Two things happened lately which encouraged me to write up this post.
Firstly, one of the most prolific and helpful bloggers in the ELT blogosphere recently started a blog challenge called Behind the Scenes of Your Blog and directly addressed me on Twitter (see the tweet below). Well, it’s too irresistible not to give it a try in some way or another. I should add that Tekhnologic’s idea was originally inspired by James Taylor’s fabulous post which you can read here.
No matter how much I hate labelling and try to avoid it at all costs, I recently got a label myself. Once in a while, students at our institution publish a school magazine for which they interview local teachers. They decided it was my turn this time and the interview appeared in the latest issue of the publication.
In the introductory paragraph, the authors (two 15-year old girls, students of mine) use the following words: a popular teacher and a blogger. It really made me smile when I read the draft for the first time. They might have called me a teacher and a mother of three but they didn’t. Ironically, I don’t think I ever mention my blog to my students but somehow they know. And they must think blogging really matters to me.
Nevertheless, I can’t help feeling that the label blogger has a slightly negative connotation in the area where I live – at least to specific groups of people. I don’t fully understand the reasons behind this; I guess it’s probably because everybody blogs or makes YouTube videos these days and some people are simply not very comfortable with the idea of sharing personal stuff online. Also, I suspect that we Czechs are not used to promoting ourselves openly; we see it as a little embarrassing and to be frank, I had to overcome these emotions myself as well.
So when I read the interview, for a fleeting moment, I suddenly felt a little ridiculous again. Then I realised that the problem is the language in which the text was written. I mean, in English, the words blogger or blogging are used frequently, naturally and quite neutrally. However, when embedded in a piece of text written in Czech it somehow feels too extravagant, too trendy – even a little infantile. In other words, the word doesn’t sound serious enough for an experienced teacher working in the State Sector of education.
In this short post, I wanted to explain that a lot is going on behind the scenes of one’s blog – it’s not only about writing techniques or timing – it’s also about the way the blogger and others feel about blogging. I hope I managed to get the message across. 🙂