Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#WeirdEd Week 78- Fear

I rarely repeat topics on #WeirdEd because frankly enough edchats do that for me and one of the things I pride this chat on is being original. But every once in a while there's a topic and a time that needs to be hit more than once. And as long as we can keep it fresh it's got value. Add to that the family of #WeirdEd has grown and deepened, and we're due for another chat about Fear.

Fear is something that humans live with every day but in teaching it's a unique and special thing. We have all kinds of fears. Smaller fears about lessons crashing, personal fears about being the best teacher we can possibly be, student fears about what a kid goes home to, and bigger real world fears like will it be my class when America finally decides to do something about guns (that last answer is no, because America cares more about guns than children).

We don't like talking about fear. It's, well, scary. And personal. And twitter isn't the place for scary, personal stuff. Twitter is the place for bad jokes and memes and light conversations defining a term for the sixty-seventh time that month. But we don't like in regular twitter here, do we? And we've never been a chat to shy away from tough topics. Tough topics mean better conversation. So, much like last year at this time, I want to to have an open conversation about our fears. By shining a light on them, by forcing them into the open, we can steal some of their power. Together we are stronger than any one fear.

I have this idea, and I'm sure it's not an original idea though I honestly don't know where the seed came from- Most of our fears are the same fear. And piggy-backing on every fear is the fear that we're alone in it. That not only do you fear this thing, but you're the only one who feels like that. These fears coupled together make a monster. Fear of the thing, plus fear of being alone, that's a perfect storm. Then you're silly at best and insane at worst. Fear of being the only one stops so many good things and allows so many more bad things to continue.

You are not alone at #WeirdEd. We're in this together, and though we might not all share the same fear, we do share empathy and understanding, and fear can't stand those.

This #WeirdEd might be a little harder than normal. But things might look a little brighter afterward.

Don't forget that along with #WeirdEd at 7pst we've added #WeirdEdC at 7cst for our differently time-zoned friends. #WeirdEdC is moderated by Shawna Briseno, Lauren Taylor, and Ashey Gravelle.

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