After a decade of teaching kindergarten in Alaska, Uncle Sam moved our family to New Mexico and then Kansas (twice). Luckily, I was hired to teach kindergarten, and I experienced the practices and politics of three new school districts, schools, and staffs. While not new to education, I was treated like the new kid on the block, required to complete new teacher training and orientation meetings galore. The differences and similarities between my employers intrigued, baffled, and sometimes mortified me. Eager to share with, learn from and commiserate with other like-minded educators, I created my blog, Kindergarten's 3 R's: Respect, Resources and Rants, where:
I ranted, vented, and discovered an audience that commiserated with me, encouraged me, and helped me by offering ideas, resources, and counterpoint. This new form of collegiality redefined how, when, and with whom I could interact and learn. Teachers I'd never met began to dialogue with me, and they encouraged me to share with others. Not only could I learn from them, I could teach them: kindergartners are a different breed, and not everyone has the knack that I apparently do. I came to realize that what I know can help others beyond the walls of my own classroom, school building, district, state, and country.
Two more relocations and I found myself back in Oz, still in kindergarten, still teaching soldier's children. Friendships and collegial relationships borne from the internet made the move with me, as did my blog. If I wanted to recreate the wheel, I could, but even better, I could share it with others who were interested. I found like-minded public, private, and home school teachers, and developed a strong appreciation for the professional reciprocity that was prevalent amongst those of us who "put ourselves out there."
Kindergarten's 3 R's found an audience, and I was careful to not name names, identify my school district, or display my students' photos. Sharing one's personal thoughts and feelings about her profession can be tricky, after all, it's rarely wise to do anything that makes the public think you're biting the hand that feeds you. Linking to other great resources is fairly simple once you receive permission, and many, many, m-a-n-y edu-bloggers can be found on the web today, making points about education reform, politics, tweaking lesson plans, and hawking their teacher created materials on selling sites. Over the past eight years, my posts have been linked to, shared, and most recently, pinned via Pinterest and tweeted.
But... some of my family posts didn't quite fit at my teaching blog, and after a while, neither did many of my military life/antiquing/crafting posts, which meant it was time for a new blog:
Twigs and Tulle.