What happens when you close one door and open another? As longtime readers know, I took a break from this blog. The longest I ever have. More than two weeks. I needed it. I had to recharge my batteries, deal with some stuff, and move on. It wasn’t easy. It was hard. But the not blogging part wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, it was actually refreshing. No going to the usual website haunts every single day. No alienating and pounding on some state employee or charter school. No dialysis of some financial document or contract trying to figure out what the hell it means.
I’ve been soul-searching for a long time now. Trying to figure out what all this crazy education stuff is about and where it is going. The simple truth is I have no idea. I can speculate based on facts and theories but at the end of the day none of us truly knows. There are those who want things to go in a certain direction but there will always be obstacles on both sides of the argument. I started off last year vowing to be a gentler and kinder blog. That lasted about two seconds. I wasn’t ready to be that person yet. I am now. I’ve heard some talk about those in power in the education world. When my name is brought up they joke about how that power person will never deal with me. Like it’s a good thing. It’s not. It’s kind of sad. Even though I may disagree on policy, I can’t see how it is a good thing to effectively shut out someone who could be potentially swayed to another view of thinking. That isn’t healthy.
So here is what I am looking for. More light! Last summer, Delaware Senator David Sokola talked about how we need to hear more about what is good in Delaware education and how dark the blogs can be. I gave a public comment stating that is what the Delaware Dept. of Education is for and someone has to point out all the bad stuff. But in an odd way, Sokola was right. I can’t speak for other blogs, but I’m tired of digging in the dirt all the time and seeing what is buried underneath. There has to be good along with the bad to balance everything. I want to hear from schools and teachers and parents about unique things going on. Even if it is something little that only impacts a few. Some gesture of good will towards others. This does not mean I am taking a swim in corporate education reform. But I have to believe there are good things going on with students, parents, and teachers every day that people have no clue about. I want to report on that.
Yes, I said the word “report”. Which means not putting stuff out without fact-checking and attempting to get quotes. For over two and a half years, I operated on the belief that shock and awe works. That I wasn’t the News Journal. But that didn’t always work. And when you add human emotion to that, the results can be volatile. So you will see less of that and more journalistic credos applied to articles. What you won’t see is 3-4 articles a day filling up your inbox or Facebook. You might go days or weeks without seeing an article. I’m not going to hit on every single thing I see. My family is important to me and they need me as a great husband and dad more than anything I could ever write. For years, I projected my pain for the whole world to see. Was that something I needed to do? Perhaps. But it also clouded things at times. I can view the education world but I don’t want to live in that dark world, have it become the center of my being. I’ve seen how an association with me as the dark education blogger can have a negative impact on some and I don’t want to put people in that position either.
So to those who feel I can’t be trusted or confided in, I hope to repair those wounds and actually work with you. To those who relied on my daily rants, please be patient. I heard and listened to the many who felt I lost them when I started writing about the overall conspiracy with education. Or that I focused too much energy on Jack Markell or Rodel. It is my fervent hope that Governor John Carney and I can sit down and have a heart to heart about education. As well as whoever our Delaware Senate confirms for the next Secretary of Education. If I make a mistake, please let me know.
For my allies and sources, I am not abandoning you. I am still here and listening intently. But I won’t come out with stuff to air out grievances others feel. I won’t be anyone’s bulletin board for bad feelings. I can’t do it anymore. If someone sends me something anonymously they want me to post, be prepared for me to get the other side of the story. This doesn’t mean I will expose you as a source. But I can’t just throw stuff out there and see what happens. I also want to do more creative writing on here. Not the cryptic and odd stuff you have seen more of in the past few months. We will see where that goes!
It is a new day in a new year. The weather outside is incredible for January and I plan to take advantage of that. I told readers I would post my annual resolutions I received from others but due to my unexpected hiatus I didn’t receive a lot of responses. But for those I did send requests to, if I get more responses throughout the day I will put something up tonight.
“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” -Zayn Malik