One year ago, I embarked on the journey of writing Notes from the School Psychologist. I had stories galore about working in large urban school districts that I thought others might want to know, learn about, or just laugh with me as I try to remain sane in a world where I have heard, “This is a lawsuit waiting to happen” far more often than “is the student learning?”
Other psychologists looked horrified when I said I blog about my experiences at work. They asked me if I worried about what I posted. Some wondered how I kept confidentiality.* Some said they would be afraid of revealing too much (as psychologists, this is our training—don’t reveal anything about yourself because it’s not about you). This fear was amplified because I routinely had parents in private practice say, “I’d like to research you on the Internet before I proceed.”** And here I am, on the Internet, with all my views, biases, and thoughts about children, exposed.
So when I first wrote for this blog, it was mostly content. Facts. Research. Information. Few people could write nasty comments about that. I was protected.
As I read other’s blogs though, the nasty-comment postings were the most interesting because it got people talking. And yet, I wasn’t ready for that. On the few occasions I posted my opinion or took on an issue, I then looked at site-meter for validation that people still liked my blog. I told no one I knew personally of my blog, for fear it would be judged, or worse yet, I’d get fired for exposing some of the injustices in my job. Writing anonymously would have been so much easier.***
But as I reflect on my writing this year, I have to say, my favorite posts, and the ones people gravitate to, are the ones when I let people know I have actual feelings. I am not psych-bot! I get worried about my children I don’t have, get angry at being fired from a job I don’t have, get discouraged when all hell breaks lose, and sometimes even throw up in my mouth a little bit at the thought of 25 more years of working in the trenches of public school. I also laugh daily when I see the kids I work with challenge me, and hope I’ve made my ones of tens of loyal readers laugh too.
**Thankfully, I turned down “When Psychologists Go Wild!”
***And so much juicier. SO. MUCH. JUICIER.