Contributed by Starr Sackstein
Any practitioner would agree that reflection is an essential part of growth. Looking back upon our learning and considering the merits and challenges of our experiences is a tremendous part of how we develop as educators and learners.
Imagine creating a space meant just to consider practice.
There’s an observation upcoming and you want to test something out before it happens, so you give it a whirl and then you write about it. Rather than put it in a journal, locked away for only your eyes, you post it to a public space where other educators can weigh in and help you move forward in a meaningful way.
That public space can be your refuge.
Creating a blog is an opportunity to develop as a thinker, learner, and writer, spending time developing your written voice and connecting with other educators. Taking the time to reflect publicly can and will change your pedagogy for the better.
Here are a few simple steps to help you get started:
- Choose a platform that suits your needs as a blogger; whether beginner or advanced there are options for everyone. Do your research and decide what will work best for what you want to use the blog for. Consider privacy functions, posting options, and sharing possibilities.
- Consider the audience you’re writing for – what tone is appropriate for that audience? Be mindful of the purpose of your writing and always try to adhere to that purpose.
- Think about your practice/ideas/experiences and write about them honestly.
- Write to connect while you reflect. Always try to ask questions in your posts at the end or throughout that provide opportunities for your readers to reply.
- Keep your posts short: 350-500 words. Longer could be appropriate in some situations, but readers like to get what they need quickly.
- Keep your paragraphs short and to the point, engaging the reader throughout. Make your posts easy to read.
- Consider a bulleted list or bolded text to help the reader along.
- No need to post more than once a day. If you’re feeling inspired, save your excess posts and schedule them for the future.
- Share your posts widely and generate conversations about learning.
Blogging is a great tool to both develop voice as a writer, and to develop sound pedagogy by reflecting on practice.
If you don’t blog yet, what’s stopping you? If you do, what do you like best about it?
If you want to know more about Blogging For Educators, check out the book.
Starr Sackstein currently works at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, NY as a high school English and Journalism teacher and author of Teaching Mythology Exposed: Helping Teachers Create Visionary Classroom Perspective. She is the author of the Education Week Teacher called Work in Progress in addition to her personal blog, StarrSackstein.com where she discusses all aspects of being a teacher. She is the author of Blogging for Educators.