Recently, I overheard some educators discussing personal websites, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Although I wasn’t a part of this conversation, I couldn’t help but hear what they were saying (okay, I was eavesdropping).
The most disappointing part of what I heard was this statement: “Oh, who has time for all of that garbage?!?! All those things are just vanity tools. Nobody with a real life has that kind of time to waste.”
If you know me well, you know that 1) my blood pressure probably sky-rocketed after hearing that, 2) my eyes went into “crazy” mode (that’s for you, Jacen), and 3) it took every ounce of restraint I’ve ever had not to walk up to the group and set them straight. I started to walk in their direction three times, and then turned back around. I wanted to tell them that, yes… SOME people use those tools for their own personal celebrity. There are plenty who don’t, though. How can you have an opinion over something you don’t even use???
In this post, I want to address only one of those so-called “vanity” sites: blogging.
When I started this blog, I primarily used it to share what I was learning, as well as a reference site for some presentations I had given. I’m not sure it was a tool for reflection as much as it was a tool for me to “speak my mind.” … and there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s the purpose of your blog.
Now, though, I want to use this blog as an instrument for reflection, as well as a means for holding myself accountable.
- Do I walk my talk?
- Does my teaching reflect the passion I spell out here?
- Am I living that philosophy that I have shared and preached for the last few years?
More than once in my life as a student, a teacher told me that journaling was one of the best ways to record your thoughts, feelings, new experiences, and anything else you felt that you wanted to include. It was personal. It was reflective. It was a part of you. Blogs are simply online journals… and unlike the journals no one ever saw because I squirreled them away, my blog is viewed by others. Some of them even leave me feedback.
Hmmm… reflection and feedback. Aren’t those two very important pieces in the learning process?
It’s really easy for me to play the role of the puffed-up windbag. I have a lot to say, and I’m not shy about saying any of it. The only way, however, for me to ensure that I am NOT just a windbag is to back up what I say with action. The action is more important anyway!
If I blog about what I’m doing in my classroom and what I’m learning, and I know people are reading, I can be a better reflective learner. I can hold myself accountable to always do what is best for kids. It doesn’t matter if I have two readers or 2,000.
That’s why I blog.