Blogging has probably had the biggest impact on my learning, not only in the last six years, but my entire educational career. The process has been absolutely amazing, and it has really pushed my thinking. I try to take a 360 degree view of my learning and think of the perspectives of others before I press “publish”.
What will be the arguments against what I am saying and how do I address them?
Would someone be offended by what I share, and if so, how would I do my best to curb that?
How will this impact teachers, leaders, and students?
I have grown a ton from the process and am thankful that I have started. The ability to be able to “google” my own stuff has also helped tremendously, especially through the process of writing a book. I couldn’t imagine going through hordes of notes, compared to the easy access that I have.
Yet when I try to explain the power of this learning, people will sometimes say to me, “I don’t have time for that.” I then start thinking, “You don’t have time to learn?” When would our students get away with that statement so easily?
Now part of my job is to show the relevance and potential impact this could have, but as educators are part of “learning organizations”, should we simply dismiss things with “I don’t have time for that” as a statement?
So instead of making that statement, could we say something like this instead?
- How will my students benefit from this practice?
- I am not seeing the relevance of this for teaching and learning…could you give me specifics of how this would impact my practice?
- How would you suggest incorporating what you are suggesting into my position?
- What has been the biggest benefits for your own practice?
- If I was to do this, what would it replace that I am doing now?
As someone who leads professional learning opportunities, I should be able to answer these questions in meaningful ways. But here is the catch…if the answer makes sense, you should do something to move forward.
In this post from Leslie Wangeman, she talks about openly about her change of heart once she started seeing the power of what blogging could look like:
Blogging is stupid. That is what I thought up to about 2 months ago. I barely have time to update my Planbook so, how do I have time to sit and write about what I do in my classroom, much less take time away from curriculum to have students blog in class?
…Well this blog is proof that I have to eat my words. Creating classroom blogs has been one of the best things that I could have done. It has created a level of transparency in my classroom, that I did not believe possible.
…Blogging has allowed parents who work hard to support their students, to still be involved in the classroom. The response has been overwhelming positive. If you ever need a self-confidence booster, start having your students blog. I have gotten so much positive feedback from parents. However, we all know that teaching is not about us! It is about our kids.
This post is not necessarily about blogging, it is about being open to learning, in whatever form it may appear to us.
We should never be dismissive of learning because we simply “don’t have time”. There is only so much that we can do, and there are ample opportunities to learn things that would make a difference with our kids, but let’s not be immediately dismissive and be open to asking questions. If it is not important or won’t have an impact, that is a totally different story, but let’s seek to find that out first.