Hypocritical Blogger

There’s not much I won’t talk about on the blog.

It’s my outlet, my therapy, my little world.

I feel comfortable sharing personal struggles and joys with you.

Even knowing that I can’t really know everyone who is reading this: I still feel okay “spilling it all.”

But when I found out that my son would be having a different teacher than the one we expected at school this year, I was very relieved that he would not be in the class of that teacher who blogs. Hypocritical blogger, much?

Nope, didn’t want him to have her.

Because what if she blogs about him?

I know I blog about him, but I’m his mom.

I love him.

But I know he’s not the easiest student out there.

And he could drive a teacher to blog about the frustration of dealing with him.

Hell, I’ve blogged about some of my more frustrating days with him.

But somehow, it would be different, coming from someone else, someone who doesn’t really know him, someone who doesn’t love him.

This teacher doesn’t exactly advertise her blog to parents but it’s also not impossible to find. I happened upon it while doing a search for a specific blogging niche.

I could see myself being a blog stalker: did she write about him today? Is that vague mention of a really rough day because of my son?

Or maybe I’d have to snottily tell her “I read your blog” so she’d know not to mention him.

But then wouldn’t that take away her safe space to spill whatever she needs to spill? That’s not really fair.

And who knows? Maybe his current teacher has a blog, too, and I just don’t know about it. Perhaps I should go spend some quality google time looking…

For the record, I read a lot of blogs written by teachers. And I’ve never read any posts of theirs that made me think omg, they shouldn’t be blogging about other people’s kids like that! The majority are very professional when they talk about their students/jobs. No real reason to think this teacher is any different. Except that when it’s my own kids, rational thought tends to fly right out the window. 

Comments

  1. says

    I’m a teacher, and I only blog about really bad days in general…NEVER kids! You never know who’s reading, and, as a general rule…I dont’ blog about other people’s children (as a mom I get that). I do, however, think it’s the teacher’s perrogative if they want to blog. But…they should stay away from blogging about work. That’s just my opinion. I don’t blame you for wanting the “other” teacher. As a teacher myself, I’m much harder on my peers when my son has them in class. I expect the best!
    mrs. monica recently posted..A Wedding in HHIMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I definitely think it’s her right to have a blog, for sure. Just that mama worry of if something about my own child would end up on it. 

  2. says

    I have the whole rationale going out the window when it comes to my own kids too. I think we are supposed to. The only blog I ever read that I felt crossed a line was from an ABA therapist who was sharing a little too much about the families she worked with.
    Jessica recently posted..Hearts and rainbowsMy Profile

  3. says

    Hmmm. Now I guess I’d better start googling to see if my kids’ teachers have blogs….I’m all kinds of curious now! And yes, I can see why you would feel nervous about that. I don’t blog about my kids’ issues specifically because I think it should be their decision whether they want to be open about that sort of stuff online. And they’re not old enough to make that decision yet. So I definitely wouldn’t want someone else to make it for them.

    • Shell says

      I worry about that. I try to make sure that no one could ever google their names and find my blog for just that reason. 

  4. says

    I agree with you here. The rationale and reasonable goes out the window in reference to our own kids. While we, as bloggers, need our safe space to spew, and understand others need to do the same, we just don’t want it including the people we love. I can easily see that turning into something stalkerish quite easily, and so I’m relieved for you for this very reason. It’s hard enough to go by each day hoping your kid’s teacher likes them, is doing what’s best for them, etc.. but then to have the written word, however subtle right there in your face, it could potentially cause more emotions than necessary. 
    Jackie recently posted..Before Back to SchoolMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I know I’d read way too much into every sentence of her blog and worry. I’m glad that he’s not in her class.

    • Shell says

      I say it a lot- we have to tell our own stories, not someone else’s when we blog. Though I always include my family in “my own stories” b/c it’s really hard to separate them from me. ;) 

    • Shell says

      They do! Not realizing that anyone could read it. It’s something I’ve had to think about as well, though for different reasons.

  5. says

    I think, in this case, it’s totally fine to be hypocritical.  No one wants their child to be seen in a negative light (unless we’re the ones venting!).

    Now you have me wondering if any of Buddy’s former teachers (and current) blog.  ;-)
    Kmama recently posted..Fabulous Finds and Time-Saving TipsMy Profile

  6. says

    It never even occurred to me that my child’s teacher might blog. I would think active teachers blogging about school is walking a really REALLY fine line. As in, someone who talks about students might even jeopardize their job. Could it happen? Wouldn’t surprise me if a school had a policy against it. Or maybe the people in charge of schools are a little behind the times and haven’t yet addressed it with a policy. 

