Friday, 28 March 2008
What to write?
It has been a sad few weeks since my last post. The situation with Al Upton and his mini-legends drags on and because we are in holidays, little has been resolved. In a skype conversation with Al and Sue Waters and Anne Murchison, he was understandably dispirited. It is such a blow to someone who is a devoted professional, such a slight to his good judgement of what is safe and appropriate for his students- in consultation with parents that it is.What concerns me greatly is that Al should not be the pinup boy for this cause. There are so many of us attempting to wrestle with the new technology, with a new way of seeing ourselves as educators that Al should not be bearing the brunt of all this considerable backlash in the light of the hysteria generated by the media about fears of 'The Internet'.I know if it were me facing such a questioning of my judgement, I would have given up and run-I am not of the same strong stuff as Al, but it is an issue that has to be dealt with and government departments and schools and parents cannot hide their heads in the sand and hope it will go away. It won't.
The picture I have added to this post is my attempt to finally respond to the Passion Quilt meme started by Miguel Guhlin.
What is my passion in teaching? To help students to find their own voice in writing and to glow with pride and happiness when they write.The lights are on in so many classes, students are starting to be heard, but it is decisions like that of the Sth Australian dept of Education that make it seem a very distant possibility to have classes where students can raise their voices beyond the small pond of the class and doing busy work for the teacher, to actually engage in writing for real authentic tasks to a wide audience.
It is interesting that when I started to write this post, I felt I had little of value to say. I have been reading some of the blogs mentioned in Clay Burell's post about favorite blogs and felt I had so much to learn and nothing to add to the discussions which are flowing past me on twitter all the time. Maybe I have little of great academic worth to contribute, but I feel better for exploring what has made me feel so down all week.