This evening my blog became a place of heated dialogue surrounding two of my posts, Politics and Education and The #140 Character Conference.

Interestingly, the dialogue is less about my post and more a dialogue amongst commenters. It started as a dialogue between myself and a frequent commenter on blog and turned into an all out comment war.

I hate war.

The commenter often presents a view that is contrary to my posts. I appreciate his comments because he doesn’t always agree with me, and I like to see things from as many angles as possible. However, his latest comment was full of extreme language and statements.  I felt the need to respond strongly.  His response was a repeat of the extreme language and tone with many references to education and business and pop culture with an underlying distrust for all educators and education itself.

I replied, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree :)” I felt that going back and forth with him would waste both of our time since it was obvious (especially after reading his blog) that we would not find much to agree on in general.  I am not a fan of arguments for the sake of arguments, and blog comments are not the best forum for deep and meaningful discussion when two people disagree so much. We can’t read each others’ body language or facial expression, or most importantly, tone of voice.

Then, my PLN got involved in the conversation. I learned so much from the dialogue that started there. But again, I didn’t learn more about my viewpoint on the posts, but rather my viewpoint on dialogue itself.

I love dialogue in my blog comments. I have often been forced to look at things differently based on comments left on my posts. Just recently, on my post, Fitting Creativity into Assessment, my friend Chad Sansing pushed me to rethink my definition of creativity, and my friend Gerald Aungst reminded me that I am lucky to live in a country where politics can be discussed freely in his comment on my Politics and Education post. As I stated in this post, “If no one ever challenges my ideas, how will I know what I truly believe?”

As a result of the dialogue that occurred tonight, I decided to come up with a list of blog commenting tips.

When commenting on a blog, DO

  • Use your name. Anonymous comments are meaningless and are often a way for someone to say something they would never say face to face while hiding their identity
  • Read the post carefully and respond ONLY to the post itself. Adding additional arguments to your comment that are unrelated don’t help create dialogue.
  • Refrain from using extreme language that can detract people from the point you are trying to make.
  • Re-read your comment to check for spelling errors or statements that could be misconstrued or are vague.
  • Use good manners. Pretend you are speaking to the post author or fellow commenter face to face and act accordingly.
  • Know when to let it go. Don’t get caught up in back and forth arguments and know when to end it when you become uncomfortable or the conversation goes in a direction that strays from the topic at hand.

One of the most amazing things about blogs is that anyone can read them and anyone can comment.  You are opening up yourself to the world, so you must prepared for what it has to offer.  At the same time, as digital citizens, we must remember that we need to maintain professionalism in the online world just as we would face to face.

In addition, we need to model for our students and other young people (and sometimes adults) how to comment appropriately and construct a meaningful dialogue.

I want to thank all of you who have left comments on this blog for your encouragement, for challenging my ideas, for asking good questions to help me build my own knowledge and understanding of teaching, learning and life.

I want to personally thank Paul Bogush for his level-headed advice and for reinforcing the importance of accepting all opinions, even if we don’t agree with them.

I also want to thank Wm Chamberlain for inspiring me to write this post.

And of course, feel free to comment!

38 Thoughts on “Encouraging Dialogue”

  • Well said, Mary Beth – this is a such a clear and helpful post. It calls for a commitment to reason and civil discourse and demonstrated the same. Many thanks!

    I often think about commenting the same way I think about giving any kind of feedback to students or colleagues – it's often best to engage with just one idea at a time and to be clear, honest, and open in conversation about it.

    All the best,
    C

  • Nice post. 🙂

    There is nothing wrong with arguments, as long as the people going back and forth are aiming for the same goal and putting forth different and plausible ways of getting there. But arguing with a brick wall that isn't trying to solve anything will leave both parties with headaches and hours lost.

    I'm not sure what taught me this so clearly- either my Mom or being an avid message board reader/contributor for 10 or so years. It was probably my Mom- she's the definition of nonsensical brick wall (but I love er). 😛

    Keep on keepin' on. We're gonna solve all this stuff.

  • Blogs can be great tools to promote thinking…and make one wonder if they are used for dialog, and not for debate. At the core of a "good" comment, is one that leaves the author of the blog feeling as though their views are valued, and one that intends to widen and continue the dialog.

    I do wonder however, if educators who are so often "keeping the peace" in their class, bring that attitude to their blogs.

