Liked Things I can not share

One of the most interesting thing about working as a principal in a school is that there are many issues that I’d love to write about… but I can’t. Scenarios can easily by attributed to actual people, students/parents/teachers/staff/colleagues, and that would be unprofessional. Sometimes that makes writing this blog daily rather difficult, because much of my day is broken up into a series of things that are too personal or too specific to mention. Even in explaining this, I started to write a few ‘for example’ scenarios and thought better of it after trying. I don’t have a right to share things that can affect other people’s lives in a negative way, but I also don’t want to sanitize my thinking around a topic and make my writing unauthentic.

Replied to 3 ways that people are digitally evil

I try to be thoughtful. I pause before tweeting a complaint or a rant. I think about the point I want to make… and I’ll still make mistakes. But at least I‘m making an effort not to be mean, and I unfollow people that don’t seem to have this kind of filter. I filter my timeline as best as I can from digitally evil people.

David, this reminds me of a piece by Graham Martin-Brown from a few years ago discussing toxic Twitter. Stewart Riddle also talks about the collapse in dialogue online, especially in regards to solving social problems.
Replied to Angry people

I get to choose my disposition. I can feel empathy for people that give themselves less choice than I have. I can move on after these interactions without feeling bad, if I know that I handled things as best as I could with the resources and experience that I have… and I need to remember that this applies to them too. They did they best they could, given their experiences and circumstances. I don’t choose to look back on this experience with anger. I’m not upset that I didn’t handle it better. I don’t pretend that it didn’t have an effect on me or I probably wouldn’t be writing about it now. But I will meet more angry people in my life, and I believe that I’m more resilient and more prepared for that time, thanks to this experience.

David, I really like your point about choosing your disposition. In my current role, I support a number of schools across the state of Victoria. This is often by phone and screen sharing. Often when the call gets to me, the person on the other end can be quite tense and frustrated, having already spent some time trying to fix something or get it to work. It is therefore important to listen and empathise with the struggles at the other end.

Although this is different from the situation you touch upon, both situations capture the challenge of communication in an online world. I find this a little easier when I have had the chance to meet the people who I maybe supporting in person. However, this is not always possible when schools are so geographically disparate.

Replied to Publish button pangs

Let the pangs come. I want to be hesitant before hitting publish. I want to feel the pressure to do well, to not make careless mistakes, and to look things over one more time. These pangs are a badge of honour that I wear as a blogger.

This touches on Clive Thompson’s argument for the power of public:

Many people have told me that they feel the dynamic kick in with even a tiny handful of viewers. I’d argue that the cognitive shift in going from an audience of zero (talking to yourself) to an audience of 10 (a few friends or random strangers checking out your online post) is so big that it’s actually huger than going from 10 people to a million.

Replied to Confidence and Competence

Confidence feeds competence, which feeds confidence…

I really like your point about competence feeding confidence feeding competence, but I feel like you are missing an aspect to your story. To me, confidence and competence come from having a mentor or model, someone who instills a sense of confidence to stretch your competence. I think this is one of the challenges when we talk about developing educational leaders for tomorrow, it can be hard to build both confidence and competence when venturing into the unknown.
Replied to We need a new word: Memidemic

When something positive goes memidemic, it is spreading, and we want it to spread. We want to share the joy of it spreading. We want to see it shared, re-shared, and enjoyed. The word ‘viral’ doesn’t suggest that.

Your discussion of ‘memidemic’ reminds me of a post from a few years ago documenting the spread of ideas. Cory Doctorow uses the metaphor of dandelions.
Replied to Daily blogging made easy by an author (Daily Ink)

Some days I’m spending 30 minutes ‘all-in’, this post has been a bit longer. If I needed more time this would have been popped into my drafts and I’d probably post something else tomorrow.

Thank you David for sharing your workflow.

Personally speaking, I use Trello to put together my posts. I am interested in using Indigenous, a micro-pub client, but do not like how it saves the draft to the app rather than WordPress itself. Every workflow has its limits I guess.

It is interesting to compare your ‘daily’ habit with Kathleen Morris’ approach to writing a weekly post with ten minutes a day.

Replied to Luxuries Become Essential

If cellphones were a species, would this be a symbiotic relationship or would we would be the hosts in a parasitic relationship where the phones benefited more from us than we benefit from them?

As much as mobile phones are essential (as I write this response on one), I wonder if they are sustainable? Do we need new ones all the time? Could we do more in regards to materials?

On a side note, are the plethora internet of things that fill every gap in our life with data essential? It was interesting reading about decarbonising as a possible approach to sustainability of environment and our privacy.

Replied to Smart A$$ Responses (Daily-Ink and Pair-a-dimes un-post-ed)

Is the purpose of a worksheet to get the answers right? Is the purpose of assessment to count marks or to check for understanding? When someone doesn’t give you ‘what you are looking for’ does that mean their response is wrong and deserves a big red X?

Or is a smart a$$ response a wake up call that maybe you can ask better, more interesting questions?

I am currently reading John Warner’s book ‘Why They Can’t Write’. He really hits the point in regards to exams:

The SAT essay exam tested students on their ability to produce a writing simulation, not on their genuine writing abilities. The result is what I call “pseudo-academic BS,” a bizarre and counterproductive style where ten-dollar words like “plethora,” “myriad,” and “quintessential” are sprinkled in, whether the meaning of the sentence demands it or not.

I wonder if smart a$$ responses are the canary in the coalmine? There are other ways. This is what people like Peter Hutton have been advocating.

Replied to Likes, likes, and more likes

I’m not sure I’m going to change my habits back? It feels rude. Isn’t that interesting? I feel an obligation to be more generous, more ‘like’-able. I share an anniversary photo on Facebook, someone takes the time to send us well-wishes, I guess I should like their comment. I share something on Twitter and someone responds. I don’t have a response in return, so I should like their tweet as my response/acknowledgement. Someone shares a wonderful family moment on Instagram, I should be nice and like it, after all, they liked my family photo. And so suddenly my habits above became watered down to things I should do to be polite on social media.

David, your discussion of the act of liking reminds me of a post from Kevin Hodgson. In a lengthy response, I clarified my personal use of ‘likes’ and how it might differ to others.

I also enjoyed Doug Belshaw’s reflection of Twitter about likes versus bookmarks:

Replied to Idiots With Guns (Daily-Ink and Pair-a-dimes un-post-ed)

So let’s be realistic and while tolerating the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ mantra of the networks, remove some of the poison being spread by these idiots. Take away their identity and fame… a small price they deserve to pay for taking away people’s lives.

David, this reminds me of Zeynep Tufekci call to stop feeding copycat scenarios.
Replied to Building in the habit

It has been a year of building new, healthy habits, and I managed to do this during the busiest school year I’ve ever had. For the coming school year, I hope that I can keep the good habits going!

David, I have tried to form a habit of daily reflections. I like your point about it being a ‘pastime’ and a personal ‘script’:

Writing is a pastime that I enjoy. It isn’t work, it is my television… except that I’m the script writer. Reading is a pastime that I love, but my eyes fatigue easily and audio books provide a great opportunity to continue to learn from books.

I have really enjoyed your Daily Ink series and hope you manage to continue it in some way.

Replied to Sfumato in education

I think there are many ‘hard lines’ in education that should be blurred, softer, and less definitive.

Where would you add a little sfumato in education?

One area that I think would warrant from a little softness is timetables. Although I read about examples where schools manage to break the rigid constructs, sadly this is often the exception.