Why a blog?
October 12, 2011, 11:02 pm
Filed under: What do you think?

I don’t know about you, but my neck is sore.  Rubbernecking in what appears to be the freeway pileup of  articles about how teachers really need to get their act together requires that I take a heavy dose of ibuprofen on a nightly basis.  My  regular world as an experienced educator feels, rather suddenly, like falling through Alice’s rabbit hole.   When I read the news, strange beings are staring back at me and upside-down teacups are floating all over the place.  I am not really sure who if I understand who is on my side anymore.

As I try to stay “current” by cruising the internet for all the information I will ever need, I feel like I have choked on one of those birds with the giant red puffing throats who strut their stuff only after they are in mine.  The “news” is now the Niagara Falls of unrestrained commentary rather than the Walter Cronkite report of facts I grew up watching.  I am trying very hard to “form” an “informed” opinion.  I am still deciding how to take action without offending the conservative friends in my life.  Can I do this and still retain some kindFrigatebird of backbone or at least an exoskeleton?  Am I alone?

I needed a change.  I was about to pave the road to “old disgruntled staff- meeting attendee”.  I was becoming that teacher I made fun of my second year in this profession.  I now understand EXACTLY how they felt.  Let’s face it – how many of us spend hours inventing the supercalifragilisticespialidocious lesson plan to find out that after you teach it (with all of its bells and whistles) the kids look like they crawled out of the sensory deprivation tank in the 1980 movie Altered States?

Hmmm… surely this drivel could make a critic question whether I should be a teacher at all?  But here I am.  Just like you, I crawl out of bed in the dark to get clean and enter the world of “teen”.  You know it’s fun.  Who wouldn’t want an inside track on the latest lingo, relentless but fresh sarcastic humor, and the giddiness and angst of the typical 16-year-old?  I even know what “ballin” means (it’s not as bad as it sounds). I laugh a lot most days and appreciate their kind hearts, even if they don’t put them on their sleeves all the time.

I got lucky.  With a deluge of profiteers inventing jargon for administrators to tar and feather me  (in addition to making bank while selling books about their magic acronym and pandering to equally profitable but cheaply made standardized tests), I blindly stumbled upon actual valuable information.  Whoa!  AND actual PEOPLE who seemed to know what they were talking about and could help me!

I am once again excited about what I do and confident that what I am doing is right, or at least on the right track.  And it’s not what I did last year… or the previous 17.  (And I swear I have not regressed to my college lifestyle where this could be a massive hallucination.)  So why a blog?  It’s my only outlet besides my household backboard called my husband, poor guy.

At my school I now sometimes feel like a misfit in a foreign land where I learned a new language that no one speaks.   I left but never really left… all of my colleagues are still safely walled off right next to me in cinderblock and epoxy.  But in my eyes they are “back there” where I was.  And the scary thing, I think the critics are right.  Education is a mess.  But scarier… their smoke and mirror “solutions” are toxic waste.   How can I help my colleagues, my friends escape?  How can I do it without freaking them right out?