In my WordPress reader show up a few blogs I decided I should follow as an “educator.” But I read the titles, phrased to grab classroom teachers, and I just sigh and pass ’em by, looking for something more. Too many how to do this and that, how to capture attention, how to motivate, organize, plan, all for a teaching/learning environment that’s institutional, unnatural, supposedly the best we can do on a budget. It’s a wonder beautiful things happen there at all. But they do. That’s what I want to read about–the “in spite of” stories.Know any good subversive teacher, underground student-on-the-inside, Substitute Diaries blogs?
I tried reading blogs about shared interests, starting with the ones whose authors liked this blog (hello there), some blogs like my own, about life, family, homeschooling, gardening. I appreciate the effort it takes to write those, and how sweet it is to be liked and followed, especially at the beginning. But I simply don’t have the time to mess around with the variety of offerings. Which makes me a hypocrite I suppose. I want followers, check my stats, wonder if I should focus on the most searched or liked topics, if I should post more often to keep the readers checking in. But that’s a dead end for me now (and you too might appreciate less than daily posts, as I do in most cases). I hope my son, who has started writing on FanFiction, will discover the same after the initial thrill of counting views and rushing back to add another chapter or two every spare moment. He needs to remember to live, I tell him, and let readers wait so they can get a life, too.
In choosing what to read (besides the usual need-to-know stuff) I look to be moved, changed, fortified, challenged, given hope and a truer understanding of true and more beautiful idea of beauty. I scroll to the latest post by a writer I know, a teacher at the local middle school, who’s real, who’s articulate, master of metaphor, and whose writing ranges across worlds, words vibrating with meaning, and so much grace and love for his students, family, friends, heroes. Every post is just, just lovely, and yet I just can’t click “Like” any more (after the first few times). “Like”? So inadequate, and not a very meaningful response to writing at that level. Don’t want to barrage with positive comments, either, or try to show I understand (lots of times I don’t) and relate. So this my way of honoring that writer. It’s a privilege to read his thoughts, and know he’s a real live person, a gentleman and a scholar, with a picture on the school office wall, and a lot of other fans here in this town and beyond for the life he lays down every day.