Note: This article featured on TexasISD.com on 11/18/2010.
Do you smudge the lines that divide personal life from work life? Jeff Utecht certainly does! Here's how he describes the blurring of boundaries, which some might characterize as just plain wrong:
Today at school I answered personal e-mail, updated my Facebook status, Tweeted, looked up flights for winter break, and even read articles that didn’t pertain to school...What really is happening is the line between our work life and our social life is becoming blurred more and more every day.Obviously, Jeff has some freedom that many educators do NOT enjoy. In Wes Fryer's keynote address (listen to it via his blog), you can hear him share stories of how some of those freedoms are denied teachers in Oklahoma...and it's not necessarily different in schools in other parts of the United States.
Blurring the lines, as Jeff puts it, can have profound consequences. While it's easy to ignore the consequences of action (e.g. expulsion for students, termination, maybe even legal action), we've seen in the Media that improper usage can have severe consequences.
Maybe, though, we need to ask ourselves if those severe consequences don't come about because we aren't using these tools in schools. This kind of thinking..."You know, the reason we're having trouble with people shooting themselves in the foot is because gun usage isn't discussed in schools." Maybe we could all take advantage of free tutorials (e.g.
I was at the [name withheld to protect the guilty heavensent] airport’s arrival gate, sweating bullets, because I’d packed my Collection in my suitcases instead of shipping them with my furniture. I’d been told the odds of getting them in were higher this way. Picture two large suitcases stuffed with more DVDs than clothes....What's funny about Clay's story is the trust given to him by airport customs official when he is caught with contraband, another reason he would be terminated in U.S. schools. The response from the Customs Officer is worth clicking on the link.
Do you smudge the lines? As you reflect on your response and what the consequences are for taking action--legal or not--consider Ms. Ripp's (Blogging through the 4th Dimension) poem below, edited for length:
I am the reform when I trust other teachers.
I am the reform when I am not afraid.
I am the reform when I believe.
Are you the reform?
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