My first blog post was about a sad start to school – a beloved former student had just committed suicide and the newspaper I advise was full of depressing topics. It was a dark post. A year later, I find my blog has carried on in much the same way. I wrote about my dad dying this past February, and then two more students dying, and then my principal dying. I’ve written so much about grief and loss and sadness.
But I’ve also written, again and again, about my love for my students, and for my community, and for teaching. I’ve given advice – so, so much advice – about how to be a date to Homecoming, how to be honest, how to become a leader, how to read books backwards. I’ve written about how I met my husband, and my daughter’s jean shorts, and my niece, and my religious beliefs. I didn’t intend to be so open about myself. I don’t think I realized how open I was being.
Being open, of course, invited people in. What has most amazed me is how many people accepted the invitation. I’ve had people talk to me about my blogs in the most unexpected places. My daughter’s dental hygienist, then the orthodontist, then the owner of the cheerleading studio. My former boss, my students’ parents, a random teenager at a journalism conference at the University of Maryland. One month, my blog had 23,000 reads. I’m dumbfounded that you read all those words I wrote.
I started blogging for one journalism student, who asked me for a model. I thought my audience would be my 60 or so newspaper students. I thought I’d write about the newspaper, and about scholastic journalism. I thought wrong.
What people say, when they talk to me about my blog, is that I wrote what they were thinking. That means that we’re ALL thinking exactly the same things. Most of all, this blog has showed me how alike we all are. So, a year in, I’m honored that you are here. Like the bride, I’m still not sure where we are headed, but I’m committed to you, and I’m so, so excited to see where we go together.