This is a cross-post of a blog I wrote on the Edubloggers Alliance social network site. If you are a blogging educator we would love to have you join and contribute to the community. Cross post from your blog, write original content, ask blogging questions, and meet other educators who are blogging for themselves or with students. Hope to see you all there! If you aren’t blogging yet but have been thinking about it, join us and get the support of other edubloggers.
Blog posting is hard. No, not the actual act of posting, but the revealing of yourself to the world. It isn’t like writing for a magazine or writing a novel (those have their own challenges), because that kind of writing goes past multiple eyes, editors, and a process that perfects it. Blogging is different. My eyes are the only ones that have read it until I hit “publish.” The perfectionist in me reads, and re-reads, and runs it through a grammar and spell check and then reads it again. There is always a moment of hesitation before you commit to clicking the publish button because in the back of your mind, you know you probably missed something.
You try to convince yourself that it is no big deal…that people don’t really read your posts anyway. At best, they probably just skim. And so, you take the leap and hit publish, knowing that you can always come back and edit any problems. Of course, that is only after thousands of eyes have scrutinized it and judged you. You are, after all, a teacher. You aren’t supposed to make mistakes.
The process is repeated day after day and pretty soon you aren’t worried about that post because there is another. The posts get pushed farther and farther down the page until pretty soon they are a distant, archived memory. That is, until someone brings an error to your attention. Maybe it is a typo, maybe a homograph used in the wrong context, maybe the error is grammatical. It doesn’t really matter, the reaction is the same…utter embarrassment. What kind of teacher are you anyway? Shouldn’t you have caught that? People are going to question your teaching capabilities, they are going to think you are an idiot for making such an obvious mistake (at least that is how my inner dialogue goes). Now, if you are like me, your immediate reaction goes something like this:
Oh sure, they can find my one, itty bitty, minuscule mistake in this post. Who are they? Did they write 3 blog posts today? Did they read AND comment on 57 blog posts of fellow educators? Did they categorize thousands of websites so that they could intelligently write supplement guides for four weeks of reading curriculum? Did they answer 63 emails today? Did they make phone calls all day looking for funding for a new iPad program (that oh-by-the-way, I wrote!)? Did they finish reading one book and start another? Did they do 3 loads of laundry and pick up shoes that their spouse has left sprinkled all over the house? Did they interact all day on Twitter, Facebook, and instant message? Did they walk the dog? Did they cook dinner and clean up afterward? Then who are they to point out my one LITTLE mistake?! All things considered they should be impressed it was only one mistake. Harrumph!
That, of course, is my initial reaction. I hate being reminded that I am not perfect. I hate being reminded that I make mistakes, that I am human. My second reaction (after a few deep get-a-grip breaths) is one of thankfulness. Thank goodness someone told me about my obvious mistake so that I can fix it and don’t continue to embarrass myself in front of colleagues!
Blog posting is good for teachers. It keeps us humble, reminds us of how scary it can be to “speak” in front of the class. It reminds us of what it feels like not to have all the right answers. How it feels to get your work back with red marks all over it, exposing your faults.
Blog. Blog because it is reflective. Blog because we need you to share what you know with us. Blog because it is good to remember how it feels to be judged by others. Blog because you have an unique view on the world and by sharing it, we all have another piece of this puzzle that is life.
Just do me one favor, when you notice a mistake on my blog don’t tell me. Ignorance is bliss and I am perfectly happy to go on believing that I am perfect. Okay, so that isn’t true. Tell me so that I can fix it, learn from it, and still claim to be practically perfect in every way (like Mary Poppins).[wp_eStore_buy_now_fancy id=10]