I am writing this blog in response to Mel Hamanda’s blog Sharing Our Failures and @Sportacus’s response Sharing Our Failures #1. First, I must say that I find it ironic that the rest of the world is criticizing social media for the abundance of negative comments and we in the PE world are concerned about being too positive! What a great problem to have!
Honestly…. I love the positive vibe I get from the dedicated professionals that I have connected with on Twitter. Before Twitter, I felt like I was alone on an island. I was passionate about what PE should look like and only knew a handful of educators in real life who shared my passion.
The truth be told, in my own district, I don’t share very much with my colleagues out of fear of what they will think of me. Twitter and Voxer has saved me professionally. I suppose I am a lot like my students, say something positive to me and I’ll work harder. Had my initial foray into cyber socializing been filled with criticism, I would not have continued to participate in the forum; never mind aspire to create new platforms for professional development. The back slapping “favorites” and “retweets” make me and others like me feel safe to share.
However, just like in teaching, when a valued friend gives me constructive criticism, delivered in a professional manner I am similarly motivated. In Sharing Our Failures , Mel asks the question, “How do we go about critiquing work or offering suggestions when we don’t know the person that is sharing?” My answer: I believe we need to be very careful with the written word. It is very difficult to understand what a person is saying when you can’t hear their intonation or see their body language. Personally, I don’t think I would give negative feedback to a social networking colleague until they became part of my PLN. Even then, I would probably Direct Message or Side Vox to do so.
With that said, I have been a Tweeter for over three years now and feel like Social Media is my oasis. A place that I feel happy to have visited and rejuvenated once I have left. I also feel that the people I connect with can help me with my failings. So here goes….
While I am sure that I have failings in the classroom, my biggest failing is outside the gym. At conferences, staff developments, on social media and in my own building, I am confident and prepared to advocate for my profession, but outside of my school and my program when confronted by a parent, an acquaintance, and even with other colleagues, I become insecure and rambling when standing up for my profession. Here are some of the statements I have come up against and wish I had done a better job answering:
1. My son is a football player; he should get a 100 in PE. He only got a 90 because he doesn’t put any effort in. (Not my student)
2. High school students shouldn’t have to take PE.
3. Students that play sports shouldn’t have to take PE.
4. If my child is trying their best, they should get good grade.
Please, help me by posting answers to these questions and any other similar experiences you may have had.
Finally, thank you all for your support and virtual friendship.