What to say…

…and where to say it.

As a blogger I’ve always pondered what to say and how to say it. Now, with two blogs, one anonymous and one associated with my real name (gasp! shock! horror!) I have to consider where to say it as well. Now when each prompt percolates in my head another component is present. Where will I publish this post? And how will its place affect what I ultimately say?

I’m generally a pretty honest person, possibly to a fault. There is little I don’t share, at least that used to be the case. As I’ve gotten older, and more weary of others’ inability to provide the support I require, I’ve shut down a lot. I created this blog at about the same time as I started censoring myself more in real life. This space provides an outlet for that naturally honest part of me, the part that thrives on telling the whole truth.

I have thought a lot about attaching my name to this blog. The main reason I haven’t done so is because I am a teacher and I don’t want my students knowing certain things about me. As a teacher I have a professional persona that must be maintained; I must not only consider what I want my students to know but also what I’m comfortable discussing with their parents, who have their own expectations of what I disclose and how I disclose it. When your job involves children, you must respect certain rules that those who work exclusively with adults don’t need to consider.

Keeping my blog anonymous, I haven’t had to consider what I want to say and how I want to say it. As I made clear this past weekend, I basically put everything out there, for better or worse. Now, every topic I consider tackling needs to be weighed carefully. What do I want to say and how do I want to say it? Does the piece contain personal information? If so, how comfortable will I feel if my Facebook friends read it? My colleagues? My administrations? My students? Their parents? And of course, if the topic involves others, like my partner or friends, how comfortable will they be with what I’m disclosing?

These are all pertinent questions and require an incredible amount of careful consideration. Once my words are out there, it is impossible to take them back. I must be ready to stand by my words, defending them if need be. Is a post worth professional or personal repercussions of any kind? If the answer is no, and I’m unsure how it will be perceived, I have to post here.

I hadn’t thought about it much when I put up my new space, but its existence will change the landscape of this space. When I only have so much time to write, neither space will get the attention I want to give it. This means that this space will probably be designated for more personal subject matter while my new space will be a discussion of more universal topics, posts that are more relevant to the every day reader. This space will be a kind of diary, the other space will be my public forum, the place where I cultivate a presence I can be proud of, one that will hopefully bring me closer to my future goals.

Today, on my new blog, I published the first piece that required careful consideration, the first piece of a personal nature, the first post I was not sure where to place. It’s the first piece that puts myself out there in a raw and naked way. And I have to admit, the idea of students seeing it makes me raise my eyebrows a bit. Of course I’m sure it will be okay, but I’ve had to stop and think. I’d be curious what you think: Did I make a mistake posting it there?

4 responses

  1. I haven’t gotten to read the other post yet. I think with students it’s tricky because there needs to be somewhat of a wall between you even if it’s a pretty low wall. I taught at a private school where our personal lives sometimes seeped into our work lives. They knew Josh, for instance. When we got married, I brought in part of our wedding video because it was (1) an example of a cultural event and (2) I wanted to involve them in that world. But I also needed to hold them at bay so they would focus on the subject and not on me. Middle schoolers love to derail lessons — they are so much more interested in the personal than they are in the factual. I think not having it Google-able is important.

  2. It certainly would depend if I wanted my coworkers to know private details of my life that I wouldn’t otherwise share with them. This is why I blog anonymously and only a few close friends know. I’m a very open person but my husband is not. I confess I do write about him (when I’m totally pissed off about something usually) but I protect the post so he can’t read it. I already know he doesn’t want to be included in my writing but it’s a little unfair since he’s a major part of my life. So NOT writing about it is difficult if I’m really sad or upset.

  3. Even though I don’t have two blogs, I have one blog that is easy to find … and I often wonder if I should dissociate my email address (which is my name) from it. It’s definitely pretty personal. I’ve loved having students see me as a person, but I’m sometimes not sure whether putting my weaknesses out there for a prospective employer to see is a good idea.

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