I love making new friends but for some reason it seems very challenging to find new teacher blogs. As I've talked to teacher bloggers, these are some of the reasons I hear for teachers not sharing their links more openly.
Why I think More Teachers Don't Share Their Blog with Others
- Humility. I think many teachers are naturally humble and perhaps don't share their blogs outright. They don't want to be misconstrued as just another teacher who is looking for a “ticket out” of the classroom. (I'm happy in the classroom but enjoy a few excursions a year.)
- Inferiority. Or, teachers might just feel like their blog isn't good enough. “I'll wait until I'm better at it.”
No, you're fine now, jump in! Don't have an inferiority complex. I've gotten in trouble many a time for saying, “I'm just a teacher” and don't you make my mistake. You're not just a teacher — you're a teacher, for goodness sakes and more teachers need to be heard. We need Science, History, Literature, and more teachers coming on. This needs to move past edtech and into mainstream education, now. Will you be THE blogger for literature or THE blogger for science. You could be… but ultimately I do this not to be THE blogger of anything but to be a blogger who makes a difference and helps other teachers.
- Paranoia. Teachers organizations have come out against blogging. Somehow we are pariah's. Why? Be a professional, don't share confidential information and focus on best practices and you should be OK. Sort of a “I”ll dip my toe in the water and maybe no one will catch me.”
I've been open since day one with my administration, going so far as to set up an e-mail subscription and subscribing them to my blog! I want my school to read my blog. And we've gotten grants and opportunities for my classroom over the last year because of it!
- Fear. Sort of like #3, but sometimes we're afraid of success. Success brings with it a lot of things… pressure to keep posting. Sometimes it will get one into unhealthy contemplations that make the blog overimportant. (Like being up at night trying to come up with THE post of the century.)
- A Feeling of Being overwhelmed – When I started, I often wondered, “what can I add?” There's too much. I cannot do this. I don't have the time.
Follow principles of good blogging, good commenting, and just add your thoughts. No blogger can replace the Wall Street Journal or professional media outlet. You're not the single-handed newsbreaker of education, you're adding your opinion.
- Not wanting to be microanalyzed – This is a tough one. There are always those “Drive by commenters” who drive in, unload a few clips, and drive off. They have killed not a few great bloggers in the beginning.
Early on I had people bug me about spelling, grammar, and all the mistakes I make naturally. Maybe I should hire an editor. Or maybe I should just be me and live with the fact I'm human. I love reading blogs because they are human.
I appreciate the person who privately e-mails me about my mistakes so that I may correct it. I don't appreciate people who act unkindly and mean about a mistake. They seem to forget that what we dish out has a habit of being passed back around to us.
- Not wanting to become embroiled in debate. This took some getting used to. Sometimes I'm drug into debates that I simply don't have time for and didn't ask for. I used to let them bother me. I guess two years has given me a thicker skin somewhat.
Debates are part of life and really, your blog is as controversial as you make it. I've always found, however, that treating people on both sides of every disagreement with respect and modeling for our future leaders how to disagree is very important.
When some bloggers treat others with disrespect or make mistakes and do not correct them, they go down a notch in my book. I'm so glad we're not carbon copies of one another… we are beautifully, wonderfully different.
Every person on this planet deserves respect. I don't care if they are mowing your grass or sitting behind the desk in your mayor's office. People deserve respect because they are people and this is something that the blogosphere needs to work on.
We can be part of the problem or part of the solution. I know few people better than teachers at mediating disputes! You can be part of the problem or part of the solution and apathy too is a problem. Learning how to disagree respectfully online is part of life, don't let that deter you from blogging or sharing your blog URL.
- They don't see the point. “Why share my blog? Vicki or any of the other bloggers already have enough people vying for their attention.”
I disagree.. we have enough of the WRONG people vying for our attention. I WANT to hear from teachers… always. I want to hear from educators. I want to learn from people in the “trenches.”
I want to be the first commenter on new blogs. (Which is why I try to comment on those who link to me that I can tell are newcomers.) We all need some encouragement.
The point of sharing your link is to let others know that you're there and engage in conversation. Just do it. I'm asking you to share your blog.
So, this summer, I would like to spend some time finding cool teacher blogs. I'd like to hear and find a few new voices and I'm sure others would too.
I know there are lots of places that list edubloggers, but I'm asking you to share your link here and share a few more things – use this template.
Share your link
— unfortunately, in blogger comments, you must do this manually, but if you share your link, make it into a “live link.” (Don't worry, if it doesn't work the first time, try again — I won't be bothered by multiple entries.)
This graphic from my post 10 habits of bloggers that win, shares it.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Who are you? Why do you teach? What do you teach? Where are you located? Not a complete bio, but the blurb you would tell someone if you had 20 seconds to introduce yourself.
Who are you writing for?
Who is your audience? Do you know? (If you don't, think about it.)
Why are you blogging?
What are your reasons for blogging? We all have reasons!
I'm ready to meet you! (Even if I already know your blog, feel free to share, others may want to meet you too.)
Here is my intro.
I'm Vicki Davis and I write the Cool Cat Teacher blog. I am a teacher at a small K12 private school in south Georgia USA and I believe passionately that teachers need encouragement, practical best practices in the classroom, and should be treated with nobility as the world's greatest calling! I believe that global collaborative projects are an essential part of learning. I believe that we all need to laugh and be inspired if we're going to make it through this high burnout profession.
I have two children of my three children with Learning disabilities who must be accommodated with technology and so I adamantly know and believe in the results I've seen with technology with my own children. I believe that children are amazing gifts from God and each one has something that they can do best. (I also know that LD often means children are wired more artistically and creatively and believe wholeheartedly in differentiated learning.) Children aren't production items in a manufacturing plant, but individualized, amazing packages of hope and opportunity and teachers have the ability to treat them well or do great harm.
My audience is educators and other teachers, however, I'm really geek too, so I find that technical type people read my blog too. I love dreaming and coming up with ideas but more importantly, reflecting practically on what I SEE in my classroom to be true based upon what people are saying.
I see a great disconnect sometimes between what experts SAY and what is really happening in the classroom (at least mine.) So, I blog to share my own perspectives and to learn from others. (I learn more than I give.)
I started blogging to learn “how to blog” so that I could teach it. I am still blogging because it has become part of who I am.
I don't know how many of these will come in, but I'll do my best to follow the links and say “hi.” If you like, share your best blog post!
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