    Very interesting topic, Shell.
    Heather
    Heather recently posted..Molluscum ContagiosumMy Profile

    • Shell says

      There was someone who did lose her job over blogging about students, though that was a really extreme case. This teacher hasn’t given me any reason to think she would say anything not professional, but I’m still glad that it’s not an issue!

  7. says

    I don’t think it’s irrational at all of you.  One of the reasons why I rarely talk about my work on my blog is because I can’t do it in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize the families and kids I work with.  I would hate for them to stumble upon my blog and figure out “hey, she is talking about my kid.”.  It would be very unprofessional and against HIPPA regulations as well.  As much as I would love to vent or just tell silly stories, it’s a risk I’m not willing to take. 
    Mindi recently posted..How to Prepare for Your Child’s Speech Language EvaluationMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’ve have thought about what would happen if I went back to teaching. What I’d be able to blog about and what I wouldn’t. 

    • says

      Well said, Mindi. I worked in a doctor’s office at one point and had considered writing posts that I thought would be of interest, but not about individual patients. I always came to the same conclusion: I wasn’t sure I could write and keep complete anonymity for the practice, employees, and patients, so I never did. 
      HIPPA is a very strict law in regards to sharing information, and I certainly wouldn’t want to fall afoul of that.

      Shell-I understand your concern completely. I, too, would be leery of a teacher who blogs, even if it is a small, not well known blog. Will she slip and write something that I recognize as having to do with my child?

      I have had to deal with some teachers in the past who disagreed with my decision to pull my daughter from a class. They made great fun of me when I left the school, and I only learned about it because a family member who is a teacher was standing nearby, and they didn’t know about the connection.

      You are your child’s best advocate. Be firm, be fair, always keep an open mind. At the end of the day, however, you are the parent, so be strong and confident if you need to approach the teacher and/or school.
      Kim recently posted..Gratitude for body slams, injured knees and crutchesMy Profile

  8. says

    My kids are grown so this was something I didn’t have to deal with but …I ever went on a blog and found something disparaging about my child on a blog she’d regret it.

    In my opinion it would be very unprofessional for any teacher to put her classroom goings-on on a blog. Good or bad…

    If she needs share her teaching experience then she should do that in the teachers lounge. If she needs to vent about her kids she should write a journal or go to therapy which is the right venue.

    Not a blog.
    Jen recently posted..what’s been going onMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That’s my thoughts, too. This teacher has been nothing but professional as far as I have seen, but it’s that mama worry when it’s my own child. 

    • Shell says

      He isn’t in her class, though, thankfully. So I haven’t found a reason to tell her I have read it. 

  9. says

    It’s that old saying, “I can say what I want about my kids/husband/sister/brother/parent but anyone else does and it’s a problem.” I can vent about my kids but if anyone else says a negative word, the mama bear in me comes out fighting. I would feel the exact same way.
    AnnMarie recently posted..A Few Things I’m Looking Forward ToMy Profile

    • Shell says

      My mom said it as “I can kick my dog, but you can’t” which I thought was a really odd expression, but I get it. LOL

  10. says

    My daughter’s teacher from last year blogged….and I had to stop reading it. Because every post infuriated me (her tone was very much of that of I am the teacher, the expert…you little parents should listen and follow my advice).
    Elena recently posted..Fostering Confidence in Our KidsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Oh, that’s true. I think I would have a big long rant if that ever happened. I almost lost it when another blogger wrote about one of my kids. 

  11. says

    You are not being hypocritical. You are exercising your right as a mother. Put the shoe on the other foot. There are plenty of times, I know you’ve wanted to rant about one thing or another, but because it might cause drama or inflict hurt, because it involves others, you don’t do it. Hopefully, and I am emphasizing hopefully, this teacher has enough restraint to stay inside those same boundaries. 

    And if she doesn’t? You go right ahead and roar like a righteous Mama Bear. 
    joann mannix recently posted..Always Be MadonnaMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Very true. There are things that I would like to write about, but they aren’t my story to tell, so I refrain. 

      So nice to see you, girl!

  12. says

    There are teachers getting fired for things they say on their blogs so I don’t think it’s in any way irrational of you to want this one to not be your son’s teacher. She may very well be extremely professional and never speak ill about any child no matter how difficult but this is your child and you don’t want to take that chance.

    If it were me, I’d have probably reviewed the blog in-depth before considering requesting another teacher. If there were anything questionable, I’d ask. If nothing, tread lightly and keep an eye on the blog. Every mom (I’m not one but I still get it…somehow) has her own way of handling things when it comes to her children and I commend you for being an involved parent. Too many kids don’t have that unfortunately.

    • Shell says

      He was placed with a different teacher so it wasn’t an issue at all, thankfully. Though I think I would have had to make the teacher aware that I knew of it if he had been placed in her class. 

