Time once again to open the PrincipalsPage Mailbag.
This question comes from a reader (as most of them do).
"Before I jump in and start writing, I just want to know if blogging has affected you or your career in any negative way. I am afraid, scared even, that I will start blogging (though I won't be negative or bash my district or job) and something I said will be used against me and hurt me and my future career?"
Now please keep in mind I'm no lawyer. But I do have a thought (maybe even a coherent one).
Blogs aren't felonies.
There is no crime in writing or sharing your opinion.
This is 2011, not 1611 (that's when you would have been considered a witch for blogging).
Now could you get fired or your career be negatively affected? Sure.
Especially if you do or write something stupid.
But you could get fired if the majority of the school board doesn't like your ties (or for the ladies... shoes).
You could get fired for just about anything (some of which may be well-deserved... since I've never actually met you).
It could happen.
I could write something so heinous that I lose my job.
Anything could happen.
I could win the lottery (keep a good thought for me).
Buddy the Dog could get off his big beagle behind and do something productive, but that's probably not going to happen.
The Evil Spawn could make it through her teenage years without rolling her eyes or begging me not to do something embarrassing in front of her friends.
And that's definitely not happening.
I am so embarrassing her every chance I get (more on that later).
I only have one rule about blogging.
Don't write anything you wouldn't say out loud in the middle of a crowded hallway in front of students, teachers, and parents.
If you do that, you probably won't get fired.
Again, I'm no lawyer.
For me, blogging has been a blessing. It's given me opportunities I couldn't have imagined.
I've met people and attended conferences where I've learned things that have not only helped me, but have also helped my school district.
Blogging has allowed me to get out from behind my desk and escape the four walls of my school building.
It's made the world a little bit smaller.
And most importantly, I've come to love the following 3 words.
All expenses paid (keep those freebies coming!!!).
So my advice: blog.
Just use good judgment, because people will be watching.
And hopefully reading.
Email Michael Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Michael N. Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@principalspage