To whom it may concern:
Kick butt. Take names. Write them somewhere in your mind. Write to them when you’re writing. See their reactions. Smirk. Repeat.
At first, you’ll just write because it feels good to get your thoughts out. You’ll participate in a few blog roundups, showcase your work, and talk to some of the more influential parties in your supposed domain of interest. You’ll link up with them and form a bond around improving pedagogy.
But then your foot will land awkwardly at some point, and that sprain will either mean one of two things: the injury heals and you’ll keep walking as you did prior, or you have to change your walk so it won’t hurt anymore.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll sprain so hard that you change to the latter. You’ll see the potential to use your platform for speaking up and out about issues that exist outside the classroom, where so many of the issues you deal with currently reside. You’ll try to stay above the frey, but you’ll know your talents waste no time in telling you where to speak, how to speak, what to speak.
Once you have that, you’ll find what will get you banned from your own school district’s computer system.
Getting people riled up about your writing in your domain has less to do with recycling the same verbiage we hear on either side of the debate, and more to do with actually speaking a truth that borders on fire-able. The style and the substance. Where others “speak truth” in a way that lets him subsist under the umbrella of often happy-go-lucky central offices of the central school offices, the Hey-I’ll-support-you-but-really-snitch-on-you-to-my-benefit districts / networks (at least from what I’ve heard), and the plethora of other people that put teachers varying degrees from the chancellor / superintendent, the truth you ought to speak gets directly at the murky sewage that can’t get brushed over with infographics and technical jargon.
It’s less about getting people to say “It’s true” and more to get them to say, “Wow.” It’s the difference between good and remarkable, if you will.
It might scare you at first. Having a certain level of honesty means you won’t be a hit with the ed-techers and social media noteables, but it’ll get you a niche of folks who pass the word along, print out your posts, subscribe to your blog, and, yes, even use word of mouth. You’ll laugh when representatives from the very district that blocks you now wants to use some of your posts in their teacher leader trainings. You’ll laugh.
You’ll check a computer in your school. You’re blocked. You’ll smile.
Get back to work. Let them read it at home. It’ll take a nation of millions to hold you back from writing.
Jose, who thanks the reader who inspired this …