    I have seen many people tweet out "please help–look at this crazy comment on my blog!" But I have never seen someone tweet out "please help—every comment on my post agrees with me, someone offer an opposing point of view!!"

  • I am lucky that the majority of the time there is at least one comment that challenges me. Great idea for next time there are too many in agreement!

  • Mary Beth, congratulations you are a model for your students and other adults. You articulate your thoughts clearly and effectively with the written word. Always enjoy reading your blogs.

  • marybeth: I see, you condemn me for "extreme language" which in itself is very vague and arbitrary, and then you let one of your twitter pals lie about my teaching credentials. By keeping that offending post that basically threatened me, you have allowed that person to win. For that, you should be ashamed. You chose the wrong side in this issue, marybeth, I'm sorry.

    Tell Christopher for me that he can't read very well. I've been teaching for fifteen years.

    You may not like "war," but you'll passively-aggressively allow one of your friends to sabotage another person's record with lies.

    Your true character has been shown. Is it any wonder I have such a jaundiced view of certain aspects of your generation? These short films I've made in the past say it all:
    http://www.rightbrainpro.com/vf/Geek8.1mid.mov
    http://www.rightbrainpro.com/vf/genwhy3.mov

  • Mark,
    From your comments I am going to take a guess that you are in an older "generation" than MB. I did watch and enjoy your video. Where do you think your generation went wrong in raising later generations?

  • marybeth: I've been posting to message boards and even usenet for at least fifteen years, as long as I have been teaching. One thing I've learned is that threads stray. That's fact.

    MY comments aren't well researched? Hey, at least I'm not repeating the same talking points that are posted on most every other blog flogging Web 2.0. What wrong with getting my 2 cents in? That's the nature of internet communications!

    Just be honest, I assail the heart of where you and your little gang live and you aren't comfortable with it.

  • Paul: this whole sick consumerist/materialist obsession did start with many baby boomers and yes, they did pass it down to their kids. That's why I have to be a social critic, because everyone needs to be reminded of the damage that has been done in the last 50 or so years.

  • I do wonder how much the insertion of tech into education is connected to the consumerist/materialist obsession? Not necessarily the corporate push as you mentioned, but a push by certain teachers who have the obsession to buy all of the newest toys. I think the outliers who make these pushes do it for the right reasons and insert the tech in a useful way, but by the time it trickles down to the masses it is just used to reinforce traditional lessons. So is this consumerist/materialist obsession just a replacement of a previous value or the same value with more expensive toys? or it is unique to the generation?

  • Mark, you bring a lot of passion to the discussion. I hope I can hear your message accurately through it.

    While we've not yet achieved a lasting peace independent of war, I hope we aspire to have peace without war and that we act on that aspiration.

    Mark, is it frustrating to be so fatalistic about war, but still rail against a radically consumerist society? I think of human commodity-based reasons for war and its fetishization of weapons and violence. I can't reconcile accepting war, but not the society it engenders. How many people over time have accepted war? Certainly the consumerist/materialist obsession started long ago and isn't just a symptom of modernity, though mass media may have augmented its lure and reach. It's tremendously difficult to imagine a generation globally opposed to war; regardless, it's what we should work for and model in our schools and discourse.

    Mark, how would you like this conversation to shift away from blame and towards real possibilities for lasting changes for peace and learning for our students?

    All the best,
    Chad

  • Mark, I think we've made some progress in the past few generations, as well. For example, by and large, as a country we no longer support the legal commodification of other human beings.

    However, if there is nothing you can see that heartens you in recent history, how should schools operate to give us hope for the future? What countries have education right, right now? To whom should we look for forward progress?

    All the best,
    Chad

  • Mary Beth,

    You have a technology issue mixed with some potentially unreasonable expectations.

    The Reply Button issue.

    It's great to have a Reply button because it makes your comment section less disjointed and more naturally flowing. However, when a commenter hits the Reply Button, they are no longer commenting on your initial post, but rather the comment that preceded it. And the more times the Reply button is used, the further the conversation gets away from the initial post.

    Now, this isn't a bad thing. If you get the right people hitting that Reply Button, great things can happen. But in the wrong hands, ill desired outcomes can occur (as you have pointed out).

    You might want to reexamine your expectations. You said:

    "One of the most amazing things about blogs is that anyone can read them and anyone can comment. You are opening up yourself to the world, so you must prepared for what it has to offer. At the same time, as digital citizens, we must remember that we need to maintain professionalism in the online world just as we would face to face."

