How much would you say you’ve changed over the past five years? Professionally in that time, I’ve moved from the high school principal at Gowanda to the assistant superintendent there to my current position of superintendent at Randolph. Personally in five years, I’ve gone from being the mother of a high school daughter and a middle school son to an empty nester. That’s a fair amount of change.
My thinking has changed over those five years too and consequently, this blog has transformed. When I started writing in July of 2006, I was writing just for me. This blog, then entitled G-Town Talks, was a place for me to process my thinking, to get feedback from a few colleagues who were reading and responding, and to sometimes influence someone else’s thinking. It was fun! It was also professionally rewarding, cathartic on some days and an avenue into the online learning community. It’s through this blog that I began to grow my own professional learning network as I read the work of others who I met from following the bread crumbs of a trail when they left comments or when I noticed someone on another blog I was reading. My RSS feeds grew, my readership grew, the personal rewards I felt from writing every time someone commented grew.
And then it all began to dwindle when I left work I absolutely loved and became an assistant superintendent. It seems that with every step I took up the ladder, I had less to say on this blog. I felt I had to write more formally, as the “SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS”. This continued until the point I’m at now where it’s really like an on-line version of a newsletter. The only blog post that’s gotten my creative spirit going was one I did as a guest post for Scott McLeod, and that was good enough to get noticed by Jay Goldman to be published next month in AASA’s print magazine The School Administrator. Didn’t write it here though, did I?
Why? I stopped writing for me. I stopped processing my thinking here. I lost all of the rewards of writing. It became a chore. I have taxpayers and BOE members and students and parents in my head now where only ideas and reflection and learning should be. Instead of just letting my thoughts flow onto the blog, I started to second guess my every sentence and re-read my posts through the critical lens of someone else (who? I don’t know. Every person who’s ever called to complain about something?). My work consumes me, I’m thinking about what all of those constituents need twelve hours per day. When I’m writing here, it’s not helpful.
I realized all of this over the weekend at Educon, as I got back to learning again and talked to colleagues like Ben Wilkoff, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. I processed the whole conundrum through on the 7+ hour car rides there and back with my three poor colleagues who surely got sick of listening to me. (Thanks, btw!)
The result? I’m reclaiming this blog for ME. I’m taking it back for my own learning, as a place to process my thinking about education or whatever I want, and for whatever influence I may have out here in my big, fat digital footprint. I’m sticking my toes deeply into it all instead of tip-toeing about, worrying that I might say something that someone doesn’t like. What kind of a light weight, cowardly footprint was that ever going to leave anyway?
And what about continuing to communicate with our Randolph Central school community as the superintendent? That’s extremely important. I’ll continue to be linked on the school webpage as Randolph Central BlogPosts. Most people who read from Randolph probably won’t even notice the difference. But if you’ve been accessing the blog from back in the day, when I wrote with originality and passion and heart on G-Town Talks, I hope you’ll notice my return. Cause I’m just writing for me here. I’m owning Kimberly Moritz BlogPosts again. I might even return to the name G-Town Talks, just to tip it back to center.
And the two paths diverge. . .