I got thinking about history the other day.
How do we know what we know about the people around us? Our lives overlap in various ways. We experience things together, we talk, we share, we collaborate. If I want to know more about someone, I can give them a call or get together with them for a cup of coffee, and we can talk. We ask questions, we share thoughts and dreams, and a connection is made. History is about the relationships between our stories. It is a growing, changing thing. My story is different today than it was yesterday, and I’ve added a small bit to the web of history by the things I did today.
The day someone dies, their story, and whatever history they were connected to, is complete. The cement has set. Anything new we may have to find out about them is already there in the things they’ve left behind. This is the real job of the historian: to assemble the clues and fragments left behind by the people who can’t tell us their own stories any more.
So the ones who really write the history are the ones who leave things behind. And this is precisely why I think it is important for teachers and administrators to blog. What will future historians have to work with when they are trying to piece together the story of teaching in the twenty‐first century? Do we want our story to be told by politicians and the press? Do we want to be defined by the view from outside?
Teachers have always been in a position to create history and define a legacy through the students whose lives we change, and that is still true today. But we have a unique opportunity to tell our own story daily. If others listen to that story and create a conversation with us, the history is that much richer. Only while we are living that story can we add to the conversation and build an intricate, intimate picture of our lives and the lives around us.
Everyone’s story is interesting to someone, and everyone’s story is important to history. What history will you create today?