It's pretty rare for someone to unfollow a person on Twitter because he or she doesn't like homework. It's a safe topic, even if it stirs up a little controversy. Same goes with being for or against Professional Learning Communities.
However, there are certain topics that will lead to a loss of blog subscritpions and Twitter followers. In the past, I've seen this happen when I wrote about racism and Trayvon Martin or my support for marriage equality or when I mentioned my faith or my beliefs about immigration.
It doesn't have to be inflamatory, either. People shy away from discomfort and issues that make us uncomfortable sometimes seem to go against the notion of a PLN. We're supposed to be talking about education and learning and the best strategies to help kids learn.
And yet . . .
Some of our kids and co-workers are gay and will be affected emotionally if they don't have the same legal rights as others. Similarly, undocumented immigrant children have this cloud above them that can cover up their dreams. And faith, as divisive as it may be, often informs the values and philosophies of teachers.
We don't teach in a social, political and economic vacuum. And while being rude or preachy or sanctimonious are all dangerous traps for teachers (myself included) I am struck by the fact that these "outside" issues often permeate the classroom experience. What if, in talking about these issues, we get a chance to model meaningful, respectful discourse? What if, in advocating for these things, we get to offer a human perspective that's often missing from the debate about ideas?
So, it has me thinking . . .
What issues do you choose to be public about even if it means you'll lose followers, subscribers and friends?