Monday, December 28, 2009

Thoughts on being a teacher and blogging

Well, today I was reminded yet again of the fact that what I write is here in a public forum for all eyes to see...including my teenage students and their parents. I was browsing my blog's statistics today and noticed that one of the Google search phrases used to find this site was "Danielle Hampton English teacher." YUCK. I hate thinking about that fact that some of my students and their parents could be reading every little detail about my life. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and enjoy my students...but I definitely don't want them involved in my life in any way outside of the classroom. I livejournaled for many years before I was a teacher, and I have always loved it. I don't think that being a teacher should force me to change what I enjoy doing in my spare time. I don't feel my blog has ANY questionable content, but I am still sitting here, quite uncomfortable knowing that my little life is so out on the table. Granted, it always has been, and it's a given when blogging...but when I'm reminded like this it makes me second-guess my decision to be so public.

You see all those stories in the newspaper- "Teacher loses job over questionable Facebook photo," it's always a weird feeling to be a teacher and to be on social networking sites and blogs. However, the only thing "questionable" I could even see on this site would be my tattoos- some people just don't agree with them. With that said, tattoos are not a reason to lose a job. You just never know who is reading what you write, and what their perception of the content will be. My blog is hit many times a day with many different blog searches- often my full name is searched for, and I know those could be anyone. But for some reason when I saw the "English teacher" attached it made me incredibly uncomfortable.

So anyway, I just had to share this little burst of unwelcome insecurity about my blog. I'm currently feeling weird about writing, and I really hope this passes in a minute or two. I'm looking forward to the very near future when a simple Google search won't matter to me. Until then, I'm sure my teacher-self will continue to be uncomfortable.


  1. Your blog is, in my opinion, a good influence even if your students find it & read. You're obviously a classy lady with nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

  2. Yeah, that's got to be an uneasy feeling. But I agree that you are an amazing person and nothing but a positive example for your students!

    I get uneasy when my mom says something that I know is referring to something I've written. I also hate it when people think they "know me" so well just because they read my blog. What we choose to post is a very small part of our lives (most of the time). I don't have my blog attached to anything that shows how people end up there...maybe it's best that I didn't. HA!

  3. i feel similar to you. but im not an english teacher. and im with the lower primary and prior to school.

    but i try and keep one of my blogs quite low key and very ambiguous and its my personal blog. my other is where i put all my ideas and thoughts in regards to children and activities i have used throughout my training and time working as a teacher. something mainly for me to look back on and remember everything. i dont in anyway link that blog to my personal blog.

    but then again. i dont even let my family see my blog. i write way to much on there.

  4. hmmm, sounds like you need to hurry up and have babies, so that you won't have to worry about things like this! :)
    and yes, your blog is so happy and positive, i wouldn't fret too much about who is reading it.
    p.s. your kids are going to be adorable! <3

  5. sorry you're feeling weird about this. it's always weird to think about other people you don't know reading your blog and judging you based on what you write even though this is your personal space.

    hope the weirdness passes, because i love reading your blog!

  6. your blog is so positive and just thoughts about your everyday life i personally don't see anything wrong with it. you don't talk about partying and post crazy absurd pictures or rants about questionable behavior, so you have nothing to worry about. my step mom is a teacher and one of my best friends is just about to start her first year and we've had many talks about things like this. i wouldn't worry! i think your adorable blog is okay! :)

  7. I totally agree with the first commenter!

    I know exactly what you are sharing. After grad school, I was stoked I got a job at a university as a librarian. The problem was some had read my blog and it was so uncomfortable. I don't work there anymore (hello, california budget cuts) but unless we are on LJ again on "friends only" it's good to be careful.

    If my child had you as a teacher, I'd definitely believe you were a good positive vibe for them. Hope that helps!

  8. I totally understand your unease - I'm not a teacher or anything, but sometimes I feel uncomfortable when people I know IRL read my blog. I'll just echo what everyone else has said - your blog is so positive and fun. I'd love for you to be my (future) child's teacher!

  9. Geez, I can totally understand where you are coming from. I used to be on livejournal forever as well, where it was so much more intimate and disconnected from the 'blogosphere'. However, I got so fedup of it and bored by it that I moved to blogging.

    People are inquisitive and sadly very curious and invasive of people's lives, so don't stress over it, the main thing is that you know for yourself that your blog is great and that you have nothing to feel ashamed or worried about. Since re-starting my blog, I've also decided not to post very much about my work life, and focus on the positive aspects of my personal life. Like you, work is separate from the personal.

    So don't worry, you are absolutely fab.

  10. i think as long as you dont have the kids or their parents as friends on facebook you're ok. My mum is a teacher and avoids anyone school related online, especially facebook.

