Education Opinion

Two Years of ‘Charting My Own Course’ (and Counting)

By Marilyn Rhames — August 07, 2013 2 min read
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This 96th blog post marks my second bloggaversary!

Since I started writing, I’ve taught middle school science; lost a student; founded a nonprofit organization; traveled to Cameroon, West Africa; almost lost my sister; become a writing teacher; lost my dad; received unsolicited sex advice from a student; been named Educator’s Voice Commentator/Blogger of the Year; gotten pregnant; questioned my affinity for education reform; debated the virtues of teaching with a cop; suffered psychologically from working-mother-wife-teacher syndrome; and met lots of new reader-friends like you!

The beauty of blogging is that I’ve documented every one of these situation—plus many more—and have drawn courage from your stories and support, as well.

I blog for two simple reasons: to understand others and to be understood. I don’t mind apologizing when I’m wrong, but it drives me nuts when I’m misunderstood. And to my surprise, the person who’s gotten to know me the most through my blog is myself! Writing this blog is extremely therapeutic and has increased my satisfaction in the teaching profession.

Based on the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator that my administrator made me take during a recent school retreat, I am an extremely well-balanced person. I’m equally as introverted as extroverted, equally thinking (objective) as feeling (empathic), and almost just as sensing (sequential) as intuitive (big picture). However, I am apparently significantly more judgmental than perceptive, which means I tend to be opinionated and deadline oriented (two great qualities for a blogger but challenging qualities for my husband to deal with!).

While I am happy to share my point of view, I also LOVE to understand how my readers think. I want to know what teachers and administrators are thinking and doing. What works for you at your school and what doesn’t?

I must admit that at first I hated getting comments—the negative, disagreeable ones, that is. I took people’s rebuttals personally and felt like I had failed if I hadn’t convinced every reader to believe as I did. Yes, there were a few personal attacks along the way, but the overwhelming majority of the feedback I’ve gotten has been constructive criticism or praise.

Now, when I see that one of you has taken the time to write a comment, I get excited, not scared. It’s fascinating to get a glimpse into what educators from around the country, the world, think about an idea I’ve proposed. Do you agree with my argument? Can you enlighten me further? Or did I miss it altogether?

Several readers have shared ideas so profound that I’ve asked them to write guest blogs for me!

Thank you for a fabulous two years of “Charting My Own Course.” I’m honored to have you sailing with me. I might be at the helm of the ship, but you are the winds and the waves that keep me afloat!

The opinions expressed in Charting My Own Course are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.