It’s been about 5 months and 59 posts since I began blogging in earnest. I never really thought I would be a blogger; I always thought that I didn’t have time to both live my life and blog about it.
When I first started blogging, I set a goal to write at least two posts per month. I was familiar enough with my own writing process and standards to think that this amount would be all I could possibly handle.
And to my great surprise, aside from the end-of-the-school-year-frenzy-creates-writing-slow-down experience of the last month, I have been able to meet that goal. And more.
The amount of writing I was actually able to do astounded me.
So what happened?
To explore this question, I present a blog post about blogging. A meta-blog post, if you will. Not that there is any shortage of these posts out there. Indulge me for a few minutes.
Here are some reasons why blogging has re-energized me and why I believe that more teachers should blog.
- Blogging has created a greater sense of reflective practice. Blogging motivates me to pay close attention to my classroom practices to find those that are worth writing about. At the same time, when I realize that a practice is not worth writing about, I consider whether or not to keep it all that much more carefully.
- Blogging motivates me to try new classroom practices, lessons, and tools. I need material to write about, after all. After a while, I run out of blog post ideas, which means I then have to invent relevant subject matter, which means I have to try new lessons and tweak classroom practices.
- Blogging increases my Professional Learning Network, or PLN (we love acronyms in education). Blogging motivates me to read other blogs, especially teacher blogs. These other blogs also serve as my mentor texts. Blogging has driven me to Twitter, to seek out other teachers with blogs. There I have found not only other teacher bloggers but also numerous tips for the classroom in my Twitter feed. In many ways, blogging presents an alternative to antiquated models of professional development and allows teachers to learn how we learn best: from other current classroom teachers. We always discourage teachers from “going in the classroom and closing the door.” My blog throws the door to my classroom wide open.
- Blogging motivates me to write more often. Growth as a writer comes only through the actual unglamorous work of writing. The more often I write, the better at writing I will become.
- Blogging creates inspiration for future blog posts. I used to think that I couldn’t start a blog because I couldn’t think of enough to write about. The truth is, the more I write, the more I think of subjects to write about. I like to call this phenomenon the “blog firehose” – it just won’t stop – the ideas come to me faster than I can write about them or even just write them down. Even during times when I’m not able to finish many posts, I have several started and many scraps of ideas jotted down in my notebook.
- Blogging helps me find my voice. This is perhaps the most critical realization for me this year. I do have something to say about teaching and education, and the democratization of idea-sharing that the web has created makes it possible for me to contribute to an important conversation. I am at a stage in my career where I need something new. I want to reach out to other educators, learning from and with them.
Why do you blog, if you do? If you haven’t started blogging, what prevents you from taking this step? What are some of your favorite teacher blogs?