Examining the Role and the Rules
When my Mother started teaching in the 1940’s in the Prairie Provinces of Canada, there was a strict dress code. She wore her hair pinned back into a nape bun, dark coloured dresses, heavy stockings and what we liked to tease were “grandmother “ tie up shoes. When she retired there was still a dress code, but now it was slacks, nice shirt, and for the older women a smock like shirt with lots of pockets to protect your clothing. The children and parents addressed her as Mrs. H and not by her first name.
She was a professional teacher through and through. She was in great demand as a first grade teacher by the end of her career. She never hit a child, though she did spank her own at home, and her job was to see that every child could read and do numbers. She did her job well and gave each child appropriate attention to their needs and her classroom was a safe place to grow and learn.
My Mother decided to retire when the other teachers in her school began wearing jeans to teach, allowed the kids to call them by their first names and she was no longer allowed to teach them to use their left or right hand in writing. Teachers and parents were becoming their children’s friends, and she felt that would lead too many problems in a learning environment.
I am not suggesting an ideal here, because heaven knows that my first grade teacher dressed the same way as my mother did and her mode of teaching was fear and intimidation. She carried a ruler with her and was known to whack it down on the palm of your hands or flick your ears with it until you cried.
My Mother was working out of her own boundaries and out of her professional boundaries and this security provided her the opportunity to be a warm, loving, disciplined teacher who enjoyed her work and kept her personal life separate.
In every profession, there are professional boundaries and relationships. There are moments of privilege in these professional connections and there are moments of discipline and questioning.
And then there is the Internet!
The only rules of the Internet and connections on the Internet are those that are chosen by the individual (or the parents of the individual) using the Internet. I am sure there are mathematical codes and other programming things that limit, but when it comes to connections and relationships on line it seems to be truly a matter of personal discipline and choice.
My professional degree requires that I get recertified in my ethical discipline every three years. I think this is a good thing. I have just finished that process and am now exploring my boundaries and discipline when writing on my blog. Do I have rules? Do I share too much? What am I hoping to receive or benefit from others comments? Do I have to get myself dressed every morning before writing or would I communicate just as well in my PJs?
Authors in the publishing world have lots of support folks – editors, agents, family, friends, and proofreaders who are part of their team. I have a confidant and a therapist in another city on my team.
What do you think? Do you have support team? Should it be other bloggers? Should a blogger just be self-responsible? Will natural selection just do the job? Do we have a rule such as “Do no Harm?”
I am looking forward to your comments and am hoping that some good discussion will happen here, some good questioning, because I am taking this quest seriously and I am wondering if I can truly just “do my own thing”?
I collected a few more Champagne Stories for the blog – have you got one to share?
The due dates for the writing contests are rapidly approaching – May 15th, and there are lots of ways to enter the contests. Check it out!
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