Wearing different masks
There have been students of mine who would tell me that they have just read my blog. I view this as both an advantage and a disadvantage. Ut is an advantage because I believe I can explain myself better in written form, as a matter of fact, much better than when I am, say, spelling out the lesson for the day. While I do not discount the possibility that the deficiency may result from my own shortcoming to explain the lesson well, there are other factors which affect the effectivity of the presentation of the lesson. It is not just a question of efficiency for just like in a two-way communication, a lesson is presented to a recipient who may be receptive or not. The greatest factor of a lesson being not received well is partly due to the lack of interest in the receiver. This is where motivation sets in. When a teacher do not get the attention of his students and all their attention is elsewhere, the lesson is lost forever.
On the other hand, my students reading my blog is disadvantageous in the sense that it limits the parameters of what I can blog. It somehow makes me vulnerable for I usually post my thoughts, rants, and whatever strong emotions I have at the time. This is the reason why I have to restrain myself from posting anyuthing that would be detrimental to my own well-being or any matter that would refer to my place of work.
Having said that and out of the way, let me share with you an amusing story I had yesterday. There is this student who always tell me that she has just visited my blog everytime we get to talk. What was extraordinary about yesterday was her succeeding question. "Sir, how come you seem to be very nice in your blog?" I smiled and asked, "Why? Am I not nice in person?" She seem to have calculated me first, then said something like, "You're so strict and frightening everytime we are inside the classroom." Then she added, "Last year, I was very afraid of you but not anymore." Isn't that amusing?
At the risk of exposing a "trade secret" I would respond by saying that what students do not understand is that teaching is like acting in a play. It is a role I have to play, and play it well. Imagine yourself before 40 or so students at a single time, with raging hormones, learning secondary to socializing and having fun, etc. Now,you do this at least four times a day. HOw do you think should one behave? Actually, we all play different roles everytime. I am a father, a teacher, artist, VP of a teacher's union, VP of the homeowners' association, driver,etc. In all these roles, there is a different me. But in all of them, there is one unting factor. I can be a friend. I am a friend to my children, for example. But at the same time, I cannot be a friend all the time. I have to draw the line when it comes to discipline. The same thing with my role as a teacher. I can be a friend outside of the classroom but when inside, I should call the shots. Not the other way around. Reason with me, try to persuade me, but never forget that I run the show. :-)