Does my bum look big in this blog?

 

“Someone call Heinrich: this is a hair emergency.”
 
The main reason I blog anonymously is that I live in mortal fear (like most humans) of losing my job.

A single raised eyebrow, a wilfully misinterpreted use of the word ‘bum’ and my name is mud (which is ‘bum’ in a mirror).  In an age of helicopter parents and fair-weather administrators, there has never been a better time to say nothing (or say something namelessly).

That said [drums fingers], there are times when I dearly wish to align my public and private selves a little more closely. Don’t get me wrong: I love blogging without a care and think it has given rise to a kind of articulation that I would never have contemplated under my real name.

But again I drum my fingers and look to a part of my brain where I am whole. Then I look back over my (frankly bizarre) blogs… and cringe.

And so I ask you, especially if you are a head teacher or a governor: does my bum look big in this blog? Must I remain nameless or may I one day come in from the (currently quite warm) cold?

If I had a name, would you call it to me?

Or must I blog ‘7 best starters’ and ‘apps for behavior’ (retaining the American spelling) in order to clear my name?

I leave it to you: how publicly human, frail and strange can a teacher be?

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10 thoughts on “Does my bum look big in this blog?

      1. I think you need to find a way that works for you. Sometimes things need to be written – they leap out of you and onto the page. Sometimes this is something you can cloak, and sometimes not. For that, you need the cloak of anonymity.

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  1. I think your blog is experimental, certainly, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you write anything that would put your school into disrepute, or upset your SLT? It must be strange writing anonymously and it doesn’t surprise me that often anonymous teachers do end up shedding their cloaks and divulging their names (although sometimes they have to delete their ‘back story’ when they do so).

    What’s interesting to me though is that, even when the anonymous blogs get deleted or set to private, I can still remember a lot of what I’ve read (especially any bits I thought were rude or unnecessarily abrasive) and I wonder if others do. I think the main use of anonymity is often to protect the identities of other people and not yourself (i.e. if you are writing about colleagues or children). This worries me because when anonymity is shed the colleagues would surely be able to identify that they have been written about.

    As a writer I have various duties, and one is to tread carefully around what I say about other people, not just about myself. (Libel and slander are two words that appear in publishing contracts, for a very good reason.) In some ways, I think it is much more of a discipline to write with your name attached, because you have to consider every word you write more carefully. I hope that makes some sense.

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    1. I agree completely. I do write with an awareness of potential impacts upon individuals, which is – to some extent – why much of my writing is fictionalized or allegorical – but my anonymity allows me to tread less carefully than I guess I would otherwise. That said, I believe my anonymity is derived more from a fear of loss than any desire to say what I like (against individuals) with no fear of the consequences. It’s almost that I am writing ‘as if’ I am not anonymous, but unfortunately feel compelled to remain so.

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  2. Very interesting.
    I fear being rumbled. In fact if I have an anecdote to tell I make sure I change the odd trivial detail. I also try to write my blog in such a way that if I was outed I could still stand by every word. And my views wouldn’t be a surprise anyway. I don’t think I have ever written anything personal against an individual but managers could easily take offence. I have a very small readership and I doubt very much if they would ever find me via echochambre, or if they are even aware of this branch of the ‘blogosphere’. In fact they seem to be blissfully unaware of workload issues … whoops there I go again!
    Best wishes

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  3. I realise that I haven’t left a comment yet. I feel I must rectify this oversight.

    Anonymity is, of course, a double edged sword. It allows things to be said without fear of retribution from hierarchies, but it also means that others don’t necessarily give due weight to what is said. Many people appear to be very wary of engaging with anonymous accounts, some even indicate non-engagement in their bios.

    Apart from the surreal nature of some of your work, I can’t recall anything that might cause any issues, but it depends on how sensitive or prejudiced current or future employers might be. Safety first.

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