    Can you assume that your definition of professionalism is the same as everyone else's? Should you expect that type of professionalism when you are dealing with the entirety of the web?

    I don't think asking people to be professional is unreasonable. However, it might be an unreasonable to expect total professionalism from strangers (It's hard enough expecting professionalism from your colleagues).

    The Reply Button can give you some wonderful and awful results. I don't think you should get rid of the Reply Button. But expecting commenters to police themselves could be too much to ask.

    A suggestion to fix the issues:

    Set up rules with your blog. The "Do" list was a great start. But, much like your classroom, you need to enforce the rules. There probably need to be clearly defined consequences for clearly defined transgressions (as you see them of course). By doing this, you won't let the comment section run wild, nor will you have to act as the "Hand of God" and start deleting rouge comments for undetermined reasons.

    I know this is a bit harsh and cynical, but expecting the utmost professionalism from complete strangers is too much to ask. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm probably not.

    Mike

  • Is gossiping about another poster on twitter an example of civil discourse? Just wondering.

    @InnovativeEdu holy canoli. That guy (Mark) used THE SAME exact lingo in his comments on my blog

    @jonbecker didn't I learn my lesson the hard way! Is he giving @InnovativeEdu a hard time, too? about 6 hours ago via HootSuite in reply to jonbecker

    @mbteach yeah, Mark's a piece of work. Sadly has a similar mentality to my dad. Only reply to anonymouses if I see a teaching point about 3 hours ago via web from Harlem, New York in reply to mbteach

  • Mike,

    Maybe I am being unrealistic in expecting professionalism from all comments. The Internet is a huge place! I guess perhaps I am being idealistic that everyone will follow certain etiquette online. I teach it to my students because I hope they will grow up to practice good 'netiquette,' but obviously there are so many forums and discussions online where these online 'manners' are not modeled for them.

    I don't feel the need to set up rules for my blog, as that hinders open discourse. My tips are what they are. Tips. They are guidelines for promoting civil discourse. Whether people use them or not (or even see their purpose at all) is up to the individual.

    You also make a good point that the more the "reply" button is pushed, the farther the discussion gets away from the original point.

    I don't think your comments were harsh or critical. Thank you for your honesty.

    It is my own fault for letting the comments run wild. I now have learned not to engage and to moderate my own commenters if need be so. I don't ever delete comments or play "Hand of God," mostly because I haven't ever needed to.

    I guess I am a bit idealistic, but I don't think that unprofessionalism is the norm unless you are talking YouTube comments or discussion forums with thousands of threads and a non-academic topic.

  • Mary Beth,

    Nice post. I – like you – have been on the Internet and blogs long enough to know that there's a certain protocol that should be used in order to avoid comment/flame wars. Many of the members of my PLN push the limits of that rule, as I find a lot of comments a little edgier than what I'd personally write. I try to find a nice, gentle way to get my point across even if I have nothing nice to say. But obviously everyone is an individual and has different thresholds for possible confrontation.

    As for our forefathers and the legacy that's made us the way it has? I'm not sure. One of the dozen posts that I've got half written (literally!) bemoans the Wal-Martification of our country… how everything has become quantity over quality.

  • As for the topic of war and survival… you can understand where I am coming from with this one single statement … I unilaterally and unconditionally support the State of Israel's right to exist and to defend herself when attacked.

    if not for the freedom that results from victory, I would not be here because half my family would be dead and forgotten somewhere in Europe.

    As for education, I represent the perfect model because I work hard, embody traditional values, have a solid and faithful family life, and live quietly and uneventfully. I don't smoke or drink and I love my country unconditionally. I rarely go anywhere without my family with me. I was raised in an immigrant home that fled Europe after WW2 and I was taught certain values that are considered by many to now be unfashionable. But you see, good values are forever, not subject to changing whims or personal desires. We were also taught to value what little we had and not to live beyond our means. You see, this is now the problem in America. People lost the idea of living within their means and as a result, the world is sinking in debt. This impacts everything we do, even education.

    So when I hear Generation X/Y/Z people prattle on about their expensive gadgets that they really don't need and their attempt to remake the next generation in their twisted image, I shudder in horror and dismay.

    This should explain my motivation. Those who think superficially think I argue for argument's sake.

  • Paul: I wrote this on my blog a few months ago. This is how I view that last thirty years of "progress."

