I know many of you who read my thoughts here also read other blogs (such as Alfred’s or Kevin Schofield’s), so this may be a repetition of topic. But I also know that those of you who take the time to reply here sometimes don’t reply elsewhere, so I’ll take the chance on this entry.
Should Teachers Blog? Well, I blog (obviously), because I feel the need to share my thoughts and experience with a wider audience than just my classroom students. I chose theSpoke for this reason: as far as I know, the majority of subscribers are high school and college students. I don’t blog as a way to add to classroom lessons, although I do believe that some (better?) teachers could use this approach. Personally, I think this wouldn’t be as effective as it might seem, because A) I can’t guarantee that all my students have access to the web (okay, that’s a weak argument), and B) if I blog on a specific subject related to a classroom experience, I’d feel obliged to repeat the blog entry every semester / year.
So if I don’t augment classroom lessons, what do I blog about? Historically, my entries consist of perspectives based on my life experiences (current occupation and those of past lives), and on occasionally about things that happen in the class, beyond just the lesson. If I encounter a spectacular example of the "Ah-ha!" moment, I’ll happily share it with theSpoke world. And, yes, once in a while this comes back to bite me: my most-read blog entry came when I described an ugly incident in a past class, and faced numerous comments about violating student privacy. Curious, of course, that A) I never mentioned names, thus requiring you to be in my school to have any chance of knowing who I was discussing, and B) no one ever complains about equivalent "violations" when I speak glowingly about good times.
Okay, that’s what I blog about; now, how about comments? I know students make comments on my entries, and (extremely) rarely it’s my own students. Personally, I don’t mind this. As someone suggested in Kevin’s blog, a student that comments on their own teacher’s entry wouldn’t be able to (easily) retract the statements, nor hope that time softens their impact. No, in my mind, the classroom is still the place for open discussion.
Now it’s your turn: Should teachers blog?
COMMENTS FROM theSpoke:
Like you, I am a teacher and, like you, I blog. I blog to share insights and experiences, but not academics. I think if I were to turn my blog into something very academic, it would take all the fun out of blogging.