Heather Wolpert-Gawron

What’s my role in this debate?

By on September 28, 2008

Dear Fellow Edubloggers,

Many of you have been blogging far longer than I have.  I have many of you on my Google Reader and I admire your wit, your writing, and would now love your advice.

Last week, I posted a review of the Stephanie Meyer Twilight series.  If you’ve read the review, you’ll see I was (to say the least) not a fan.  The point of my post was to encourage parents and teachers to read what the kids are reading so that they can be a part of their dialogue.  And, while I clearly didn’t like the book, I really like talking to people about all the new tween and teen literature out there and their opinions of them.  (Hence, the crowds of kids in my room at lunch, each there to check out new books in my awesome classroom library, or just simply there to hang out and talk lit.) 

Anyway, my posted review clearly hit a cord.  Generally I try to respond to everyone who comments on my website (pretty easy when you could count your daily hits on one hand), but the response to this review has been a little intimidating and, frankly, freaky.  

For not liking these books, I have been called an 80 year-old virgin cat lady, an unmarried woman who has never known love, a failed writer, a horrible teacher, a horrible mother, and basically the reason for our failed economy and global warming.    

In the other camp are the supporters, those people who have come to my defense and the defense of their shared opinion – that the popularity of these books seems to overshadow the honest appraisal of them.

I am grateful I have sparked such discussion, and I am excited about appropriate debate, but my question to you, dear readers, is this: what is my role now?

Clearly, on my own website, I am entitled to give my opinion, and I am also committed to a certain level of transparency, so I’m not looking to delete others’ opinions.  

But am I now the referee?  

Am I the moderator?

Or is my only role to write my opinions, as a print journalist would, send the baby out into the world, and then stand back to allow it to create its own life?

Am I supposed to address each email, try to defend myself somehow, or hang back and let the dialogue continue without further input?  

 So far, I’ve allowed the comment dialogue to continue with no input from me other than making sure the language is no more than PG-13 rated.  

My question to you is this: what role do we have as bloggers once our voice is out there?  Thanks to all who apply. 



Heather Wolpert-Gawron

aka Tweenteacher

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