Why do You Share?

Feb 16, 2015 by

It’s no secret that I have a very high-minded approach about how educators who blog should conduct themselves; blogging is a reflective practice that allows the world small windows into our lives. If we open the curtains a bit, we can encourage others to learn from what we’ve observed, share experiences and resources, and create communities in which discourse and disagreement can live happily (relatively speaking) alongside positive cheer-leading. If we’re inviting the world to peer into our lives, we as educators need to understand, and find ways to appreciate, that we don’t all have the same methods, thoughts, and attitudes when it comes to working in a professional environment. Push back is a good thing; stepping back from back-patting to ask difficult questions (in respectful ways) is a good thing; it brings out the reality that learning (and growing) is an active, messy struggle. It emphasizes the reality that great things can come from people who disagree, but can find meaningful ways to work together. That conversation deserves to be public.

I’ve discovered that my single-mindedness comes at a considerable professional cost in the new media landscape of “InstaTwitterVine.” The questions I ask myself, and the push back that I offer to those in public spheres cause others to question the value of my disagreement, or worse yet, will cause people to blindly ignore the critique, and respond only in a negative light. My goal is not to denigrate, but to better understand why we share with the world, and the value of our thoughts. We all share for different reasons, and how we share matters immensely. To accept the prevailing wisdom that “we share to improve the lives of learners” is poetically pleasing, but can be trite, overused, and hides the unintended consequences and motivations of why we share.

I don’t intend for this to be a post devoted to overwrought navel gazing, so I’ll get right to the point:

I share resources that I’ve created and researched for the staff I support in my school district. I share curiosities and creations that give me pause, and force me to rethink my world view. I share because I know I’m better when I work with others. I share because I often have much more to learn from those who disagree with my thoughts, than I do from those who agree with me.

Why do you share? There are NO wrong answers, and if we disagree about why we should share, that’s a point to celebrate! The art of handling professional disagreement is not something many educators are prepared for, but would be better off being equipped to tackle. The diversity we have as a greater educational community, and the conversation it invites is a strength, not a weakness to avoid. Our discordant thoughts are not a reason to shrink back in the face of opposition, or to discount someone else’s thoughts as trivial. Those ARE the wrong answers, if there are any at all.

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2 Comments

  1. Nina Dagre

    Very interesting post that highlights as well the existence of the two sides in the world today, and especially the educational world, about blogging. Sharing and exploring experiences from colleagues around the world should not be faced as a threat, but as a tool that can help each individual examine sides that he/she may have skipped or have not thought thoroughly and which they could possibly have another side and/or aspect. There is so much negativity worldwide when it comes to sharing and making ideas public while the target of each educator should be to improve himself/herself in order to become better as an instructor and therefore able to share this knowledge and experience in order to create better learning and teaching techniques. Isolating ourselves from a world that is constantly changing with the advanced technology used nowadays will only make us fall behind and not evolve.

    • Isolating yourself, and your ideas, is usually never a good thing. Sadly, even some educators that do share and blog, close the comments on their blogs, and will disregard the viewpoints of others. I find having the ability for others to share their thoughts here as an effective way for me to examine issues from various view points.

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