My recent post on beginning Persepolis generated a fair amount of comments among my Facebook friends, and an especially lovely one from a friend I actually met through this blog, a fellow high-school teacher who thanked me for being publicly reflective about teaching. Thinking about her comment made me realize that since I’ve shifted to blogging more about teaching, it’s really made me a better teacher, just as blogging helped make me a better writer. Here are some reasons why:
- Blogging under my own name means I rarely mention my students or colleagues, but instead, focus on lessons, texts and assignments, which keeps me focused on improving and reflecting
- Blogging about teaching has helped me be a better blogger, as many of my favorite posts are about teaching.
- Becoming part of the teaching conversation online has helped keep me inspired and avoid burn out
- I feel more a part of the teaching community when I’m adding to it, which has been incredibly useful as a personal learning network
- The span of one blog entry is a great way to reflect about one discrete piece of my teaching. For example: evaluations
- Reflecting periodically helps me think about larger patterns and greater goals that I have professionally
- My blog is a searchable resource for myself, to keep track of books about teaching I’ve read, and whether I’ve blogged about a certain idea or topic before
- My blog is a searchable resource for others: in the last three months, 9 of the top 15 posts/pages on this blog have been teaching-related. If you look at the last year, 3 of the top 5 pages/posts are teaching-related. The popular posts vary: lessons about metaphors, Gatsby Facebook projects, useful links about certain texts, and collections of lesson plans and resources about particular topics. That’s an argument for keeping this public and not just in a notebook for myself.
One of the many reasons teaching is a tough job is because we are constantly finding out more about how to be great teachers. Continually reflecting and researching helps me stay on the forefront of developing myself professionally, and hopefully, helping other teachers do the same.
- 5 Things Every 1st Year Teacher Should Know (5starstudent.com)
- Wavin’ Flag (and teaching our students to do the same) (dearteacherloveteacher.com)
- Week 2 Reflection (akteacheretlead.wordpress.com)
- Teach with compassion (tkcoleman.com)
- How Can We Improve Teaching? (hackingattheroots.wordpress.com)
- Who to believe: Teaching Ethically with the Free Web (amandahassen.wordpress.com)