    "Filling students’ laps with more expensive gadgetry won’t necessarily make them more responsible and better-educated citizens. I look at what the first computer-raised generation (born in the 70s) has produced via pop culture and I am not impressed by their contributions. With all that technology at their disposal they should have at least achieved and created more than all previous generations combined. No scientific genius on par with an Einstein or a Curie has yet to emerge from the computer generation. My apologies, that generation invented MySpace and YouTube, how could I forget that. (sarcasm) No one from that generation has made a film as great as Citizen Kane, or has written anything as good as a Hemingway or a Fitzgerald. Despite all the toys at that generation’s disposal to make them smarter and greater, most people would acknowledge that the greatest generation in America is still the one that fought through World War Two before TV or computers ever existed 65 years ago. They were able to make it through on less, which is sadly, a mentality lost to most Americans while their nation now sits on the brink of complete financial ruin."

  • "as a country we no longer support the legal commodification of other human beings."

    Yet, 150 years after the fact, some of our fellow citizens still believe they are owed monetary reparations because of it.

    "how should schools operate to give us hope for the future?"

    Avoid corporate America's influence, reject pop culture's influence, reject political influences on education. and stop the mentality that spending more money solves problems. Allow people to opt out of their public school system with vouchers. Remake the at-risk urban culture to demand greater accountability and personal responsibility from its members who degrade it. Pay teachers higher salaries and encourage the states to pass a law requiring even private school teachers to be state certified in order to teach. Bring back mandatory 2 year military enlistments for males and females upon their high school graduation. Eliminate the US tax code and have a flat tax. Impose term limits for politicians. Pass a law requiring a balanced budget.

    I could go on but I think you get the idea. A stronger and less fat America will result from more stringent requirements from EVERYONE.

  • Mary Beth,

    Let me say, I do admire your ability to be idealistic and zen-like. I know it takes a lot not lulled into a quagmire of an argument, especially on your own blog. And I wish you luck with it. You will certainly need it.

    I'd like to throw out a movie quote in case you ever decide to be more combative (not that I think you would, I just like throwing movie quotes around).

    Nick Naylor is an arguing genius.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427944/quotes?qt0418

  • Mark, it's clear you have strong beliefs. The time you take to express them is indicative of your desire to say something. Part of my love for my country is that it allows me the freedom to consider so many viewpoints and beliefs related to, as well as apart from, my own. Thanks for sharing your ideas and ideals. They are clear in this comment.

    Though I straddle generations X and Y, I find myself nevertheless drawn to the ideas of the progressive educators of the 20s and 30s. What's your take on their ideals?

    I hope it's not an over-generalization to say that many people in my generation share the beliefs I also hold about the dignity of human life, the importance of family and community, and the inherent worth in building things ourselves – as in the DIY, maker, and open-education cultures. I hope that you will consider looking for allies across the generations, and that perhaps you will find the world in slightly better shape than you fear.

    I will try not to prattle on about my blogging gadgets, but I'm glad they brought me to this conversation. I hope I can help my students employ them meaningfully in learning how to exercise their freedoms and responsibilities equally and for the benefit of their families and communities, as well as for themselves.

    Continued best wishes,
    Chad

  • Mark, isn't it also true that America enjoyed newfound prosperity after World War II and the country's emergence from the Great Depression, around which great art was made? I hope that we fare as well after our contemporary struggles. I hope also that we continue to aspire to make great things; I'm sure my grandfathers would want me to educate my students forward to their great art and discoveries, even as we remember and hold dear past sacrifices in leaving homelands and fighting war.

    Best regards,
    Chad

  • Mark, I support school choice and resist invasive private influence over our lives and education. We can certainly find innovative and efficient ways to teach and to learn and to run schools, and these times insist that we do. It's painful to see students and teachers hurt by the economic downturn, as it is to see anyone hurt thusly. I hope that as we recover we'll keep in mind the lessons we learn from austerity without unduly withholding resources from children.

    I'm a bit more open to finding ways to get good teachers into the classrooms for our students. Are there any alternative certification models you'd endorse? I worry a bit that any group – ed schools, the federal government, TFA – might hold a monopoly on classroom teaching and specific practices. As a supporter of voucher programs, do you think teachers should be able to opt-out of state tests if they can be otherwise validly credentialed?

    Are there any any specific ways you'd suggest schools remake curriculum, instruction, assessment, and/or staffing and scheduling to make America stronger? The draft and our tax laws seem outside the purview of education.