  13. says

    So interesting. I agree, and know how you feel.  I know that some teachers can’t friend people on Facebook so I imagine blogging would be walking a thin line, too unless they kept it so generic, or for educational purposes because as we know, teachers have great talents and ideas. 
    Leigh Powell Hines @Hinessightblog recently posted..Myrtle Beach DaysMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I was thinking about fb and how things have changed since I was teaching. It’s been close to 8 years now so social media has completely evolved. Not all parents even had email back then. 

  14. says

    While I blog about myself and my family, I agree that’s it’s just not ok for anyone else to do so unless they specifically ask me first. I don’t blame you for feeling this way. I found out our pediatrician has a blog. But thankfully I haven’t seen anything about us or other patients. If I did, I’d leave the practice.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..Last Minute Crafts: Color Matching GameMy Profile

    • Shell says

      We should all just tell our own stories, since those are what we know: ourselves and our close family. That would be interesting to see our doctor’s blog! Though with them, they are so aware of confidentiality rules that they’d be overly cautious, I’d think.

  15. says

    I don’t think teachers should blog about their students anymore than they should share photos of their students on their Facebook pages. It’s not appropriate and doesn’t do anything to serve the school. I know some schools have teacher blogs on their websites and that’s fine. It’s an easy way of sharing a lot of information with a lot of people at the same time. But their students should definitely not be on their personal blogs.
    brianna recently posted..book: a bride opens shop in el dorado, californiaMy Profile

    • Shell says

      The teacher blogs like that are just fine- and for those, there’s usually a release the parents have to sign for any pictures to go up on those pages. 

      Most of the other teacher blogs that I read are great- they share classroom ideas and just general life stories. Nothing wrong with that! :) 

      • says

        Just one more point to add and no more comments, I promise, lol. Teachers do not have the right or the authority to post a picture of a student. Each year, parents have to sign a waiver authorizing their child to be photographed and/or filmed by the District; however, that is for the District’s use only…as in the District website, or school’s website. That does NOT give the teacher permission to use photos, without a parent/guardian’s written consent.

  16. says

    I don’t think you’re a hypocrite, but I do hope you wouldn’t have to worry about such unprofessionalism even if Bear HAD gotten that teacher. I’m all for anyone and everyone having a blog, teachers included. Hell, it’s cheap therapy so I wholeheartedly encourage it. But IMO, teachers shouldn’t be blogging about their kids period – good or bad.

    I’m all for freedom of speech, but blogging about one’s job in any profession is a slippery slope. Not only it is unprofessional, it can be downright risky and even detrimental (see: Dooce). This is especially true for teachers because they are entrusted with the care of other people’s children. 

    For me, personally, anything pertaining to my job (beyond vague references) is one of my self-imposed blogging no-no’s (along with sex, my ILs, and anything that might embarrass my daughter later in life).  So, perhaps I’m a hypocritical blogger, too – or at the very least an inauthentic one. I just think that anyone who both works and blogs should pause before they vent about a crappy day or a bad boss or a difficult student and ask themselves if a few minutes of emotional vomit is worth the risk it poses to their job and/or reputation as a professional. After all, just because you have a blog and the creative freedom to say whatever you want on it, doesn’t mean you should. 
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Metamorphosis (And Also, Why I Don’t Vlog)My Profile

    • Shell says

      Yes, exactly this. :) 

      That’s how I hope she would approach it, but I just know my protective mama self would end up reading her blog like a stalker. LOL

    • says

      @Kristin I agree with you completely!  You are absolutely right about professional boundaries.  Anyone who is involved with the public would have strict guidelines regarding confidentiality.  I like your list of blogging no-nos – we sometimes forget this is a public forum and things can be taken out of context and our control.
      Angela recently posted..Hitting the Jackpot over at BLOOMMy Profile

  17. says

    I would totally blog-stalk my boys’ teacher if she wrote a blog. But I would hope she/he would have enough sense not to post about specific children- especially if the blog is public. I have heard of people getting fired in several different job fields for gossiping or sharing too much on their blog/facebook/twitter etc, but especially teachers. It is such a different world these days- people have to be smart about their social media outlets.
    Lily recently posted..A Baby Story: Hudson RayMy Profile

  18. says

    It’s an interesting thing to think about. I would not appreciate the teacher writing about my children. I’m sure most teachers would not go into details and keep it very general. I know, my daughters teacher has a blog but it has nothing to do with school or teaching!!!
    Susi recently posted..In my neighborhood {Wordless Wednesday}My Profile

    • Shell says

      I read a lot of teacher blogs and they have all been professional. It’s just a different worry if my child would be in the class. Mama worries. ;) 

