To blog or not to blog?

That is the question.

I wonder if Shakespeare is rolling in his grave? His familiar prose is so often used and abused by us amateurs.

Well I’m definitely not Shakespeare that’s for sure. When it comes to writing, I am competent at best. If you’ve been reading my other blog posts you’ve probably noticed several grammar mistakes, possibly some poor syntax choices and a myriad of other ways my writing could be improved. But you know what? That’s ok. Because it is my blog, in my voice. And also I’m not an English teacher so quit judging me!

Let me say something that you may have gleaned already from reading about the journey that took me here:

                                                      I am small fish.

I have been teaching for a measly five years. I don’t have a masters or Ph.D in education. I have never won any awards. I certainly don’t consider myself an “edublogger”. I don’t want my blog to sound pretentious because I’m not. At times I may come across as self deprecating, naive, or even boring. I have resigned myself to the fact that this will blog not be perfect, but that is no reason not to try. I have accepted that I may never sound as informative, inspiring or interesting as those who do it professionally or who have been writing for years. The sheer volume of excellent educational blogs out there is overwhelming and it’s not a competition. The point is that I am still learning and eventually I will get better. So don’t stop reading just yet!

There are several reasons why it is a good idea for a teacher to have his/her own blog. These five come from a blog post I read called “5 Reasons Educators Should Blog” by Bill Carozza written on June 10, 2012 and posted to “Connected Principals” (see my blog roll)

1. To be reflective. This was my main reason to start this blog. We expect our students to be reflective at all stages of learning – before, during and after a unit of study. If they cannot identify and understand their own strengths and weaknesses, how are they meant to grow as individuals? Thus I believe we must practice what we preach in order to improve our own methods. Having a blog is a great place to put your thoughts down and have them archived so you can come back and learn from your own introspection. I want to reflect on how my classes are going and feedback I receive, but also on research that I do and articles that I read. My blog is for my own personal growth.

2. To be collaborative. Blogs allow you to connect with other educators. You can read posts, comment and get a conversation going with someone thousands of kilometers away from you.

3. To create a “digital home”. By creating a blog you have a place that is your own in the virtual world.

4. To get noticed. Blogs can be useful to brand yourself.

5. To encourage the same from your students. By having your own blog you are modeling for the students how to appropriately utilize one type of technology. This is especially important when it comes to digital citizenship. Through our own blogs we can show students how to avoid the risks and harms of putting yourself out there on the internet. We can show them how to respect legal rights like copyright if we use images, quotations etc… We can help them determine how to write for a particular audience and use ethical judgement.

I would also add that having a blog can be useful to connect not just with students and other teachers, but with parents as well. For example, parents do not have access to our online learning management system and therefore cannot be involved with the daily happenings in our class. However, my blog is public and therefore can be a platform to connect regularly with parents. They could use it passively and simply read what I am writing or they can engage with me through comments or by following me on twitter – a link to which is on my blog.

Another reason I started this blog is to be accountable. I said I was going to change my practice and now that I’ve put it out there on the internet for the whole wide world to see, I REALLY BETTER DO IT! It’s like putting your money where your mouth is. There is no backing out now. No being lazy. No getting complacent. Starting this blog was my first step towards committing to change.

The last thing I want to leave you with is a little inspiration in case you are thinking of starting your own blog or if you feel like you too need to make sweeping changes in your practice. Don’t be scared. Just do it.

                                                 An Invocation for Beginnings

This will not be like that time I signed up for a gym contract and never went. Nope definitely not.

Here’s another great article from Learning with ‘e’s on why teachers should blog:

Next blog post….Buzz Word – 21st century learning

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