Slice of Life #22: Hello to my Students

hello photo
Photo by Franck Mahon

During a discussion with students today over Robin Bates’s wonderful blog Better Living Through Beowulf, and its potential for ideas for their papers, a student asked me, “Don’t you have a blog?” I said, “Yes, I do,” and the students were curious. I told them where they could find it.

In the early days of the edublogosphere, educators often blogged under pseudonyms or were discouraged from blogging at all. Many feared retribution over what they might post, and at that stage, blogging was considered a bit edgy. I have been blogging here for ten years now (eleven in June), and I can’t think of anything I would write here that I would be nervous about administrators, work colleagues, students, or parents reading. In fact, I invite it. I want the people I work with, the students I teach, and their parents to know I think a great deal about teaching, and blogging is a big part of that reflective practice. Blogging about my teaching has made such an immeasurable difference in my teaching career that it’s hard to say what kind of teacher I would be if I hadn’t started blogging. It was through encouragement on this blog that I tried just about every initiative in teaching, and each of the initiatives that has worked has made my practice that much better. In fact, I am not completely sure that I would still be teaching if not for the support and reflection this blog has offered me. When I began teaching at a school where that support and reflection was built into the expectations and culture (in comparison with other places I’ve worked), I admit I slacked off on posting, but I have yet to find any ongoing PD that has been as beneficial to me as blogging about what I am doing in the classroom.

Even though I have improved my teaching practice over time, and this blog reflects that improvement (I find in reading older posts that my positions have shifted quite a lot in some areas), I am proud that my colleagues read my blog (and sometimes leave comments) and if my students were to find it interesting that I reflect on ways I can be a better teacher out here, then they are welcome to visit. (And hello!)

Slice of LifeSlice of Life is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life #22: Hello to my Students”

  1. I concur w/ the value of blogging as reflection. I’ve actually used some of my blog posts in class to show students how I think about some aspects of teaching, particularly some books. Blogging is one way for students to know that I, too, write.

    I need to catch up w/ Professor Bates’s blog. I’ve slacked this year. It truly is inspiring.

  2. Inspired to read your reflection after blogging for so long. I agree that my written and public reflection when I blog keep me current and growing. Refreshing to think about today!! Thanks!

  3. I often use posts on my blog as mentor texts for students. I can use “professional” mentor texts, but they like to read the “real” things I have written. It makes the writing seem more attainable, I think.

  4. I, too, enjoy going back to reflect on my previous posts. When I saw your blog header, I remembered a post of yours I read a few years ago about essential questions. Tonight I found myself going back to that post to reread those powerful words and ask myself how I can ask the deeper questions when my focus seems directed to the narrow questions/learning target. Revisiting your post was refreshing to me. Rest assured your words don’t just help you make meaning out of your own practice to promote your own growth. Your words give others food for thought as well.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate it. I have to say, Understanding by Design changed my teaching so much. It’s a marker for me: before UbD and after UbD.

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