  19. says

    Oh I would be the same way.  If I really feel the need to write about a student, I’ll do it my personal for me not shared with the world diary but I rarely do that either.  It reminds me of the time a parent asked if I was on facebook.  I answered yes truthfully but told them I do not accept students as friends, parents as friends and you cannot search for me as the entire thing is private.  Little did I know that she found me via another teacher (who wasn’t private) and requested it, giving me the chance to “scope” her out.  That’s when I found out she was the one doing all the blasting about me, simply because she didn’t like the way I was told to run Meet the Teacher night, etc.  She even posted up that I’m a youngin and appear to be right out of college – which gave me the most giggles because she was a mere 4 years older than me!
    Julie recently posted..7 WantsMy Profile

  20. says

    I totally understand your concern!  I would be heartbroken if someone mentioned my children on another blog in any kind of negative light – or something that I could perceive as negative.  And we all know that I learned the “hard way” a few weeks ago, that others may not appreciate how us bloggers share our experiences involving another party – even if it’s meant with no harm in mind. 
    ilene recently posted..To The Mom on Craig’s ListMy Profile

  21. says

    The Mommy in me totally agrees . . . I wouldn’t want someone else talking about my kid.
    The Teacher in me always tries to put myself in the place of the parents and think about how I would want someone talking about my kid. I try to stay way from work topics, unless it’s funny. Even when it’s funny I don’t give names or gender.
    Your little guy sure is a cutie, by the way.
    Erin recently posted..I Just Can’t Win!My Profile

    • Shell says

      I think most teachers do think that way as well. It’s the mama part of me that would have been worried if he had been in her class. 

  22. says

    Truthfully, I think I’d have been the same way and wondered the same thing. Even if it is unintentional, it’s natural to automatically worry and wonder whether someone is talking about your child. Don’t feel bad. I’ve have been relieved, too. :)
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..28 Week BumpdateMy Profile

    • Shell says

      :) Even just the mention of “long week so I headed out for a night with the girls” would have had me wondering if it was because of my son. I’m glad to not have to worry.

  23. says

    I get this. I think all in all everything worked out the right way. It’s awkward enough when you bump into your child’s teacher at the grocery store or the gym let alone in bloggy world.

    And you just never know who is going to say what. I am sure you heard about the middle school teacher who was blogging about her students. It was horrible!!!

  24. says

    I personally would not want my child’s teacher using my child in thier blog in a negative way. I think there should be boundaries that should be respected when it comes to such a sensitive subject. I am with you on this one too!
    Charity Deleon recently posted..Only onceMy Profile

  25. says

    Gosh I never thought about this, Shell. Social media is bringing up all these new situations we need to learn how to navigate. It’s so interesting. I think I wouldn’t want to know if my child’s teacher had a blog. I’m old school and there’s a line of privacy there for me that I wouldn’t want to breech. And I would hope they felt the same way. Even though I’m trying to grow my readership ;)
    Christine @ Quasi Agitato recently posted..iPPP ~ Back to School EditionMy Profile

  26. says

    I hear ya! I would be a bit paranoid too if it was my child! But then again, most teachers are smart enough to not mention names or specifics.
    Everyone’s allowed to vent. I think you’re fine worrying about it.

    My almost 3 year old is in preschool. I know that if I knew her teacher blogged, I’d be all over that shit like I am with strawberry ice cream!! Oh yeah!

    Hello, by the way!
    Lluvia recently posted..LOSE 600 CALORIES IN 2 SECONDS!!! HERE IS HOW!!!!My Profile

  27. says

    I enjoy reading your blog and, as a Mama, can definitely relate to and identify with your worries. As a former teacher, I thought it may make you feel better to learn that it’s illegal….highly illegal…to discuss (whether written, orally, etc.) a child, or even describe/tell about a child. In fact, several years ago, the District that I worked with came together (with the teachers) and set some standards concerning blogging/facebook, such as Teachers are not allowed to have student “friends” as long as they’re in the District. While I am friends with several former students now that I’m home (these are children whose parents are also friends and I’ve known for years, and are about to graduate), I had a strict “no kids as friends/no work talk” online. I’ve never heard of a teacher stooping to this level, but unfortunately, it only takes one “bad apple.”

  28. says

    I’m a special ed teacher and parent of three under five (two with special needs) who has just returned to work (whew!)  I also blog.  I do mention my students and work, although its  rare, and it’s more of a general overview of the kids I teacher (special needs, high risk) and it’s been a few years since I taught the ones I do mention.  I am simply not comfortable blogging about more details or my current work.  And, honestly blogging for me is partly about escaping and focussing on my family, not work!