Saturday, June 11, 2011

Becoming a Blogger

One of our Pre-Kindergarten teachers today was talking to me about how writing her class blog this year has been the best professional development she's had.  She's keen to turn this whole year of blogging into a book that parents can order and purchase online.  She was saying that she takes upwards of 25 photos of her class activities each day and her only tech request for next year is for a better class camera than the one she currently has.  This year she's had over 3,000 visitors to her class blog.

One of our administrators was talking to me today too.  She and I are working together to create a 3-day PYP workshop and we have started a blog for the participants to document the sessions, provide easy access to the resources we will use and to provide a place for the learning community to come together and share the learning journey.

More and more I see teachers turning away from the business models of reform such as Good to Great, which most educators admit have little impact on student learning, and a turning towards collaborative learning and shared reflections.   My Google Reader and Twitterstream are full of wonderful educators blogging about teaching and learning and reflecting on their practice.  They are at the cutting edge of education and often question the status quo and challenge assumptions.  They are the people I turn to for advice - with their combined experiences I know I will find a good solution - and because these bloggers are from all around the world I get answers to my questions fast - at all times of the day and night.  Each morning as I eat my breakfast I look through my favourite educational bloggers to see if they have posted anything new and I skim through Twitter to find any interesting links.   Before I even leave the house, I often have new ideas that I can mull over on the drive to work.  Some of these bloggers are colleagues I used to work with, some are people that I've started following and have then got to know in person by meeting them at conferences and workshops - most however I doubt I'll ever meet in person, but none the less they are giving me more professional development on a daily basis than I get in a year of in-school PD and meetings.  These bloggers are challenging my thinking and making me reflect on the hows and whys of what I am doing.

Writing a blog pushes me too.  Every time I sit down to write a new post I am thinking more deeply about what I am doing.  Every time someone sends me a comment or a question it forces me to think a little more too.  I enjoy the connections, I enjoy the fact that my thinking is getting more interesting.  This week I started my 5th blog and I'm looking forward to making new connections with that one too.

Next year I'm hoping that more teachers will start a blog.  The ones that are doing it and posting on a regular (daily!) basis will never go back now.  We do have a school website, which is a fabulous marketing tool, but not very useful for parents who are already in the community or for teachers to use to communicate with those parents (as a parent myself I never use it - I asked my daughter and she says she never uses it either).  We also have a student website where we publish resources that support the units of inquiry and where we showcase students' work - but these are just static websites.  The joy of the class blogs is that they are interactive, what is going on in those classes is transparent, the thinking in those classes is visible and it's being shared with the wider community.

Photo Credit:  Blog With Authenticity Without Getting Fired  Attribution 


  1. I'm fascinated that you see a "Good to Great" reform model as opposed or different from blogging. Good to Great is a body of research about what effective organizations do... it isn't a reform model. I would argue blogging is the transparent, honest, rigorous, and reflective dialogue that lies at the core of principles outlined in Good to Great. It can be the collaborative work of a real PLC - and DuFour himself calls on the research in Good to Great as supportive work to being a PLC.

    I couldn't agree more that blogging is excellent PD and at the core of being an organization that embraces the real, hard, rigorous dialogue necessary for reform. Keep up the great work - blessings on what you do for kids!

  2. Hi Chris,
    The Good to Great model has been used several times at school during presentations about how we are moving forward. We are told we need to get the right people onto the bus in the right seats and the wrong people off the bus. This can be quite discouraging! The focus has been on bringing in new people and putting them into key positions. The focus has also been on edging some people out. What I believe is possible, however, is becoming better with the people we already have. I think this is possible with reflection and critical thinking and that blogging and having professional conversations about what we are reading will transform the way we think about teaching and learning and move us forward.
    Thanks for your comments.

  3. I began blogging last year, July 10, 2010, and it is a decision I do not regret. I was able to combine my passions, teaching, writing, and technology, and I have loved every minute of it! It allows me not only to share, but I have made many connections I would not have if I did not embark on this journey!

  4. Blogger is a best platform to share thing and I am doing blogging from last 3 years. it is best to share you information fun pic or personal etc.

    The main thing in blogger is the blogger gadget you can embed twitter Facebook linkdin and many other profile pages in it so you can enhance your social network with it