Thursday, February 08, 2007

 

Controversy

I have started a controversy among people who are my superiors at work. It has to do with filtering issues, and I hate being involved in controversy. Some people crave controversy. I run from it, but here I am right in the middle. I didn't really start it, but I brought the issue out into the open, and brought it to the attention of some people who have strong feelings on both sides. I didn't mean to request special treatment, I just wanted to be able to complete a worthwhile project I started with my students. I also wanted to fulfill my obligations to a state-wide program that I have commited to.

I feel such a disconnect between what I believe to be good teaching practices and what is practical this year. I am hearing a lot of mixed messages (not only about technology), and I am not sure if the message is mixed or just my perception is mixed-up. I feel the need to have some long conversations with several different people to clear up some things, but I am so afraid of making things worse. I want to say, "Here is what I am trying to do with my students. How can I accomplish this and still stay within the parameters that are important to you?" I am afraid I will hear, "Don't do it at all."

I am being intentionally vague here because I don't want to create more problems. I am very frustrated. I know the other people involved are simply trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability, but so am I. We all want what is best for the students. We just have different philosophies about how to accomplish this. And everyone is too busy to sit down and talk about it, including me.

Comments:
Don't give up hope. You have many friends and supporters here in the blogosphere. Thanks for reflecting in this stressful time.

Chris
 
Thanks, Chris...especially for your patience as our project is put on hold. I will keep you updated.

Jeanne
 
You are a pioneer for your district and visionary work is messy. You are trailblazing for those to come after you.

Just think of the difference you are making on behalf of Alabama's kids.

We are proud of you.
 
Hi Jeanne,

First, my apologies for taking so long to reply to your post. I've been thinking about you a lot.

I have found that some people have an inarticulate fear of the internet. There seems to be an assumption that online interaction is done mainly with/by perverts. Statistics do not bear this out. Most sexual predators are members of the victim's family. I'm not even sure if this is the issue you are dealing with. Either way, the folks "on the other side of the fence" have passionately held views whatever their concerns are; some rational, some not. For what it's worth I have found that if I say, over and over again, that what I'm doing is having a positive impact on student learning (more examples than you can shake a stick at sprinkled all over the web) and I'm doing my best to prepare them for a world whose image is a complete unknown except for the fact that it will be drenched in technology and online communication.

I don't know if that helps. If there's anything I can do to help email me. I'd be willing to do a presentation with you over skype to any concerned individual or group. Let me know what I can do to help and I'll do my best to accommodate.

There's a large international community of like minded, highly professional and expert educators behind you. Maybe you can "work the network." ;-)

Cheers,
Darren
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


View My Stats