Last year, a few of my teachers started blogging about their classrooms and not only things that were happening, but also opening up learning opportunities for their students. I distinctly remember one post where parents, students, myself, and the teacher talked about Ipods in the classroom. This was a great conversation and gave the school the opportunity to not only “tell” what we were doing, but also talk about it with all stakeholders within the community. When I envisioned our school having blogs for all classrooms, I hoped that we would open up more conversation like this, as we ALL learn from each other. These conversations are crucial to education.
This year, every classroom in our school now has their own blog and teachers are really starting to take off with this mostly new learning. I have been so impressed not only with our teacher-leader in this area and his support that he has provided for others, but with the entire staff. They have done a really good job to start off the school year to not only communicate with their class families, but to publicly show themselves as learners.
For me though, one of the biggest advantages from these classroom blogs is that I now have another avenue to visit each child’s classroom. We often joke about how I now am “spying” on all my teachers, but I have really loved reading their classroom newsletters, discussions, and celebrations of success (amongst other things). I try my best to visit classrooms as much as possible, but I cannot be in all places at once. This just gives me another opportunity to see what is happening in the classroom.
If your are an administrator, and your teachers have blogs, here are some suggestions that I have for you to really use this to learn about your school.
- Add classroom blogs to an RSS feed. This is such an easy way to follow what classes are doing, without continuously checking if sites have been updated. I use Google Reader to create bundles, so I can follow the content of all my classrooms in one place (similar to this one). If you do not understand what RSS is, here is a short little video that will help you understand.
- Take the time to share posts with other teachers in their school. It is hard to come up with ideas (here is a great list of them that my PLN created), so sometimes we can be inspired by what teachers in our building are doing. Celebrate and share!
- Take the time to comment on teacher blogs. This shows everyone that you appreciate what is happening in the classroom, and the extra time teachers are taking to communicate and collaborate with their classroom. Reading is not enough. Be a leader and show how to properly comment to your school community while also gaining the opportunity to communicate with students, parents, and teachers.
I get excited every time I see there is a new post in my blog bundle, and have been continuously impressed with the work of my teachers and students. It has been great to get another peek into the classroom.