Dear Miz Nilknarf: I recently read about a teaching getting fired for what she wrote on her blog. I am worried you are going to get fired for writing this blog! I only say this because your blog brings much needed depth and humor to my life, and life would become so much less enjoyable without it!
Okay, maybe no one said that last part, but I have had several readers mention this, so I thought I would address it en masse. First of all, even if you know me, nothing on this blog identifies who I am, the county where I teach, the high school where I teach and no one is mentioned by name. This avoids the biggest possible issues, which are slander and privacy. The teacher who was fired was foolish enough to list her students by name as well as other things that made her identity quite obvious. She actually put the first names of her students followed by what she wished she could have put as comments on the report card.
Susie-- I put that she has low test and quiz grades, however I wish there was a code for "Dumbass".
That's just mean (no matter how funny, as a teacher, I find it on some level).
But even with that said, suppose someone ratted you out and your principal read your blog?
Well, I suppose that could happen. Of course, the only person who knows me professionally who might do that would be Mr. I and since he says out loud in the building the things I only dare say on my blog, I think I'm safe. But beyond that, say someone I know and thought I could trust, forwards my link to Administration? What exactly are they going to do? Fire me? I don't think so. Remember the story I blogged about earlier, where a disgruntled teacher was going off about the principal and then he ended up in ear shot and heard the whole thing? She didn't get fired! My county has all kinds of budgetary concerns, worries about SOLs, etc. My little blog is no real threat and truthfully would hold little interest to them. Like I said, I guarantee, people say in the building daily much worse than I could ever say here.
I'm still not convinced, Miz Nilknarf....
I thought you might say that! So today, I asked my department chair about it. "Let me ask you a hypothetical question," I so cleverly proposed, "If someone had a blog where they didn't identify themselves, the county, the school or the students by name, could they get fired?"
He asked me if I was giving away any "Trade Secrets". "Um, no...." I responded.
"Then you are fine."
So there you go.
Dear Miz Nilknarf,
There is a picture of you on Facebook drinking a glass of wine! Someone got fired for that, as well!
I saw that as well. I am somewhat anonymous on FB as at work I go by my full first name and my maiden name, as opposed to my nickname and married name that I am listed under on my FB. However, all of that said, if someone has nothing better to do than to try and find me and then complain because I am holding a wine glass in my profile and then the higher ups decide to fire me for it, that's cool. I will do exactly what that teacher did. Sue for wrongful termination. What if a student sees me out having dinner with my husband and I'm having a drink? Can I get fired for that? Its just ridiculous. I'm not a nun working in a Catholic school, for crying out loud. These types of things have nothing to do what our primary mission is supposed to be as educators--EDUCATION.
The bottom line is, I could get fired for many things, none of which are likely to be things like this blog or what I'm drinking in my FB profile.
Miz Nilknarf, what about all of that streaking you did in college, not to mention at the 10 year reunion? I believe there is video!
Now that is a legitimate concern! I can say that I won't be doing that again, for sure. A teacher has to have some standards!