Over the past few months I have blogged about blogging and podcasting. Not really "discussion" but just excitement fueled blogging about new tools I have found. It's about time I get down to the nitty gritty about what this blogging thing is really all about and get in the conversations. I think I have done a good job modeling and I have actually got some teachers and students blogging and podcasting now.
Let's start with the topic of being 'transparent' in schools and in a blog. As an administrator I find it very challenging to be transparent in real life let alone on a blog. But I also believe that 'people', whoever that entails, need to know about schools and what goes on in schools.
There was a great blog discussion about being too transparent or crossing the line so to speak. I have also read blog posts about administrators who have taken the plunge into blogging, only to pull the plug because of the 'consequences' of their posts. Or comments are left open and inappropriate comments are submitted. I too was a victim of inappropriate feedback when I had an anonymous feedback link on my school website. I too removed anonymous feedback. It became a forum for teachers to complain and parents to rant about things that I have no control over. My secretary offered to screen the feedback since it was causing unnecessary stress above and beyond the stress I already feel in my job. For me, feedback is requested to provide input that will improve our school for our students and community. Just as teachers don't enjoy criticism, administration doesn't enjoy more than they are used to.:) Having said all of that, I want people to be open and honest and come to me, just don't check your professionalism at the door.
I am on the fence about starting controversial discussions. Blogging has been a very positive experience for me. There is enough negative in my profession that I have found this to be a nice vacation from the complaining/venting arena of my job. I like good discussion that can lead to something positive for children. There is a time and place for complaining and venting. You have to vent sometimes. However Internet posts are permanent and accessible by anyone. When it was brought to my attention that some teachers in my district were reading this blog, at first I panicked. What did I write? How did it sound? Teachers, students, parents, my Superintendent and school board can find this blog. People who know me know that I am very honest and what you see is what you get. Therefore I didn't panic very long.
What do teachers what administrators to be more open/'transparent' about?