Saturday, June 11, 2011
Becoming a Blogger
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