I was asked for my thoughts on a blog post by my friend Jabiz Raisdana on his blog post regarding the movement of his own community in blogging. Jabiz shares some of his thoughts on how blogging has maybe not caught on in his own building to the extent that he had hoped and how he hopes that he can move them forward.
It is amazing how much I can learn from the comments in my own blog post, but also from writing my own comments on other blog posts. The way we can develop and nurture our thoughts through writing has been one of the best, unintended benefits I have had through my experience blogging. Here is what I wrote to Jabiz on his post:
I totally get where you are coming from and appreciate your role modeling that you have done for others. The fact is, that many of us expect that educators just JUMP in and do some deep reflective thinking on a blog space, when they may have never even done that in any writing space (online or offline). It is not that these teachers are not reflective, they just may not write down their thoughts.
To help with this, I think that you will need to scaffold with them. I think of it on the level of Bloom’s taxonomy. To get to the high level thinking, we have to start often with some of the lower end stuff. I have seen teachers go from posting spelling lists, to some VERY DEEP, reflective posts that involve their students comments and conversations. The role modeling that you are doing is a great step, but it often needs to be accompanying other elements that you are bringing into practice.
One of my mentors said the following to me: “There are three elements of being a strong leader. You have to know when to stand in front to share and role model the vision, you need to stand beside and work together towards the vision, and you need to stand behind to encourage them to move on their own.”
I heard someone say something along the lines of this: “A rock is not formed in one swift move, and if it is, it can be destroyed. A rock is formed through the continuous shaping of the tide over years.”
As educators, we need to stop thinking of learning in yearly segments. Learning is continuous, along with the process of change and growth. When schools work together, and have that same belief, what they can do together is absolutely amazing. When we are rushing to get everything done by the end of the year through our own growth process, that is when things feel like add-0ns and we lose our belief in them. I for one, do not want to look back at my time as a school administrator and believe that the ideas I have implemented were “fads”. The tools might be different, but the learning should be continuous and built upon. If we really believe that an idea is truly better for education, the process will (and should) take awhile.
Is this not a great way to role model to our students that we are continuous learners?