Ooooh you seem to know a lot about a lot…
I read many blogs. Probably too many. Thanks to @OldAndrewUK and his @EchoChamber2 re-blogging service and the amazing people in my personal learning network that share their creativity and ideas. (See them here @ASTSupportAAli.)
There is a problem with reading too many blogs. (Think consumption versus production?)
I think there is such a thing I call ‘Information Brain Overload or IBO.’ (Not a real syndrome!) Symptoms include wanting to try every initiative, idea or positive resource that has been shared by others, in your own school. Therefore possibly forgetting what your day to day job is; to simply teach.
As I scroll down through the blogs on my laptop, iPad or iPhone, (I can’t get away from them- my fault!) I often sit or lay back and think…
- I am jealous
- I would love to work with/for
More often than not, I also think the author has a real talent, insight, knowledge, expertise. Never do I associate this talent with their level of flare in the writing itself, but simply on the content. (I write all my blog posts quickly and with little effort. I reel them off as thoughts flow from my head through to my fingertips, usually in a haphazard way!)
I make my judgement of others blogs on what they have written about. NOT, who has written it. Or how they have written it. Sometimes some blogs are churned out so often by such ‘celeb.’ teachers that they are reveirred even if they are simply not true, accurate or fair.
Once I have read the blog, my next step is to find out the position of the writer. Are they a consultant, ex-teacher, Head Teacher, member of SLT, Head of Department/Faculty, Subject Leader, AST/SLE, pastoral lead or a classroom teacher. I wonder what type of school, age range and area they work in. Also, whether they are local, national or international. I like to know this, I like to know where their insights are coming from and through what experience.
Once I have found out all this information, (usually by clicking on their ‘about me’ or twitter description.) I then smile, thinking to myself, imagine the impact they are having with their own students! I then smile more, thinking that the author is being kind enough in expanding this impact in allowing others to gain from their sharing.
I thank them virtually. Through a favourite, a reblog or retweet. More often than not, I will tweet to say thanks.
Do all these bloggers, actually share their blogs with or within their school? To their teams? Their SLT? (I do understand some blogs are reflections and this is an essential part of developing ones professional practice.)
When I write a blog I share them with my teams/SLT/colleagues. I ask for their opinions too, I then add this to my posts if relevant.
For example I have shared the following blogs…
- Some Difficulties– with all staff- Support/Teaching staff
- Revision– with Heads of Departments
- Pupil Premium Info– with local schools SLT
- Ofsted Inspection– with my SLT and so on!
By sharing blogs with others in your schools will mean whilst writing you will need to reflect/be mindful of what your colleagues will think and how they will perceive your blog. It also means you must practice what you are preaching in an otherwise virtual ‘check’ free world. By sharing your blog, it remains grounded and honest. It sparks conversations at school. This has been really powerful for me. (I can’t stretch or exaggerate!)
Generally, blogging for me is about…
- Expressing thoughts and opinions
- Reflecting on my past/current activities/ideas
- Sharing and spreading awareness
- Connecting with people
- Staying knowledgable about my field
- Neatening up the messy thoughts in my head
- Expanding my CV/reach
- Improving my writing skills
- Helping people
Why do you blog?
I am not so sure enough bloggers are sharing their blogs with others in their own school… Not sure why I have this feeling, I just do… Through initial conversations often I am told, that their schools are not interested, or do not care. I find this worrying. That there is somebody displaying real skill and enthusiasm online and not being used to full effect by the people paying their wage.
So, if you do blog and share, then share with your ‘home’ first… let others that are right ‘next’ to you know what you’re thinking, doing, saying, hoping, wanting and arguing for/against.
I realise there is a feeling that others may think there is some self promotion going on, or showing off… this is the exact thing, I want to break/stop. Or some people blog anonymously so they are not reprimanded for what they are saying… Is this helpful? (Not saying it isn’t!)
So why do you blog?
If you blog about difficulties you are facing, without ‘those’ knowing, how can they make a change? Especially if you are so angered, upset and distraught by what is going on… if relevant share it anonymously.
If you have such a well read background on an issue of concern to you, then how will the ‘others’ know? Are you depriving others of the opportunity to learn from you? Many in schools aren’t as ‘up to date’ as ‘Twitter teachers.’
Get sharing… as you do blog, so you do care and want to make a difference, right?
Blog: To write about (an event, situation, topic, etc.) in an online format through various platforms/tools.
- Here is a really useful blog about why teachers should blog written by Steve Wheeler!
- Also a great article on how to get your students blogging here.