Classroom teachers should blog. Its a tool that can increase reflection, inform parents and supervisors, increase interest in the classroom goings. I come across so many teachers who exclaim, “I don’t have time to blog!” and “I don’t have anything to write about worth reading.” If you are a teacher, trust me, you have lots of content to write about. You have stories to tell, field trips to document, announcements to make, and praise to give. If you are a teacher, you are tasked with documenting your professional growth, reflecting on your practices, and making it better. If you are a teacher, blogging is an excellent platform to model written communication for your students. Blogging accomplishes all of these things. Here are 5 things to consider when starting your own teaching blog.
Don’t Get Hung Up on Perfection
It’s easy to get hung up on perfection when writing. Don’t do that! One way to rest assured that your posts are ready is to have a trusted partner read your pieces before you publish them. Your audience of parents, students, and fellow educators are a super forgiving group. They will be grateful for your extra effort in communication and story telling.
Keep it Simple
Think of blogging as a narrative update for what’s going on in your classroom. Your blog posts can be as long or short as you like. It isn’t necessary to write several paragraphs every time. Some posts might be two photos with a few lines of text. Keep it simple and purposeful and it won’t seem so daunting. Parents love seeing their kids featured, and will enjoy keeping abreast of what’s happening in your classroom. Even parents of teenagers will appreciate the more detailed narrative of a blog as opposed to the usual 15 minute conference twice a year.
Share With Your Target Audience
If you only want to share it to a small group of people, do it. You don’t have to publish it to the world if you aren’t ready yet. Tools in WordPress.com are great for keeping your blog a bit more private. If you do want to share it out to the world, use Twitter as an avenue for sharing. Be sure to tag your tweet with hashtags that will be seen by more people like the ones mentioned below.
Use Your Blog as a Reflection Tool
By documenting your school year in your blog, you can revisit it during those pesky evaluation conferences. It is an excellent documentation tool as well as a reflective tool for you as a professional. Some teachers enjoy blogging about a successful lesson or activity. Other teachers like to blog about their ideas. Even in today’s digital world, Principals are often impressed by your amazing blog. You decide how it can support your own professional growth throughout the year and you can’t go wrong.
Use Twitter to Locate Good Blogging Examples
Later I will be sharing out my favorite edu blogs to read, but for now I encourage you to get yourself connected on Twitter to find some blogs. Good educational blogs can support your own learning and provide examples of enjoyable and interesting blogs. Search hashtags like #edtech #edchat #tt4t #ipadchat to get started.
I myself needed a little motivation to continue my own blog for the year 2016 so I am going to use a thematic structure to my blog. Each month I will blog about a particular topic. This month my theme is Teacher Blogging. I am also going to be setting aside a little time each day to write something with the goal of one post per week.
How can you get started with your own blog? What is holding you back?