Alphabet Challenge

Typewriter KeysI’ve been having a lot of trouble blogging lately. Given the number of updates, it’s probably not surprising. On the one hand, it is hard to set aside the time, but one thing I always say is that we make time for the things that are important to us. Blogging, for one reason and another, became less important to me. On the other hand, I actually do find blogging important. It helped me become a better, more reflective teacher. Thinking about teaching and learning, and articulating those thoughts here, really did improve my teaching. I credit the fact that I am a good teacher today to the years I spent regularly blogging about teaching.

I worked with a first-year teacher who sat down at the end of the day and wrote about how things went that day and reflected on what he’d change. He intended to use it as he planned the lessons the following year. It’s an excellent practice. I wish I had thought to do it. I have tried journaling offline many times, and I have come to the conclusion that it helps me to have people to bounce ideas around with. I was recently reading this article in which Paul McCartney’s writing process was one of many topics, and he mentioned that he still imagines how John Lennon would react to ideas as he is kicking them around.

One idea I had that I thought might help me get back into the practice of blogging more regularly is to create a challenge for myself. I decided I’d call it the Alphabet Challenge. I plan to write about an educational question or issue for each letter of the alphabet. It will not be easy for some letters, but I hope it will push me. I know the minute I set myself a schedule, I won’t keep to it because something will happen. On the other hand, if I make it too loose, I will stall out around letter E or F. I don’t want to do that, either. I want to try to give myself a Sunday deadline, then. If I write it earlier than Sunday, so much the better. If I’m ready to move on to the next letter in the same week, that’s great—even better. But the goal is at least once a week.

Anyway, here goes. No fair taking bets on how long I last.

8 thoughts on “Alphabet Challenge”

      1. I'd like to know more about the whys (and what works) of rewards, or approaches to teaching focus, or whether flipped classes stay flipped after the new wears off for students. (I'm curious what remains effective even when not quite so new.)

  1. How about talking about A for assessments, specifically performance assessments. Do you find them to be more useful sometimes than traditional assessments?

  2. Hi there – I'm doing this challenge myself along with over 2000 others, in the April #atozchallenge – as I felt I needed to push myself to blog more often, too. It really does help the reflective process. Plus, I love getting comments which provoke me to think differently or which affirm my thinking. Problem with the a to z challenge is that it's every single day (but not Sundays!) in April! It's been a challenge already, but one I'm just about on top of! check it out here:

    I love you blog, and look forward to reading more!

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