Additionally, for the third time this year, I had some fun tweeting some #PromFails during the night. As anyone who's ever been to a dance knows, there's all kinds of people in attendance. Some sit in the corner and regret their decision to show up. Others can be found in the center of the dance floor and never stop unless a slow song comes on. Still others simply enjoy running around taking pictures of themselves with all of their friends. And of course, as with all things in life, there are many completely ridiculous things about it. Just as sporting events (adults paying to watch other adults play games) or marathons (city governments willingly closing roads to people can run in a big circle) are actually insane when you think about them logically, dances (getting super dressed up to conduct cardio in the dark) has plenty of it's own "Fails". The junior class did excellent work getting the event together, but an even without some self-awareness and deprecating humor just isn't as fun. Satire lets us be more self-aware, which really makes the whole thing even more enjoyable. It's when we ignore, or are embarrassed by the strange things we all do, that's when people start getting defensive. (And of course, pop songs have some of the best/worst lyrics of any music ever and cannot be left unchallenged).
While I received generally positive feedback on the #PromFails, I heard through the grapevine that some were unhappy with these messages. Some took them literally, or personally, or felt they were meant to insult the students or staff. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact it's because these jokes are public that makes them friendly. It's because they're ridiculous and use really bad puns that they work. It's because I seemed completely clueless on dance conventions that people chuckle moderately at the messages. (Having just explained the humor, the tweets are now ruined). I was tempted for a moment to delete my tweets, but then I realized this is just a side effect of being an open book. When you tweet thousands of times over past 18 months, when you blog daily for a year, when you attend as many sporting, extra-curricular, and formal school events as you can, you're eventually going to do, say, or express something that someone dislikes. Remaining silent, secluded, and locked up home will solve the problem, but I've seen so much good that's been done over the past several years with the increased digital presence that it by far outweighs any sour moments. The rapport with students, the utilitarian value, and the overall celebration about school events has helped connect me with other schools, parents, and students around the community. It's important to be mindful of your audience, and obviously important to avoid misunderstandings, but don't let fear become debilitating.
To all the teachers experimenting with technology, don't be discouraged by a hiccup or two. There's always a million reasons not to do something. To the students, especially the seniors, get yourself out there. Make a brand for yourself. I'm not talking about subtweeting, or conducting mass selfie-binges, I'm talking about making a consistent, organized, but also entertaining online presence. Everyone is getting "good", or even "great"...but how will you set yourself apart? Maybe it's a podcast, maybe it's a Youtube channel. A former student of mine currently runs his own sports blog both for fun, but also to make a name of himself. Maybe it's simply driving a golf cart and spreading the news about your school or your workplace. With only 13 days to go in the school year, and even less to the class of 2014...it's time to start looking for your own Green light. It may be already behind you.
In the meantime, check our some pictures below!