Tuesday, October 03, 2023

I'm Going To Have A Podcast

I first posted on this blog on March 28, 2009 under the title What's So Bad About Ronald McDonald? It took me awhile to get going, but by the end of that year I'd added another 198 posts, which was to be my lowest total for the next 14 years. That first post was a version of an article I'd written for Seattle's Child Magazine, a paper magazine to which I'd submitted my writing months in advance, then waited for it to come out. I'm sure I still have a stack of those magazines in my storage locker which is what we did back then when our names turned up in print. The miracle of the blog for me was that both publication and feedback were instant. 

Almost all of my readers in the beginning were the parents of the children I taught, but before long a handful of us ECE bloggers found one another. Most of them have moved on to other things, but there are still a few of us from the old days plugging along, even as the world seems to be passing us by. The blog has been declared "dead" so many times now that I've lost track, but from what I can gather, there are still new blogs popping up every day and it's estimated that more there are more than a half billion of us still writing and publishing. In comparison, there are only around 4 million podcasts.

By now, writing here is part of my lifestyle. I sit down most mornings and, in the spirit of an online journal, I do the best I can to share what's on my mind. On those rare days when I skip this exercise, I feel it as an emptiness for the rest of the day. 

I hope that no one has ever thought that anything I've written is mere click bait. I hope that even the people who disagree with me know that I'm sincerely striving to do the best I can each day. For a very brief time, I tried accepting advertising, but it didn't sit right with me. I try to keep this blog simple, straight-forward and true to the spirit of respecting young children, educators, and parents. I've allowed myself to stray into social issues, politics, philosophy, and popular culture at times, but I've always tried to keep young children at the center, and specifically the necessity for play.

I expect to be writing here for the rest of my life.

That said, for years now, readers and colleagues have been urging me to change with the times. Specifically, they've asked me to consider joining the world of podcasting. I'm not exactly sure why I've resisted it, but I'm now taking the plunge. I'm excited and anxious. My heart is beating a little faster just writing about it. The blog has largely been a platform for me to share my thoughts. With the podcast I want to create a platform that I can share with a variety of voices in the spirit of Teacher Tom's Play Summit.

It was at my first play summit that I interviewed Ojibwe educator Hopi Martin who gifted me the metaphor of the campfire. What I've largely been doing as a blogger is describing the campfire from my own unique perspective, but with this podcast I'm turning to the person next to me and asking them to share their perspective, then the next, then the next. It's only by listening to every perspective around the campfire that we can ever hope to really understand that campfire. And even then, even if it were possible to listen to every perspective, as Hopi told me, we then must then listen to the birds in the trees and the worms under the ground. The task of seeing the campfire will never been finished and that brings me joy.

In recent years, I've found myself increasingly driven by this concept. I've started thinking of myself as a collector of perspectives. I love nothing more than to have the world revealed to me in a new way, especially when it allows me to discover blindspots and fallacies in my old ways of thinking. Each time this happens, I feel myself growing larger and wiser, not by any virtue within myself, but because I'm now more intimately connected to the larger whole that is us.

It will take us (my wife and I) a few months to get the podcast up and running. We're targeting some time in February as our launch date. I'm a little irritated that it won't be as instantaneous as the blog, but it's a kind of patience I'm going to have to relearn. In the meantime, I'm asking for your help:

As a reader of this blog, if you listen to podcasts, which ones do you like the most? They don't have to be ECE or parenting oriented. I want to listen and learn.

Whose perspective would you like to hear? Again, they don't have to be ECE or parenting related experts. 

And most pressing right now is what should I call it? As you my have noticed, my naming convention over the years has been pretty lackluster -- this blog is called Teacher Tom's Blog, my books are called Teacher Tom's First Book and Teacher Tom's Second Book, my summit is called Teacher Tom's Play Summit. I've been told that this podcast is a chance to speak with a different audience, so maybe I should consider something a little more . . . something. I'm kind of stumped. I'd love your ideas.

If you connect with me via social media, please share any of your thoughts there. If you'd rather, write me at Teachertomhobson@teachertomsworld.com. 

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I look forward to continuing to grow larger and wiser together. I can't wait to see the us we will become.


"Teacher Tom, our caped hero of all things righteous in the early childhood world, inspires us to be heroic in our own work with young children, and reminds us that it is the children who are the heroes of the story as they embark on adventures of discovery, wonder, democracy, and play." ~Rusty Keeler
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