Today is my blog’s first birthday. It has been such a tremendous way for me to reflect and share my ideas about education. It took a lot of convincing for me to start writing, and as funny as it sounds, I couldn’t imagine being without it now. I was never what you would consider a ‘strong writer’ in school. To be honest, English was not my favorite subject and I took the absolute minimum number of writing classes possible to graduate high school and with my undergraduate degree. So, when I was approached about beginning a blog by colleagues and even my husband, I shrugged the idea off. After quite a bit of nudging and some testimonials from educators I respected on the value of blogging, I reluctantly agreed to get started. I thought that I would use my little blog as a reflective tool, and who knows, maybe I could improve my writing skills a bit at the same time. I had no clue what I was getting into…
I had developed a closed mindset about writing – this is exactly the opposite of what I promote in my classroom. I love innovating, taking some risks for the sake of learning, and pushing myself forward in that manner. Blogging felt like the biggest risk I had taken in a long time. I was going to not only write, but also put it out in a public forum where people could comment, critique, and disagree with me. It was scary. Then I remembered all the frightening things we ask out students to do each day. Fear needed to be overcome, I had to courageously model the behavior I wished to see from my students.
After publishing my first few posts, I calmed down a bit. The writing had been well received and there were a few people who let me know they enjoyed my writing, or that what I said made an impact. Then the steamroller effect started. I actually enjoyed writing, so I wrote more. I got positive comments and others that made me think and reflect. I got a great deal of support from my Professional Learning Network who regularly read and respond to what I write. Inspiration for new posts seemed to pop up everywhere. I have written consistently for a year now, and I am a better educator for it. Blogging has strengthened my writing skills to a point that I have confidence in an area that I previously thought was a weakness. Success breeds success, and the more I write the better I become.
So as my blog heads into its second year, I hope to keep improving my skills and reaching a broader audience. I will continue to promote my passions of healthy grading practices, standards based learning, differentiated instruction, student ownership in the classroom, amongst other things. As I said earlier, I undoubtedly cannot imagine life without writing at this point. It guides me to sharpen and hone my craft of teaching while providing a wonderful space for reflection. Writing forces me to analyze my beliefs and defend them in an articulate manner. With every post I am reminded of the importance of a growth mindset and what a considerable impact just a few words can have on others.