Sometimes this whole blogging and social media presence reminds me of Queen’s “Under Pressure.” I’ve talked a lot about the positives that have come from connectivism and social media as a teacher. I love sharing the successes I have had in my classroom and I am lucky to have many examples to share. I think collaboration and positive support from others around the globe is extremely valuable as a professional. After reading “Why Even the Worst Bloggers are Making Us Smarter”, I came to a some realizations.
I strongly agree in what is described as the “audience effect.” Although blogs are informal, I am always hyper-critical of what I am writing since I know I am (or have the potential) to reach people from around the globe. I think this can be a very positive thing, and I am especially excited to see if I can see a noticeable different students writing once I set up a blog hub and they can see each other’s work– it’s like a science experiment for education. Boo yeah.
However, I am also critical about the implications of reaching a wide audience. I know what a powerful impact this can have on my future endeavors as an educator. Do I want to become an administrator? professor? I am not sure. Online platforms can be a great way for me to further my ambitions and that’s pretty amazing but I also feel like it’s putting a black and white high contrast filter on a picture. Ultimately, I am not going to really complain about things that happen in my classroom or the harsh realities of teaching today.
Yes, I could do it and put a positive spin to what I’ve learned from the experience and it wouldn’t be a lie. I really do consider myself to have a growth mindset for education. If something fails, I try and look at it from an objective perspective and see what I can do to change the results– I do not simply dismiss a practice because “well, I tried it and it didn’t work!” Also, I am writing this in a coffee shop and had the most mocking facial expressions while typing that quote– a few people looked concerned.
Is it dangerous to always highlight education in this way? Is it giving people a false reality of the kinds of issues we face as teachers?
Similar to how Facebook (and other social media sites) may cause depressive symptoms among both men and women because people compare themselves to other’s online presence. I can’t help but feel how this constant highlight reel for education is part of the reason an alarming rate of teachers are dropping out of the profession within the first 5 years of their career.
A few colleagues and people from around the province consider me to be an expert for integrating technology into the classroom. It seems so weird and scary to have this kind of reputation but, perhaps more importantly, it also seems undeserved. I have had a few people say “Oh, I feel like I fail in comparison to you for x and y and z,” and I just want to scream “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.” People are comparing themselves to my highlight reel and, while I know that can have a lot of positives, I think it is adding to the pressure and failure we feel as teachers.
What do you think? Do the positives of this outweigh the negatives? Do you think teachers compare themselves to “experts” which leads to them feeling like they’re not doing enough?