I'm struggling today. Struggling with why I have this blog and what it means to me.
I started my first blog over 5 years ago. I have been writing this particular blog since 2011. For the most part, I have been happy having the opportunity to share my ideas, philosophy and classroom with so many. And not just parents either! I have people reading this blog from as far away as Europe!
And, I have to say, that I have never, ever gotten anything but positive feedback from parents at my school and foreign readers alike.
But, this morning, upon arriving at school and finding out that there had been a concern raised about my last blog post (the one on class placement craziness) and, on the advice of my union, I voluntarily deleted the post.
And, even though I did it voluntarily, I still feel like I have been censored. It feels like, as a teacher, I am not allowed to express my opinion. And I gotta tell you, the feeling really sucks.
I originally switched to writing a classroom blog (from my previous more personal blog which was more about my art making) because I wanted a way to connect with parents and other teachers on the happenings in our classroom. I wanted a way to share the amazing things that happen on a daily basis. I wanted a way to let others into our daily life and see what we were doing each day.
And, let me tell you, I take the writing of this blog very seriously. There is not a single post that goes out without my having read it, read it again and pored over it some more. (I've reread this one and made changes 6 times already!!!!) I spend hours on my weekends writing blog posts so that parents (and the teaching community at large) can see what is happening in our classroom.
Today has made me question all of that.
I do have to say that I am filled to the brim with gratitude for the two parents who told me, completely out of the blue, that they appreciated my words in the (now deleted) classroom placement post. You know who you are!!!! Thank you for filling my bucket!
I do know in my heart that most parents at my school who choose to read the blog understand that I am stating my own personal opinion and that I am never speaking about any of them in particular (it is one of the reasons that I use events from long ago years or my other school as examples).
But, today it feels like my right to free speech has been taken away. And, it makes me wonder, is this blog worth the hours I put in to it on my own time, if one criticism can result in the deletion of a post?
It feels a bit like today deleted a part of me.
And so, I am struggling.
Feeling like I can't give one person's negative opinion of a post I wrote, upset the whole apple cart.
Yet, simultaneously, feeling that I am not sure what tomorrow will bring as far as this blog goes.
Not sure if I should bother continuing to give so much of my free time to sharing what goes on in our classroom.
Not sure if this blog really matters (or is helpful) to anyone.
I am feeling very sad about the whole situation.
Before today, writing this blog has always given me such joy. I love the children I work with and generally spend most of my time sharing the wonderful things happening in the classroom.
But, on occasion, I do write about something that some might see as controversial. Not often. But every once in awhile. I always try to preface these posts with letting the reader know I am about to talk about something that is a "soapbox" topic for me or that I am about to "rant" about something. I figure the reader has the right to disagree or not read my blog at all. I thought that was what freedom of speech is all about!
Now I feel like I can't do that. I feel like my voice has been stifled. And, I have to ask myself, if I can't be true to myself on this blog, then why have the blog in the first place?
So, I am struggling with it.
Not sure where I am going to go with it.
But, if you are reading, and, if you chose to read to the end of this post...thank you. I appreciate it!