    Best regards,
    Chad

  • Chad– you'll have to read my blog. I've already addressed this subject there. I don't think we have to remake anything. That's a myth pushed by oddballs like Pink and Sir Ken in order sell books and get booked on Ellen or Oprah.

    It's very simple, stick to standards based instruction, multiple assessments, and hire better teachers. Luckily, I live in a state like PA where the training and testing standards to become a certified teacher are very stringent.

  • Thank you, Chad, for modeling civil discourse than I apparently ever could. I have enjoyed reading the dialogue going on here.

  • Mark, these are my last words to you, as I have realized that I should have stayed with my original "agree to disagree" stand since you seem to have an agenda to push and do not seem interested in considering opinions aside from your own. This was the reasoning behind one of the tweets you posted here.

    As for my Twitter pal, I have NO idea who posted that horrendous and shameful comment to you. I guess you didn't notice my comment to them to refrain from making those kinds of posts on my blog. They must have taken it down because they beat me to it.

    As for Christopher, I'm not sure who you are referring to.

    As for the tweet in which I referenced you, I was merely noting how similar your comments were on both blog posts. You continuously refer to the iPad as an "iFad" (not a good practice if you want your argument to be taken seriously) and you refer, almost verbatim, to your parenting, your life story and your views on technology. That is not to say that I condemn any of these–I think they show your passion and help give a backdrop to your values and ideals, but it was just something I noticed and chose to make a remark about it to a friend. Nothing I wouldn't say to you face to face.

    As for the third tweet, you quoted something that a colleague said to me, not something that I said myself. I don't condone calling people names on Twitter in that fashion, which is why I didn't respond to the tweet.

    As for the generational gap issue, I have the utmost respect for those older than myself. Many of my colleagues and friends are 10-15 years older than I am and some are old enough to be my parent. I find that they offer a perspective that may be missing when I engage with people my own age, whether I like what they have to say or not.

    It seems you are trying to incite people with your comments. Especially since you used the term "assail" in one of your earlier comments. I am not as shocked, amazed or thrown off guard by your views as you may think. I have heard similar views many times, often while sitting at the dinner table in my own family's house. We often butt heads about war, politics, taxes, health care, etc…. but we respect each others' opinions and listen to each other carefully. Often, we agree to disagree.

    I'm sorry that things went this far. If you are as passionate as you are about your beliefs, I suggest you let others in and not shut them out. I appreciate that you have taken the time to read my blog and I find your perspective valuable. It is not in my nature, however, to go back and forth with someone and have the argument seem to go nowhere. If you can refrain from taking a 'know it all' tone and concede that you can see an issue from someone else's point of view, I think you will find that people will be more willing to engage you in a less confrontational way.

    I wish you the best, and really do appreciate the dialogue that has occurred over the last 24 hours.

  • Christopher Simpson, or "tophersimpson" on twitter, Here is the tweet from last night.

    "@mbteach he certainly has some strong opinions (conspiracy theories?). And a bit pompous (w/degree after his name)? GL!"

  • Christopher Simpson, or "tophersimpson" on twitter, Here is the tweet from last night.

    "@mbteach he certainly has some strong opinions (conspiracy theories?). And a bit pompous (w/degree after his name)? GL!"
    .

  • "since you seem to have an agenda to push"

    And you and Lisa Nielsen, Jeff Pulver, et al, do not? Please! At least have the courtesy to be honest about what you do!

  • Mark, thank you for suggesting I read your blog. I have already read several posts, though, and ask my questions here to help continue our conversation in-context with the rest of the post and the comments around ours. I would be happy to visit and comment there, as well, but would ask that you commit to conversing with me in a less hostile tone than you have used here with some of our colleagues. I have worked hard over my career to develop beliefs and practices that I think are right for kids; I don't represent others' opinions as my own; I am not part of a clique or "little gang," though of course I value and reference the work of diverse educators.

    To continue our conversation here or on your blog, however, I must ask you for a commitment to refrain from the ad hominem attacks to which you have been subjected and to which you have subjected others. We can question one another fairly to get through straw-man attacks, but I refuse to participate in a personal back-and-forth between adults when kids and their education should be the focus of conversation. I am not afraid of your ideas, Mark, which compete with, but cannot assail, my heart or my own professionally-held beliefs. I hope you don't feel that my ideas assail you. I certainly apologize if that is the impression you have. We certainly disagree on many things, but I don't mean to offend you personally in any way. I would gladly talk with you more about education if we can hold one another accountable for modeling what I imagine are shared values about dignity and respect.

