I’ve made the decision to do something I have never done before and that is to remove a post. Well, actually, to replace it with this one. I have not been asked to do this by anyone, it is something I have decided to do on my own because, regardless of its intention, its results clash with what I feel is the right thing to do. I never intended to cause harm, to hurt anyone in its posting. It has and I’m truly sorry.
The post was an in-the-moment response to some of the frustrations of teaching. Frustrations that I know others experience, as was evidenced by the number of, “I know where you’re coming from,” comments to the post here and in other forums.
From the get-go, Michael felt I should ‘quietly delete’ the post, while others said no. Susan said that strong emotion teaches strong lessons. Others, that we (teachers) are expected to be devoid of emotion and that reminders of our humanity are needed from time to time. Others, that I should suck it up or leave teaching, that there are certain things I should not reflect on in my blog.
So the intention of the post was to capture my emotion in the moment. I use this blog to record the successes and challenges of teaching for the purpose of reflection and feedback. I strive to be a reflective practitioner. I strive.
I need to step back and look at the context of reflection. Since I began this blog about 3 years ago my audience has changed. It began as an audience of 1 (me) and slowly grew to an audience of a few (me and a few other teachers from other cities and countries), and more recently to a much larger (though still relatively small) audience of readers (teachers and non-teachers, including students, parents, and colleagues).
Does this mean I will stop writing about difficult issues? No. Not at all. But I will do so with a sensitivity for a shifting audience. There are times when my readers won’t agree with what I say but my delivery needs to reflect the values that are dear to me – kindness, compassion, and doing no harm. Indeed, love.
So, I haven’t been asked to remove this post or replace it in any way. But when I reflect on it and the reactions it received within the shifting readership contexts that widening social networks provide blog writers, it is the right thing to do. When I reflect on it and my mission to do no harm, it is the right thing to do.
The great thing about learning is that it never, never stops.