Facebook is a wonderful thing, isn't it? I have connected with people I haven't seen since elementary school! I love seeing how people are doing, catching up, viewing photos, etc. I absolutely love it.
Facebook has also had some implications for me and my career. Some good, some not-so-good. Let's start with the good. Facebook has allowed me to stay informed on research and issues in education. All I have to do is "Like" certain pages, and I receive a constant flow of research, articles, blog entries - it's fantastic! And of course, that "Share" button is wonderful too. One click and I can share with anyone who is interested. I have had some great discussions with colleagues, family, and friends as a result.
But then there's the bad side. (There always is one, isn't there?) In trying to share information, I learn how naive and ignorant some people are. What is it about being on Facebook that allows people to let those walls down and say whatever comes to mind with no forethought? I am amazed by how many people have no difficulty operating at the opinion level, especially about education. It does not matter how much research I cite, how long I have been teaching, the number of credentials and degrees I hold - none of this seems to matter. Personal experience is a powerful thing, and as far as education is concerned, it is all that seems to matter for some folks.
So what do I do? I try to engage in a discussion, support what I say with research, blah blah blah. It makes little to no difference. Lately I just get mad, and let my temper get the better of me. I know it is important to fight the good fight, but I am getting tired. Tired of being asked to do more for less. Tired of politicians making decisions about what goes on in the classroom. Tired of students being tortured by a plethora of standardized testing and prep. Tired of people who know nothing about education thinking they know better than teachers. Tired. So tired.
I believe that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. But other than sharing information and trying to have constructive dialogue, what else can I do? What else can any of us do? How do we join together as a powerful force to shift the tide in which we are drowning? How do we solve this problem? We have an amazing tool in Facebook. How do we use it in a positive way to build knowledge and support education?