    Deal?

    My questions regarding your comment:

    We've been obsessing over standards, tests, and teachers in pop media since at least 1983. Will more of the same every effect the changes you want to see in school? Do we have the right standards? Do we have enough of them? What do you think about the common core standards? Should we be testing students more? Using different tests? How should we be more stringently certifying teachers? Do you support programs like TFA with its emphasis on classroom management and test-instruction? Are programs like TFA better than degree-granting ed schools, which typically teach more philosophy than TFA? Do you have particular undergrad, MS, MaEd, MaT, EdD, or PhD programs in mind that offer the level of stringency you support in teacher certification?

    More generally, how should we convince kids we care about them and our shared future without denigrating their lives, parents, or communities? If we ignore Pink and Robinson and refuse to accept their views of motivation, how do we move kids ahead into better stewardship of their educations and our country? To whom should we listen? What should we read? How should we teach?

    If you've written about these topics elsewhere and would like me to read and respond to your thoughts there, please provide links and let me know if we have reached an agreement on how to talk with one another.

    Thanks, Mark –

    Best regards,
    Chad

  • Chad:

    "To whom should we listen? What should we read? How should we teach?"

    Your mind and intuition are your guides. This is not a big mystery. When I have a problem to solve I investigate solutions on my own, try them out, and see what happens.

    I think TFA is doing a disservice to kids. It's means to produce ready-made "fresh meat" to be thrown into at-risk environments in the vague hope that something will be accomplished. It's to me like a lot of progressive solutions to problems… a boondoggle.

    My state, Pennsylvania, has excellent academic standards for K-12 public education. They are devised via scientifically based research.

    Chad, my style of message board interaction on the internet is vastly different to what I call "real life" interaction. I don't consider the internet "real life" because it's far too abstract. I don't "see" or "hear" people. I see characters on a screen. This is because I did not start on the internet until age 36. By that time, all my social behaviors were already formed and ingrained. Hence, I am a bit more forward and direct since I can't see or hear people. I require a more concrete connection with people to make truly meaningful and ordinary contact.

    I hope that explains some things. My blog is here:
    http://marksrightbrain.wordpress.com

    I encourage you to check out some exchanges with Mike O'Hara on the entry "What Price Innovation?" I think my motives are very adequately explained in that one, especially whom I identify with and how I view the world and my chosen profession.

    I see teaching as an almost sacred calling. I consider corporate America's intrusion into the education profession a kind of unholy alliance with evil forces.

  • Thank you, Mark. I believe in problem-solving and intuition, as well, and being flexibility to find new solutions within the useful constraints of what we know about learning in its diversity, child development, and different kinds of motivation. I hope public education can find a way to harness the intuition of innovative teachers and students for the benefit of all.

    I continue to wonder, now and again, how you think about reconciling some of your statements – for example, I wholly support your stance an educational scientist & problem-solver. How do set standards based on "scientifically-based research" help you there? Do you believe that strongly in PA's standards, or would you ever slight a standard to engage a kid with something else in order to master a skill over content? Does PA update its standards as flexibly as you problem-solve?

    I hear your criticism of TFA, but disagree that it's progressive. It seems to me an accelerated program in traditional teaching. Progressive would be community involvement, not community escape. What's your ideal for teacher training?

    In closing, for now, I whole-heartedly encourage you to try some other Web 2.0 tools like Skype that will give you that personal connection with the educators you encounter online. I really like the opportunity afforded me by blogs and Twitter to get to know other people who support kids, but I'm sympathetic to your point about having different ways of relating to people online and F2F. Skype might help you bring your F2F communication talents to bear in lengthier and more substantive conversations than those on other forms of social media. I believe we can all find ways to relate to one another that advance our work for kids. Comments and tweets don't need to be the end of our professional relationships; they can be gateways to meeting new people through technology in person.

    If our shared work is sacred, surely we can risk kindness and be forgiven for it.

    Thank you again for the link and invitation to your blog.

    All the best,
    Chad

  • You're right, let's encourage dialogue. Let's talk about the professional appropriateness of what many Gen X/Y teachers consider to be professional attire for the classroom. Let's talk about teachers wearing prominent body tattoos. I'm not talking about tiny little stars or moons that are hidden, but open tattoos that make one look like they're in some biker gang.

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