This summer at SDE’s National Conference in Orlando, I was able to meet Cierra Harris from the blog, Adventures of Room 129.
|Read the original post HERE.|
Recently she wrote a compelling post on some of the misconceptions that relate to blogging and I really wanted to echo her thoughts and add a few of my own.
|Cierra is next to me in the picture. We were joined by Tammy from the Resourceful Apple and
Brenda Frady from Primary Inspired.
I am so thankful for the community that blogging offers me.
I’m a super passionate teacher and within the blogging community, I’ve found #mytribe
|Found this cool sign HERE.|
Full disclosure, I have struggled to minimize my passion, and my personality my entire teaching career. I thought getting my National Boards would help me to fit in better. It really didn’t make a dent. For years I was desperately sad. At one point, I was so miserable, I left the grade level I was born to teach, to move to a community of teachers in a different grade level that I thought might embrace my personality, rather than see it as a liability. It was the year I made that change that I started blogging and my professional life took the most amazing turn! I was invited to my first FB group for bloggers about 8 months after I started blogging. All of a sudden, I realized that I was special, not strange. That there were others who liked to stay up late and talk about curriculum. That there were others who thought data was cool and had even more excel spreadsheets than I did. There were others who took the plunge and shared their stuff on a little website called Teachers Pay Teachers. I could go on and on.
|HERE‘s a post that I love on being an extroverted teacher. There’s a companion post for introverts too!|
The relief I felt each time someone else shared their story that mirrored mine started my journey toward healing. I can’t say enough about how rich and full my life has become thanks to the love and support of other teacher bloggers across the country. Last year, I went to Vegas for the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference. Many of the girls there I’d not ever met outside of a Facebook group or a Google Chat, but…instantly we connected and have been a source of encouragement to each other ever since.
Nothing is perfect, but there is so much positive energy within the teacher-blogger world, that for me, it truly drowns out whatever bad might be happening in our profession.
Blogging may not always make you a better teacher, but it has made me a better PERSON.
I am a happier me, because I’ve found community.
I will tell you though…just because I blog, doesn’t mean I’m a superhero. I find that now that I tell people I blog, or that I sell things on TPT, there are certain expectations that are unrealistic.
Let me introduce you to the STEPFORD TEACHER-BLOGGER.
You know this teacher. Every blog post she writes, it seems that the heavens open and brilliance falls like raindrops from the sky. When she takes a picture of her students doing an activity, they are always looking happy and on task. Every time she makes a classroom purchase, she seems to get the sale. She wears the cutest clothes. Her nails are always manicured. Her hair is never out of place. Her instagram thread and facebook posts seem riddled with happy people that enjoy her company…so you KNOW she has more friends than you. Her husband adores her. I’m sure that they are intimate all the time–just hanging from the chandeliers. Her 2.5 children are practically perfect. Each excelling at academics, deportment and athletics. Her clothes are never wrinkled. Her classroom is immaculate. Her organizational skills are the envy of every self-respecting teacher with eyes. Her pencils are always sharp. Her pens never run out of ink. She is on time to every meeting. I could go on and on…
You know her, right?
No. You don’t. You really don’t.
The reality is, you know THIS teacher. The one that loves her job and works like each year is the last year she’ll have that class of students–because usually it is. She can’t blog all the time and feels guilty about it. She blogs when she can, sometimes, with a baby on her hip while she does it. Sometimes she only has one picture on her post, because once she uploaded the pictures to put on the blog, she realized that the students desks were messy. The library area was a disaster, and the carpet still has a jello stain on it from last Tuesday. So there really was only one good shot. She posts pictures of happy things on Facebook and Instagram because…isn’t that what EVERYONE does? Who would post sad things? She often runs late, and is probably forgetful because she’s got fifty two bazillion things going on at once. She’s writing curriculum for goodness sakes. A job that publishing companies hire a team to do…she can create in about 40 hours…on top of her regular course work. Her first pregnancy was great, but she can’t seem to get pregnant the second time and she’s so very sad about that. She and her husband don’t talk all that much, she wonders if her marriage is in trouble. The Facebook and Instagram pictures probably remind her of happier times…so she just keeps posting them, hoping to get back to that…someday. She’s probably this frazzled because she’s trying to keep up with the idea of the Stepford Teacher Blogger.
Who came up with this person anyway?
I think we probably all did…
As a teaching community, we need to strive to be transparent and organic.
I can tell you that there is not much difference between me and someone who doesn’t blog, except…a blog. I have loved seeing bloggers talk candidly about their adoption stories, their infertility stories, picking up their lives after divorce stories…even the death of their husband stories. All of these things happen in the lives of teachers every day…and we still get up and teach.
I am inspired by those stories, as I am sure you are too.
I think its the coolest thing when another teacher blogger emails me and says…you put out three products this week…are you okay? They know that sometimes, I work to cover up when I am sad. I won’t tell you that is everyone’s story.
I only share that to say that bloggers are human.
Feel free to offer them suggestions, advice, resources that you made…or that you found. Remind them that they are special because of who they are and not for the last resource they gave you. I found myself through blogging. If blogging is not your thing, maybe you will find yourself through an workout group. Maybe it will be through a Mommy and me class. Perhaps your church has homegroups or ladies’ Bible studies. My point is…find YOUR tribe. If blogging isn’t it for you…there is something out there that is!
This kind of community has changed my life and my outlook on teaching!
I can only believe that if we all found #ourtribe we would all be better for it!
We’re really not all that different you and I.
Thanks for coming on this little journey with me.
It was a bit scary to be this honest.
Glad you stuck it out.
So…if you’re looking to find some positive educators that are also looking for a place to belong, consider joining my Facebook group for teachers! I’m looking for teachers who love this job and are looking to find other teachers who are still in love with it. If that’s you, then, please join us!