Remember when you were in elementary or middle school and you saw your teacher at the grocery store? It was like they were completely out of place and you couldn't handle it because all you ever associated them with was the classroom. This was true for me as an adolescent. Now that I'm a teacher experiencing the other side, it's a bit weird. I'm a person too! I have interests and when I leave the classroom I have a life which makes me the person I am, the person I bring to the classroom to inspire and create. Yet still, I don't really share that person with my classroom community enough. Maybe that is because I'm a bit of an introvert and it can sometimes feel like there isn't enough time in the school day. Whatever the reason, last week I was encouraged to share more of my personal life from one of my student's parents. She knew I was a musician and wanted to know more about my band and what shows I would be playing in the near future. Upon her request, I made a Bloomz post on my classroom newsfeed.
Jon is my teaching assistant and he is also a musician. He shared his music projects after I nominated him and we both received positive parent feedback. One parent came in the next morning to thank us for sharing and a few others commented/liked in the Bloomz Newsfeed.
This experience has taught me not to be afraid to share more about my personal life with my class families. It's one of those pieces that wasn't specifically addressed in my teacher program but it is a big part of developing a class community. I'm always extra cautious with social media platforms because what was centered in my teacher training program was to be careful about what pictures you put online, what you say, and how you present yourself in online public forums. Developing a professional online persona has been a huge part in taking ownership of my role as a public figure. Bloomz wasn't developed when I took my education courses back in 2011. This is new territory. What I've gleaned from this experience is that with Bloomz I can relax a little and be myself. The school community is the only community involved in the app and they are all here for the same reason. To support the growth and education of the children, as well as create meaningful relationships with teachers and families.
Have you shared pieces of your personal life with your classroom community through Bloomz? If so, please share your experience in the comments below.
Photo by Park Troopers