Recently, I have become acutely aware of the power of the written word. Yesterday’s post on Uncertainty received the most readership and reaction of any post I have made to date. And, to think, I almost did not post it! I had wondered if it was too personal. Maybe. But, it was also relatable. We all face uncertainty at some point. If you read it and commented, thank you! I know I am reaching my audience.
I was also made aware that something I had written in the last month struck a nerve with some people locally. A particular post was shared – without my knowledge – and literally opened up some personal wounds of unresolved prior passions and intensities. With far fewer views than yesterday’s post, I was not sure it was read widely, if at all. But, obviously, more people read it than I realized. All I know is that if it was shared to shut me down, those sharing have made a mistake. My high school senior, who is mature beyond his years, talked me through my reaction to finding out my post had been shared and not seen in a positive light. He had good advice. None of this will change that I am a student advocate! And, sometimes advocacy means pointing out things people do not want to hear. What was also missed is that I wrote the post in question, as I write all my posts, from my own experience. No one can change that because it is mine and my family’s. We lived it. I had attached a disclaimer to my post stating that what was contained within was OUR experience. I do not think that part was passed on when the sharing took place. Unknown to most is that some others in our community have shared our experience and thanked me for writing the post in question. I am not alone. I spoke out through the written word largely because verbally addressing the people in question has not worked to effect change in the past. This was a decidedly different tactic. My blog, in part, is about student advocacy! I have spent much of today privately garnering support from others. Thank you to each of you who responded. I feel fortified by your assistance and understanding.
Two parents have also recently written me via email to thank me for my past efforts with leading Evergreen Garden Club – a group I founded in 2004, facilitated, and taught until this past June (2017). It has come to their attention that Garden Club is no longer being offered. They wrote me to let me know the garden club lessons benefited their children in many ways. One former student was even inspired enough to start planting a garden of his own this past summer! Both are parents of current fifth graders. Both expressed appreciation of my efforts to incorporate many subject areas, or interdisciplinary learning as it is known amongst educators, in our garden club lessons. I will cherish their words of gratitude.
There has been much in the media lately about shutting those down that state things other people do not want to hear. The actress who had her twitter account suspended and the educational blogger who had his Facebook account suspended are but two examples on a much larger scale than me being called out about a blog piece I wrote.
I write because I communicate better through the written word. My most successful pieces are those of which the subject matter is something about which I have passion. This is the way it is for most authors. It is a blog. It is my blog. It is meant to communicate ideas, feelings, and passions. In the case of this blog, it is also for sharing knowledge and to garner support for students, as well as promote excellence in teaching practices. A blog is meant to be read. It has been. And, by the reactions it has generated recently, there is a lot to talk about. The written word is powerful.