Since my return, I have had several conversations about concerns members of our school community-- parents, students, teachers and administrators-- might be having about our blogs and what we share on them. There seems to be this underlying notion that only blogs that are vulnerable and open gain attention and thus have value. I have been told that perhaps I am only promoting blogs that seem to "bare their soul" so to speak, that I am only sharing the voices that reveal personal thoughts and feelings.
I hope this isn't the case. I hope that no one feels that the only writing worth sharing is what keeps you up at night. I hope that you all see that I am not intentionally, if at all, promoting only the posts that tend to reveal what is hidden and tender. There is no doubt that these posts, resonate with me, but highlighting only vulnerability has never been my intention.
The goal, if I were to state it simply is to give you a voice. I want you to be heard. I want you to have a space that feels safe and comfortable to be heard. What you say, or if you say anything at all is your choice.
Over the last ten years of working with young people I have noticed that teenagers grapple with several issues: identity, expression and community. These three concepts drive my teaching. People are criticizing the value of teenagers exposing themselves so publicly.
The purpose of blogging is not to bare your soul in some kind of open online diary or journal. The purpose of blogging is to share your voice with a community. My job as I see it is to help you understand how to navigate, understand and employ identity, expression and community. We use these spaces and the conversations that happen on them as learning spaces.
I want you to feel confident about who you are through critical and artistic exploration of your identity. I want you to learn how to clearly articulate your voice in a variety of media in order to find a network of like-minded people in order to create a community of learners that will help you learn during and beyond school.What do you think? Does there seem to be pressure to only share the vulnerable? Do you feel that I only share promote, or highlight this type of voice? I would love to hear what you have to say. There are many of you who write regularly about a variety of topics, what do you think?
We have not taken advantage of these comments spaces, so if you are reading this post, please take the time to share your thoughts.