Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Voice Matters

speakIn You’re Allowed from Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech, Dean Shareski refers to an article by Seth Godin and comments,

“Godin's nugget reminded me that we/you are now allowed. Even if you work for some antiquated organization that says you can't participate in is global conversations, you can. Maybe under a pseudonym but your voice matters…”

I think I have always marched to the beat of a different drummer. I remember when I first started teaching (many many years ago!) and the school finances were down the tube. There was a suggestion that we teach for a few days unpaid and many teachers were upset so they planned a big meeting at the local library. Now keep in mind that there are no unions in South Carolina so this meeting was a big thing. I was told by my administrator that I “better not go to this meeting!” Well, like a stubborn child, if you told me not to do something that was a sure fire way to get me to go and I did. It was scary for me because I really didn’t know anyone else who was going and I also felt worried about the consequences of my actions. What if I was the only one who showed up and then I was fired? But, it turned out better than I expected. The room was jam packed and overflowing with disgruntled teachers and amazingly, the district found money to pay us all so the worse did not happen. I learned that many things can happen if enough people feel the same way about a certain issue.

I do feel my voice matters but I think it is important that I don’t name names and slander people. I do not think you should write about specific students or adults which could come back to bite you in the butt if you aren’t careful. I think it is important to voice my opinion but in a way that it relates to me and not other people. I think that is why I write this blog. I try to write from my own experiences and try to show how my actions have impacted my own life. If there is a way that by sharing I can make a difference in your life, then it is worth speaking out.

I also feel that now that I’m retired from the public school system, I am more comfortable with sharing my views and opinions. While I was teaching, blogging was not an option. Computers were just becoming a big deal and the internet in the classroom was still a scary thing.

This pseudonym idea reminds me of Garrison Keillor and the Lake Woebegon stories that I love to listen to and share. Once, we stopped at a Minnesota welcome center when I heard my husband ask the lady for directions to Lake Woebegon. He was crushed when she told him that there was no place and that it was a fictional location made up by the author. So I think it is also important to let my readers know when I am using fictional names and places.

I feel it is important to me to voice my opinion about policies and laws that I don’t agree with but I try to explain why. I also think blogging about it helps clarify my thoughts so I can share my opinion with lawmakers and hopefully persuade them to rethink their actions. Sharing my views also helps me find like-minded people who agree with me so that I don’t feel so isolated with my thoughts. It also helps me find people who disagree with me so that I can either make myself clearer or possibly change my own views for the better.

So, you see, I really think my voice matters, and so does yours! Don’t be afraid. There are many of us out here who want to hear what you think!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Image: 'This is not a social media megaphone'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24844537@N00/337248947

2 comments:

Sioux said...

Amen!

Abimbola said...

Bravo...

Your views and your ability to voice those views are an essential part of being human in a democratic society...

Your voice matters...