There’s been a lot of chatter lately among some edubloggers about their feeling that educators who blog have formed a community akin to an invitation-only cocktail party, that some “elites” deliberately exclude or insult newcomers, and that there should be rules to follow when blogging, Twittering, or participating in the various social networks that support educators as they experiment with new tech tools. I’m not even going to try to link to examples of this, it’s just fuel on the fire.
I’m no expert here, but my spidey sense tells me there’s something else going on. I think it’s “passion fatigue.”
Educators who felt their professional selves rekindled by technology, especially Web 2.0 technology jumped into communicating this passion to others. As time goes on, though, it gets harder to maintain that heightened sense of mission, especially when you just don’t see anything changing around you. Or worse, you start to see the enormity of turning the massive institution called school in any direction, much less the one you want. You start to wonder if your life’s work is all just so much spitting into the wind.
It’s so much easier to pick on little things, point fingers, proclaim rules, and jump into fights you wouldn’t tolerate in real life. It’s the virtual equivalent of library shushing. I’ve done it, I admit it, I’ve poked my nose in where it doesn’t belong and made comments that I shouldn’t have. Maybe I shouldn’t even say this, since someone is going to think that I’m complaining about them. But honestly, I’m not. Blog however you want. Comment however you want. Twitter, don’t Twitter, really, I’m not your mother.
I aspire to be both optimistic and realistic, do my best, and not give in to trivialities. Some days that happens. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” I hope that spirit carries me forward.