Monday, August 06, 2007

It Takes Patience

I’ve been doing this blog thing since last January and have created about 8 blogs over that period of time. For the most part, I’ve been discouraged over the lack of response, though I’ve come to realize that it isn’t always easy to sign on to this site or to post a response. I have to exit my aol account and go to Explorer to log on. It certainly is not as easy as replying to an email. Many don’t even realize that I’ve made a post, though it is possible through Feedblitz to sign up for an email announcing any positing. It takes about 24 hours to get this email so patience is necessary. I even found the most recent notice in my spam folder this morning. Yikes!

Anyway, every so often, I look to see if anyone has commented on the latest blog and usually no one has. I stop checking soon. My only hope is that even though the responses are very few, perhaps they have struck a chord with some silent readers, propelling them into some action.

This morning, as I procrastinated with some papers and watched outside for the promised rain to bring life to my parched flowers, I reviewed past comments and I found that long ago posts have received some thoughtful responses that I hadn’t seen before. Louann had written a prompt response to the leadership issue in January but then Vincent responded in July, telling the story of his growth and subsequent work as a literacy leader. I liked the way he admitted that his initial vision of what a literacy leader would do at the high school level was very vague but, with the help of his principal, he persisted. Often we don’t know exactly where the road will take us but we go ahead, as Tom Romano says about writing, with faith and fearlessness.” Leaders need to be bold, even when they don’t have all of the answers. Often we figure things out as we go.

The first blog on the topic of complaints of teachers being paid well for “part time work” had five comments and most of them came early. I have remembered Louann’s quote of Jeff Golub who said, “Teaching is a twelve month job squeezed into nine months.” Nellie in hartland, Corey Joyce, and Joan had good stories of “comebacks” for Emil’s statement.

Nobody responded (yet) to the blog on personal response to literature (probably too broad a topic and the answers are obvious) but four responded to the blog on tipping points. Dave Arbogast, you touched me with the passion and empathy you showed about not getting responses to your work and still being understanding of the problems teachers face with all they have to do. It’s good to hear that you are willing to persist. I’m wondering now if I should have responded immediately. I can’t get straight if a blog is a column, an email, or a chat session…or something else. Marby, two weeks later, sympathized with Dave about how teachers are overwhelmed and Michele, two months later, agreed with Marby but suggested encouraging others to participate so that a critical mass can be created. Anonymous two weeks later suggested looking for positive places to establish tipping points, rather than dwell on the negatives.

There were two poignant responses by anonymous writers on school lockdowns. The first looked at the term and suggested that if we treat students like prisoners, we shouldn’t be surprised that they behave like prisoners. The other recalls being startled by the sight of a sawed off shot gun carried by a small boy in an elementary school. The question is, Where did we go wrong to allow this environment to exist?

The most recent post has no responses and maybe never will. I was feeling a little angry or something as I wrote this and I don’t know if it has a point so much as it seems to be complaining, or whining, really. We’ll see.

What I have discovered is that I never know who is listening in and what kind of response might follow, even months later. I’ve learned in a small way to be patient. In the meantime, thanks to all of you who have responded. It is at least for the ten or so respondents that I plug away…and have patience.

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