In Defense of a Student Teacher’s Edublog
An appropriate denouement, but it’s happening earlier than I had intended. While I had planned to publish this much later, after finishing up my personal student teaching reflection, the cat’s mostly out of the bag.
I might as well let the mongrel all the way out.
In Defense of a Student Teacher’s Edublog:
Partial Transcript of the Statement Delievered to the Kremen School of Education’s Admissions and Standards Board
June 12, 2008
Instructions: There are two instructions. This is to be read aloud, not read silently to yourself; please follow the instructions.
I submit this with the good faith that, despite the intra-department gossip about how the Kremen School of Education works, the committee hasn’t already made its decision. Appropriately, recent comments on my blog lead me to believe that this faith is based on a false hope.
I’ve made many mistakes in my student teaching. Blogging about my student teaching experience is not one of those mistakes. If anything, the mistakes I made had more to do with not letting my principal in on the ground floor than it did writing about my experiences as a student teacher. My mistake was in telling my master teacher, and assuming her authority over my student teaching was as absolute as she meant it to be.
For the sake of time, I’ll briefly mention that the purpose of my blog was twofold: First, I chronicled the student teaching experience for education insiders and outsiders alike; second, I would elicit best practices with a practical twist from my readers.
Forgetting the very real health benefits of blogging — as reported in the May issue of Scientific American — there are very real professional benefits. I could instantly elicit and receive advice, share lesson plans and argue issues of high educational theory at the drop of a hat.
As you read this — I assume you’re reading this on your own time, no matter what the instructions say; if this is not the case, my sincere thanks — consider your schedule, your attention span, and your tolerance for long-winded, overwrought arguments. Then, consider why didn’t I simply ask you, the busy department faculty member, for advice, or even ask the professionals around me at my high school.
Simply put: If I did manage to catch up with a department member, when I wasn’t teaching and he or she wasn’t busy, and if I did manage to ask them the difficult questions about practical teaching maneuvers that might mean I’d get good answers. It might mean I’d leave satisfied. If I did this daily, it would almost definitely leave them annoyed. The low chance of success and the high chance that it would backfire made this no option at all.
Don’t look so aghast and shocked. I have personal experience with this in a number of departments and schools across the university. After three consecutive days or as few as 10 minutes of spirited discussion, the professor remembers a staff meeting, a dentist appointment or some sudden, urgent, previously arranged task for the faculty member to finish. There’s also a distinct decline in that professor’s actual interest in the subject of discussion. If this does not describe you, then you are a hard-to-find exception, in denial or a liar.
Blogging allows me to solicit the opinions of people who are, by definition, interested enough to respond. Not only that, but they respond on their own time, and because they want to. There isn’t the expectation that every single one of my readers respond in a timely fashion, or at all — if they do, anyway, then there’s the added benefit that no love is lost.
Faulty or not, this was my logic.