Yesterday, my Google Image results showed up in my classroom computer. Not that it’s uncommon, but more who made it show up. A few of my students looked me up online and thought it’d be cute to revise my photos for some reason.
Photo #1: Looking out towards the sky. Photo #2: Fresh in greyscale. Photo #3: Here’s lookin’ at you, kid. By the time I realized what was going on, 1/2 the glass was staring at my pearly whites, wondering how their teacher actually found his way to the top of the search results, and what was this double life he was leading. On the one end, here’s this mean teacher who only talks about math, has a smart mouth, and a mean scowl. On the other end, the same man’s out there with his own .com, his long-form poems, and a “girl” by his side in picture #4.
Naturally, I do the first thing that came instinctively: I shut down the monitor. No, really. I said, OK, time’s up people. For one, I was annoyed that these gentlemen, all of whom merit an 85+ grade in my class, were focused on something else besides their quarter project. But more than that, maybe it’s my recalcitrant attitude towards my kids finding out that I have this whole ‘nother online personality.
And I took care to introduce them to my “Mr. V” entity. I have an account on AIM, GMail, and MySpace specifically dedicated to most of the inquisitors. Alas, that was not enough. People still got inquisitive.
Teachers in my building have this thing on their RSS feeds. Administrators skim over it to see if I’m alluding to them (I’m not). NYC Department of Education has my site blocked indefinitely.
And isn’t that kinda what I wanted all along anyways? To be ubiquitous and everpresent, particularly for my writing purposes? Isn’t that what’s given me all these opportunities I hold so dear to me? The reason why I’m able to positively influence the lives of dozens (possibly more) past, present, and prospective teachers and so quickly? The platform to voice my opinion when every other section of my life is met with some form of censorship?
Well, looking back at the incident, I probably should have addressed it better. It’s not that I don’t want them to know about this side of me. It’s really freakin’ easy to do so. On the other hand, maybe I should have told them that blogging isn’t a crime. Freedom of expression is a treasure we often don’t take advantage of. Yet, as with anything we do, there is a time and place to do what we do.
And looking up your math teacher in the middle of school when you have a project to do? Nott appropriate.
Anywhere else? Who am I to tell you what to do outside of school? After all, it’s that very freedom that let me write this story to begin with …
Jose, who wishes his younger brother a happy birthday.