Mar 19, 2013
Comments Off on Where Is Your Authentic Audience?

Where Is Your Authentic Audience?

I write this blog on a semi-regular basis. I follow a few other teachers, from across the province and Canada, that also write blogs. Not many. In fact, out of all my friends, I might be the only blogger. (Unless, they are blogging anonymously, which is distinctly possible.)

The point is, blogging may not be as “authentic” as I think.

I tweet on a semi-regular basis. I follow teachers from around the world that also tweet about education. Not many, really. In fact, out of all my teacher colleagues, about half actively use Twitter. (Unless, they are tweeting anonymously, which is distinctly possible.)

The point is, tweeting may not be as “authentic” as I think.

I read books and talk about them. I share the books I read and my thoughts on them with a group of people that fluctuates. In fact, many of my friends read sparingly, mostly the news or internet gossip sites. (Unless, they are reading novels and not talking about them, which is distinctly possible.)

The point is, reading and talking about what I read may not be as “authentic” as I think.

And so I’m left questioning, what am I in the pursuit of?

Theoretically, I want students to use their words as means of connecting with people. I want them to learn how to use language to move people, to persuade them, to inform them. I want them to understand that we must approach different audiences in different ways.

But who are these audiences I speak of?

My wife is an engineer. She writes on a regular basis, probably more than I do as an English teacher. Her audience is other engineers and she typically writes technical memos.

My brother is a radio promotions manager. He writes on a regular basis, probably as much as I do. His audience is other co-workers in e-mails, with point form descriptions of ideas and logistics.

I suppose I’m wondering, who are the audiences we are preparing our students for?

Most of us are not bloggers, or tweeters, or book club enthusiasts, yet I’m calling this the act of writing for authentic audiences. I’m wondering if I’ve missed the mark.

So, I ask you, where is your authentic audience?

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