Why in the world am I taking on my 51 in '15 challenge?
It has been a long since I was randomly blogging. Then it was just for fun and really didn't amount to much. I was just taking to the "interwebs" to spout off or to just make snarky comments. It was before the days of Twitter where to make these off-beat comments, you had to do so in a long format writing.
Now, as part of my New Years resolution, I am taking the 51 in '15 challenge to blog once a week. When I was blogging more, I found that it had several benefits; I hope to capitalize on them in 2015.
First, it is a great way to express my professional ideas and voice my concerns. Often times the voice of the teacher is drowned out by the media, reform groups that have huge war chests of money to spread their work, parents who vent about their children's teachers and students who use social media to paint of picture of education that might not be totally representative. By blogging, I can comment on these issues and offer my personal input, adding in commentary from my inside view. There are a lot of good teachers out there trying to make sure that the good in education has a sounding board and I want to add my voice to that mix.
Secondly, it is a writing practice. I teach writing, but I cannot tell you how long it has been since I have had to write something of real worth that was of any length longer than an assignment worksheet explanation. Blogging will keep my writing fresh and my skills sharp. It will also give me insight on where my students get hung up. When they say, "I don't know how to start," or "Why do you think this is unorganized?", I will have an idea of what it is that is giving them fits. I can look back at my own experiences and see where they are getting stuck or I can use that background to guide them through their troubles.
Thirdly, it allows my students to see me doing what they are expected to be doing every day. I have long felt that it is unfair to expect my students to do something that their teachers are not doing. Doing the assignments with them sheds light on the amount of work it takes to complete the assignments or helps me see if they are getting what the purpose of that work is. Often I will open up a document, project it on my Promethean board and start the writing assignment with them, but I generally don't get to finish it because I have to work my way around the room, helping students with their work. This lets them see how I approach an assignment and how I work through it, including how I find and correct mistakes. My blogging will put my writing in a different arena so that my students can see what I am writing, see my flaws and know that writing has a purpose.
Finally, blogging is a sounding board and continues the conversation with my PLN and professional peers. Twitter is great for asking for advice, sharing bits of information and connecting with some of the best in the profession, but blogging allows more depth to those thoughts and allows for others to weigh in with comments and counterpoints. Here I hope to take my thoughts from 140 characters and put it in a format that provides space to explore and explain. That will, in turn, open the door for others to expand on these ideas; together we can all improve
I know there are lots of other reasons to blog, but these are the ones that I am using to guide my blogging this year. It might not always be pretty, but it will be my work and my thoughts and the first steps on my road to improvement this year.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.