Thursday, 10 November 2011

Incessant Barking

Welcome to my blog.  I am not yet convinced that blogging will contribute to my personal or professional development or be of interest to others in any meaningful way.

For the past ten years or so I have maintained a "Principal's Page" on the web sites of each of the schools I have been connected to, but this was limited to "newsletter style" updates on the school.  I enjoy reading, words fascinate me and writing and thinking are intimately linked.   I also acknowledge that writing can be a powerful way to reflect, especially if you re-read, edit and revise your writing over time.  This writing process could be richer with constructive feedback from others I respect especially if they are willing to challenge and expand my current thinking (and I do not become overly defensive).     I do "follow" several educational blogs regularly and it seems to me that you need to read a lot of stuff to find an original idea.  Personal learning networks or PLNs seem a little patronizing and nepotistic with bloggers mostly agreeing with each other's latest posts, re-posting and linking the same video clips.

For several years now, others have suggested that I create a blog and I have considered it, but resisted the urge.  Now, here I am.  I will try not to be dull or tell you something you already know.  Age has given me the wisdom to write carefully (especially on the Internet) as tone and meaning are often interpreted in unintended ways.  This may prove challenging for me, as I have a tendency to scrutinize all things with a skeptical point of view.  This is a softer way of saying that I can be difficult (okay, there are other ways of stating this too).  I also believe in appreciative inquiry and embrace the idea that continuously improving is a hallmark of a professional, but I will never be an obtuse cheerleader for the latest hot topic.   We need to apply rigorous critical thinking to both the status quo and all new proposals, equally.

I will write about education through the lens of the school principal, as this is my professional role.  Indeed, high quality public education is the single most important and influential enterprise in sustaining a healthy, pluralistic and viable democracy.  We all need to engage in the conversation on how to improve our schools for all learners.  However, like all people, I am many things.  I hope to write about other current issues, sports or ideas, perhaps making a nexus to education and perhaps not.

I step into the blogger's world cautiously as I am a fan of this wonderful cartoon by Alex Gregory published in The New Yorker:

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