The Blogging Underground: School Teachers
While the activity of blogging remains on the periphery of many school teachers, some use it as a teaching tool to get students to participate in and out of class — and sometimes, directly with primary sources, such as authors of books. A few months ago, in fact, the USA Today featured a history teacher in Liberty, Missouri who did just that with great success. However, the Houston Chronicle describes the flipside: an underground culture of teachers venting about students through their blogs. Not surprisingly the vast majority of said blogs are done anonymously, but while their numbers are small, they are growing at a prodigious rate.
Why has this phenomena found fertile ground to grow?
The Chronicle goes on to report:
Teachers, initially slow to try out the medium, are publishing blogs at rapidly increasing rates — partly because they see the online journals as a way to have their opinions heard, experts say …”Teachers’ public voices have less and less currency in the education market with respect to deciding what benefits children,” said Michele Knobel, an education professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey. “Blogs can become a forum for voicing frustration with the ongoing de-professionalization of teaching and the sidelining of teacher wisdom and experience.”
For those interested in blogging and education, its an interesting read on an interesting phenomenon. It delves into the potential legal ramifications of teachers blogging, and what the rights of many teachers are in this matter. Moreover, its heartening to hear that many of these particular teacher-bloggers, no matter how frustrated they are, are still exercising discretion when it comes to blogging.
“I’ve deeply curtailed any negative blogging about students,” [an anonymous blogger] said. “There’ve been a number of pieces I’ve started to write and then decided not to finish because I’ve thought, ‘If I were a parent, I would not want my student’s teacher posting this about them.’ “
Tony Hung is the editor of the BlogHerald. He is also a physician finishing his last year of residency in General Internal Medicine, and blogs at Deep Jive Interests , where he rants, occasionally, on new media topics.