and the field trips, of course.) I imagine I will tell about the things that I think about, that make me happy, that piss me off, and that make me excited, all in the course of a normal day at school.

So here's the first story. Last week, little Julio was reading to me for his end-of-year reading assessment (his DRA, for those in the know). [A side note: Julio came in to first grade without going to kindergarten. He didn't know all of his letters yet and couldn't read any sight words. But he is a very bright kid, albeit impulsive and young, and has made a year of progress in reading since January. Yay!]

While he was reading, he kept making little comments, half to me and half to himself. He was so much fun to eavesdrop on. One of the first things he said was when he saw a picture in the story of a purple butterfly sitting on a flower. He was doing an amazing job of describing to me what was happening in the pictures, and when he first saw the butterfly, he said, "The butterfly is pollinating an orange flower, right?"

We don't study farms and gardens all year for nothing, I tell you!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the, err, blogosphere.

    My take on the profusion of personal blogs isn't that everyone is interested in everything everyone's doing. Once in a while, someone you wouldn't otherwise tell is interesting in something you've done or are doing, and they'd never find out if you didn't publish it out in the open. This is particularly true for professional blogs like this.

    Have fun!