Image courtesy of Simon Powell
I woke up this morning and this was spinning in my head. As I write this, I have a feeling it should have stayed in there where it made more sense (at least to me). Oh well, I will give it a go.
17th May 2013. That was the day that I started this blog. I had bold ambitions to share my thoughts on issues that mattered to the ELT community and how they were being played out in my classroom. I never ever intended for this site to make me rich or famous (and for the record, neither of those actually happened anyway), but my hope has always been that it might help others to reflect on their own teaching and possibly start a conversation as I learned from those who read my posts.
In part, that has happened. People comment and discuss things on Twitter, but mostly I feel like I am not really adding anything to the general conversation. I read posts from other ELT professionals and I think to myself, “What am I doing? These people are smarter than me and much better writers. What could I possibly add that hasn’t already been said or discussed in depth by others? I must be arrogant to think that others even care about what I have to say.” There have been those who have commented or thanked me for my posts, but I can’t help thinking that they are just being polite and attempting to encourage me. I don’t want to diminish what they have said, but really, aren’t these the people who already know this stuff in depth? Am I just “preaching to the choir”?
Also, I can’t help feel a bit discouraged by the negative tone that is prevalent throughout the education community, and ELT is no exception, especially when it comes to blogging and other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. There is a place for sparking some thoughts about how we do things, but I feel we have often tipped into the ‘nasty’ and ‘judging’ with a lack of ‘appreciation’ and ‘support’. I think this is just how I am feeling at the moment and if I really stopped and thought about it, I would realize how much support is going on. You could probably persuade me fairly easily that I am off base here, but I can’t help feeling like those who are the most ‘biting’ are also the ones who get the most support.
I am not giving up on this blog just yet, but I am wondering about walking away for a while and putting my energies into someplace or something else. I don’t know. This is tough for me. I try really hard not to worry to much about what others think and if anyone is actually listening, but my human nature takes over and I start to worry about if I am meeting other people’s expectations. I really do want to be the best teacher I can be for my students, but reading what others write and how others feel about the profession, it makes me think I am deceiving others into thinking I have something to share.
After reading over what I have just written, I am concerned that you think I am ‘getting my nose out of joint’ and wanting to ‘take my toys and go home’. Boy, I hope that isn’t what I just communicated. I am merely saying that there are a ton of great people out there who already do what I do, only much better. Follow them, learn from them, engage with them. Maybe it’s just time I sat on the bench for a while and learned from the pros. Holding the clipboard and being the water boy is probably not a bad thing for now.