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Please, Ma'am -- Step Away From The Blog

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"After long days of grading papers and disciplining rowdy children, a growing number of tech-savvy teachers are creating online journals to vent about the stresses of the profession, according to this Houston Chronicle article (Teachers venting on blogs often go underground ). "Educators who have already embraced the technology — called blogs (short for web logs) — find themselves walking a fine, virtual line of conduct. They strive to entertain and inform, but can't violate their school districts' ethics policies or federal laws designed to protect students' confidentiality. Most teachers who blog have opted to do so underground — refusing to cite their names, workplaces or other identifying details — to avoid potential professional pitfalls."

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Sure, some teachers are blogging anonymously to complain about students or school working conditions. Plenty of others are blogging--anonymously or not--to share what they know about school life and to critique public education policy. Anything that insightful teachers can do to help the public understand that this is NOT your father's public school is time well spent, I'd say. Teachers are also using blogs to discuss effective teaching -- Bud the Teacher (mentioned in the story) being a good example. And why is that an inappropriate use of school time and equipment?

it's a good point, john -- thanks for making it. there are some GREAT teacher blogs out there that are incredibly helpful in terms of showing non-classroom folks what it's like, sharing ideas, etc. and the three mentioned in the story were new to me, so that's helpful as well.

I agree with John: Most teacher bloggers aren't ranting or venting. They're bringing readers into their classrooms and schools. They're like embedded reporters who actually know what they're talking about. The good ones are great. Anonymity saves them hassles about violating their colleagues' or students' privacy.

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