Coming of Age

10/29/2006 03:57:00 pm

Mark Ahlness wrote a post about a week ago called Riding a bubble and watching my back. I started writing a comment ... it turned into this post ...

Mark articulated something I've been struggling with for a while now ... for me it's the tension between sharing what I've learned and the positive impact it has had on me and the consequent phenomenon of being regarded, by some, as a leader.

This is a very difficult role within the building that I work ... I measure what I say, when I say it and who I say it to. Questions rattle around in my head: "Will this be the object of another conversation in the staff room (which I do not frequent)? Will this be regarded as arrogant and overbearing ... the listener thinking I'm imposing my views on them? With this be viewed (again) through a lens that regards my offer of help or the sharing of my enthusiasm as really just another(?) attempt at self-aggrandizement?"

Here's a thought I shared with my wife (probably be a blog post soon) along the lines Mark articulated:

A year ago there were many fewer educational bloggers. The community was small. Passionate, enthusiastic, motivated, sharing people. Anyone who put forth an idea, or even better, a resource to share had their work/idea accepted in the sharing spirit it was given. I can remember the first workshop I gave just after I started blogging. The night before I sent out an email thanking the people who had shared their thinking and resources, unknowingly, with me.

There are a lot more educational bloggers now. The community has ballooned and continues to grow. The camaraderie that came from the sharing spirit (which still dominates most discussions) is being questioned. And while maybe that's a good thing, it hurts those that are just doing what they've always done; trying to share what they've learned. Perhaps selfishly -- in the hope that someone will reciprocate that sharing -- but essentially following the collaborative ethos that has permeated educational blogging.

It's not about groups and networks (the definitions of which should not be made by a single person and accepted without question) -- it's about community. The community continues to share and grow -- and in that growth we have arrived at an uncomfortable coming of age.

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