In my 28th year as a public school teacher, I never thought this would be a problem: keeping my mouth shut about presidential politics. Now over the years I've pretty much kept my presidential preferences to myself as most teachers do, and I have not shared them with my third grade students. I won't share them directly again this year (although they always beg to know who I'm voting for).
But things will be different this time around.
I've struggled with whether to not to express my personal political views on this blog. I am a public school employee, after all, in a fairly large school district. On the other hand, this is my own personal space, and I work on it on my own time. Four years ago, I had this blog, but I wasn't using it. What a difference four years makes.
Recently I've noticed a couple of high profile classroom teacher bloggers getting out there with politics. Doug Noon, from Alaska of all places, has been putting his view out there. Just today I noticed Clarence Fisher has a couple of political links (Canadian, of course) on his blog sidebar.
But I'm not seeing a whole lot more out there on classroom teacher blogs. Which would not be a problem for me, except that I feel this huge need, this very strong desire, to say something. Political. I read so much these days. I'm a big fan of the Huffington Post, subscribing the the news feed for all posts coming out of there - can't possibly read them all, so I cherry-pick. I've got to say a couple of my favorites recently have come from entertainers: Barbra Streisand and, of all people, Jamie Lee Curtis.
I did venture into this a couple of days ago, with Power and Politics. My students will eventually figure it out, when they walk by the teacher lounge and see the Obama/Biden car magnet on my bicycle (arriving any day now, I hope). And they may know by reading this blog, which is linked from our classroom blog, our school web-wiki, and they can get to just by typing in ahlness.com. I did all this to make getting here easier.
But I've got to make it worthwhile, getting here. I'm not going to go over the top with banners, ads and tasteless rants, but if I have even a small group in a corner of a very large room, I will not let the opportunity to make a difference pass me by. Not this time. The stakes are way too high.
So, dear readers...
I would very much like to hear what you think. What's your opinion on blogging, personal politics, and the classroom teacher? If you have examples of teachers writing about this, expressing political views on blogs, in forums, or any other arena - please share them in a comment here. I'll add links to this post as appropriate - yes, from both political sides :) Many thanks.
technorati tags: politics classroom blogging