Monday, November 28, 2005

Hi, Kids! 

Now that my middle schoolers have discovered this blog*, a few reminders to all readers, especially the young'uns:
  1. Yes, I am aware that the thin line between the RL me and the virtual me is not only thin but reasonably transparent. As a professional role model (like it or not, welcome to teaching, etc.), I feel better about the possibility that you might see a full, complete me, and about the trust that can arise from that revelation, than I feel about the alternate "double life" mode of teaching/living. I give access to my inner life (well, some of it) because I believe that you learn more about our shared subject this way, but also because I believe the resultant potential for trust is both healthier for me and healthier for us. Please try to reciprocate that trust, eh?

  2. Yes, if you know me IRL (in real life, n00b), it can be weird to discover that I have a personal life -- and that it is as oddly populated as your own. But that last part is vital. Judge not, lest ye be etc.

  3. Remember: context is king. Those who decide to make blanket judgements on me based on, say, a single entry (of a total of 1384 over three years!) should see me after class for a short discussion on a) how disappointed I am that you have not really made the connection yet between the stuff we've been discussing in class and the fact that I have revealed myself in this manner, and b) how our school expectations of respect extend to the fact of giving people the benefit of the doubt, and giving them your full attention, even if that means reserving judgement until you've gathered more context.

  4. Remember: context is king. This is not your classroom, nor is it mine. The standards are different, and though you're welcome to visit, this is not -- ever -- "what you did in school today." Please respect that, as well.

  5. Remember: context is king. In this case, that extends to the fact that some non-digigen folks who might, say, have some modicum of authority over me IRL know logs not as the useful tools we might find them, but as scary half-mythical places wherein I might better masquerade as a 14 year old girl to lure you into my axe-murderer web. I'm not asking you to keep secrets -- just to be honest and respectful of all of us, and recognize that, to those who haven't yet seen what a blog can do, what we're doing here is a risk, and on my shoulders, to boot.

  6. If you are one of my students, realize that you earned this space. Two months ago when we met, most of you didn't have the google-skillz to follow up on the above-and-below-noted halfhint. That you could find your way here so easily is a triumph for both of us. Nice work, kids. Keep it up, keep plugging away with respect and deliberation, and the world will be yours.

*okay, technically, I led them halfway to it in the context of a discussion about the ways in which the online world raises new and interesting issues of identity, presence, and power dynamics, which in turn was prompted by an especially bright student pushing me to reconnect a tangential discussion about the ways in which formal writing is anathema to the digital generation, and hence how v oice and authorship issues can seem more difficult yet ironically become more vital to understand on an explicit level, but you know what I mean.

posted by boyhowdy | 7:14 PM |

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