One of the lovely things about eating in Brazil is that most places are designed for sharing. Here, you find buffets, rodizios, eat all you can, plates for two, shared appetizers. You rarely have a plate of food which you just eat yourself.
I am learning to share other things too. When you move abroad and work in an International School the different sections of your life become intertwined. All the carefully separated sections of work, home, social life are melded in to one seamless whole. There isn´t anywhere to hide. In the UK, I had developed a set of different personalities, and even names, to compartmentalise my life. What has surprised me about moving is that I don´t feel the need to separate myself as much. The Luci they see at work is the same Luci they see out; my friends are my work colleagues, my support networks are all closely linked. I was worried about this before I left. I enjoyed having my different lives; I liked not mixing them together. The different parts of me were shared with different people. So who am I now? I´ve exposed my core self, I can´t hide under all the layers anymore.
So, I wrote a blog. I wrote a blog and I sent it out in to the world. Some people read it; some people commented on it, some people ignored it. The thought of posting that blog filled me with fear. I felt foolish and exposed. I nearly didn´t do it. I was able to write the blog and feel comfortable about taking that risk, about putting myself on display because of the move to Brazil. The experiences I share on my social networks, electronic mails and texts have been the same for all my groups of friends, especially in these first few months. The pleasure of the new experience is equalising, I want to share it with everyone.
One of my social networks has given me access to the work of talented and creative people who share their thoughts, writing, pain and pleasures. I have been amazed and impressed by the things people will put out there for strangers to read. Gut wrenchingly painful accounts of horrific events, written so beautifully and with such subtlety and grace. These people inspired me too. You can feel the connections they make through the sharing, the power that comes from not being afraid. To stand up share and say this is me.
I also wrote and published the blog because I was thinking about the expectations had of the pupils in my classroom. I constantly ask that they take risks, share thoughts, opinions, writings, and readings. I would support them in doing it but I wanted them to feel that my classroom was a safe place to speak, to read, to make mistakes, to share ideas, to debate, discuss and disagree. If I wanted my pupils to take risks why was I so unwilling to risk sharing my thoughts with the world. If I was not willing to take a risk, share my work, why was I asking them to do what I was afraid to?
So, I wrote a blog. I wrote a blog and I shared it with my small world. My small world which was being pulled closer together by my removal from it, my move gave me the courage to put myself out for dissection. The people I read online made me feel braver to share even just my rambling thoughts on education. Sharing brings us closer together, we mustn´t be afraid to share.