Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Personal Blogging Incident

That discussion we had on ‘teachers being professional not just in school but also in the public domain because we’re scrutinized at all times’ reminded me of an ex-colleague cum friend’s story. She shared with me her unfortunate incident she had with personal blogging, which nearly jeopardized her teaching career. She had this personal blog, which she kept updated almost daily. I have never actually read her actual blog but she described it as her breathing space where she could release all her frustrations and stress of the day. So you can imagine the details of her daily activities all typed out, with bits of complaints here and there on issues like the poor school management system, the heavy workload and of course, the students. The thing was, she kind of used offensive language in her entries. So what happened was, another colleague came across her blog and finding its content somewhat inappropriate, she forwarded it to the Principal. To make the story short, my friend was called into the office and asked to explain herself. Subsequently, she was given a stern warning and asked to remove her blog and that’s exactly what she did. (At that time, she was still under the one-year observation period.) My friend personally felt that her colleague could have instead approached her instead of going straight to the big boss (as she calls it). That colleague could have voiced out her concerns about the blog to my friend who would then have done something to it. She was disappointed and felt that she had been “backstabbed”. It’s rather scary to think that you have people watching you and telling on you behind your back. I guess this is one incident that reminds us of the ethics we have to abide as teachers; that we have to be mindful of how we carry ourselves not just in school, outside but also in cyber-world.

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