    But as this blog is public with no 'accept' or 'deny' buttons, I cant see anyone would have a problem. Its not like you're writing to anyone in particular, you're just writing! And its wonderful to see an English teacher write, no matter what forum its in! Especially as many people have said - you're nothing but a good influence on your kids (and some of the parents no doubt!)

    keep doing what you do and if you have any complaints you'll have several hundred angry readers fighting your corner! x

  11. I think your blog is very tasteful and not at all likely to get you in trouble. It is very personal, so I can understand why you might feel exposed, but really I see it as a very positive experience.

    The old motto though still stands true: "don't put anything on the internet you wouldn't put on a postcard"

    How do you check how people get to you via google searches etc, I am trying to figure it out how to do that

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  13. I understand your unease. I am also always reminded that my students and their parents are out there. It is still somewhat uncomfortable running into them in public. Recently a student tracked me down yelling my name in Target. I had no idea who was yelling my name in a public venue. It was a little frightening. I always tell my kids on the first day of classes that I have a no student policy on Facebook and I will not add you. They always try though.

  14. I'm still in college to become a teacher and often we get the whole "talk" about how we have to be "professional",etc. While it does worry me a bit that anyone can find my blog and read it and I may never know who they are, I don't feel that having a blog and sharing who I am is
    "unprofessional". I like having a blog and being able to share and connect with other bloggers. I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone in worrying about this kind of thing though; however, I also agree that your blog is tasteful and has nothing to hide. So thanks for the enouragement!!

  15. aw danielle...
    that is such a tough thing. i can totally see where you're coming. when you really think of it, it is really scary to think that anyone out there can read about your life, and i too doubt myself the odd time.
    but you are such an inspirational, cute as a button, harmless lady. people look up to you, and i imagine your students do too, very much so.
    if i found you through google it would probably be by typing in "cutest, coolest english teacher ever"


  16. You haven't written about anything bad..if anything, your writings should make your students and their parents, and faculty just respect you more. They get to see what amazing person you are.

    If you were my teacher and I saw your blog. It would only cause me to admire you more and look up to you as a role-model.

  17. I can see how frustrating that would be. Your private life should be private and work If it was my child looking at his or her teachers blog I would tell them "thats her own life, she is a good teacher right? then don't worry about what she is saying or doing outside of school." Just because you have tattoos shouldn't be subject for ridicule. It has nothing to do with teaching, just as I feel peircings shouldn't be an issue either. (as long as it isn't in access) As long as it doesn't affect teaching it shouldn't be an issue. Hope you feel better about it, *hugs*

  18. I have had a situation just like this. One of my classmates, and a member of my art club, made a comment concerning how I sell my artwork and I ranted on my blog. She found the post and left a nasty response and refused to talk to me again. Since then I've been a bit more careful about what I post if it concerns specific people. However, I see nothing wrong with your blog. It's a very uplifting and inspiring site and as an English major, I really find it wonderful.

  19. I know what you mean. I'm a therapist and keep a blog. I go back and forth about the ethics and privacy issues too. But so far I've decided that I am not just a job title, I am a person who enjoys the blogging side of my life, so I carry on. I don't think there's an easy answer, but I do think your blog is lovely and a good influence for anyone who happens upon it.

  20. Sometimes I worry about things like this too--because often my students will ask me if I have a facebook, myspace, etc. I change the subject, but if they searched my name, they could probably find it (although, sometimes, the language barrier can really help!).

    However, your blog is so positive that I would hope your students or their parents wouldn't chastise you for your thoughts! I love reading it and hope the mood passes!

  21. There's nothing I can really add as I think everyone else has said it all. I think you are a completely positive role model for any of your students (and anyone else for that matter!) and don't think anyone could say anything differently. I, for one, love reading your blogs and I think the amount of followers you have only reinforces what a lovely, sweet blog you have! xo

  22. If I had children, and saw your blog, you would be the kind of person I would be thrilled to have teaching my kids. Honestly. I think you're a lovely person, and you seem to have a great spirit.

    I hope the weirdness passes soon!

  23. Hi! I think it is great that you have a blog and ofcourse you should be able to write as a "normal" person, keep up the great writing! Happy new year!

    Joanna, a teacher in Sweden

  24. It's totally normal to feel weird about that - going into therapy, I worry about my blog constantly. But at the end of the day it's YOUR life and as long as you're not posting anything too incredibly intimate, I say go for it. If anyone would be upset with you for being a normal girl of twenty-something, they're probably just insecure!!

  25. That's just creepy to me. I could see searching for your full name, or the title of your blog but attaching english teacher is really creepy to me. Not to creep you out even more. haha.

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