Venting Online

I debated with myself about writing this, but I decided to go ahead. I am about to vent about venting.

I understand teaching is a difficult job with few rewards. I understand many of us are working in schools that offer us little support and with colleagues who drive us crazy. I understand the occasional need to vent. But every post? After a while, I start to wonder why you continue to work under such conditions and don’t try to find something more satisfying. You’re obviously unhappy in your thankless job, and understandably, you need to vent your frustrations, but I have reached the point at which I wonder if you like anything about your job, and I’m frankly worried for your health. You sound a lot like I did when I was teaching middle school in a nearby district, but the difference is that I didn’t spew forth all my frustrations online. Reading your blog is a little like watching a train wreck before it happens — if your employers ever find your blog, which I hope they don’t, I can’t see how you’ll escape being fired. To your credit, I don’t think I can ever remember you complaining about the students, but you really seem to hate your co-workers with a passion. It’s my hope you’re not blogging from work at all, or you’ll have some real trouble on your hands if your blog is discovered.

Quite aside from the point I made that you are playing with fire — complaining online about your colleagues — your posts are a real downer to read. Is there nothing energizing, interesting, or exciting going on at your school? In your classroom? If I can lay it on the line, you’re depressing. You kind of remind me of Debbie Downer on SNL. The trouble with that assessment is that it isn’t congruent with what else I know about your personality. You can be pretty funny. You seem to enjoy life. You strike me as an outgoing person.

I don’t think it’s possible to always be happy with your job, especially if you’re a teacher. This time of year is especially difficult as teachers look at the calendar and freak out over what wasn’t covered and students look at the calendar and think it says June, not May. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that teacher bloggers will never complain on their blogs, but frankly, I don’t want to read anymore when that’s all they do.

[tags]venting, blogging, teachers[/tags]

7 thoughts on “Venting Online”

  1. I don't know the blog to which you are referring, but I am wholeheartedly in agreement with you on this issue. Sadly, venting is not limited to blogs — haven't we all worked with someone who never has a good thing to say about anything? If I were you, I would simply stop reading said blog.

    BTW, I am a teacher candidate and I'm thrilled to have found huffenglish! I've already benefited from reading the ideas you explore here. Keep it up, please!

  2. I understand your frustration, Dana. I think I actually unsubscribed from the blog you are talking about because of its negativity – either that one or another very similar. Such a shame when there are so many energetic, positive bloggers out there.

  3. Had your post been written back in December, I might have thought it was referring to me. I was certainly complaining — except I was worse, complaining about students and never about colleagues. I had to take my blog offline for six weeks and lose almost all my readership as a result so I could figure out what it is I was trying to do, both as a teacher and as a blogger. I made a vow with myself never to blog negatively about those close to me, even if they deserved it — and instead, confide in my spouse or my friends or colleagues. And it's made all the difference. I have no idea to whom you're referring — sadly there are too many possible options out there — but I hope they can take a lesson from me.

  4. Here's my spin on Robert's comment (above): To sow negativity guarantees a proliferation of negativity. There's enough negativity in the world-and in many classrooms–without teachers adding to it. I do not work at the perfect school and I certainly do not work with perfect students. But I can always find something positive to blog about. All I have to do is…do it!

  5. Forget the negativity and continue to spread your great ideas to others. Search out new bloggers, perhaps they can provide a fresh look? (hint, hint)

  6. Your post reminds me about some teachers I meet in real life, not just through the blog. If teachers are so miserable, then do something about it. Occasionally, we all need someone to vent to, but every day venting actually says more about us than it does the people we're steamed about.

    Last year, when I was having a more challenging time with my students, I still tried to frame things fairly. The bottom line was no matter how frustrated I was, I was only frustrated because I cared so much. Many things that happened, and still happen, I do not write about here… I'd rather follow your lead (Robert and CTG, too!).

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