So, as many of you might already know, the great Kate Nowak (@k8nowak) is doing a presentation about the benefits of blogging at the NCTM conference! (Whoo Hoo – wish I could be there.) She has asked folks to “talk” a bit about why they blog and what blogging has brought to their teaching (and personal) lives. I originally thought I wasn’t going to blog about that – that I might just talk to her via email or in person (lucky enough to live in the same town!) Then I decided I’d take the jump. Very much like I took the jump into to blogging to begin with.
I jumped on Twitter first – really because my ITRT (Instructional technology resource teacher) mentioned it in a PD. Lucky for me – I found Kate and Sam Shah (@samjshah) and everything changed. Through them I found lot of other folks – just to mention a few (I’m going to leave someone out..there are so many) – Shelli (@druinok), Lisa (@lmhenry9), Wendy (@wmukluk), Steph (@reilly1041), Justin (@JustinAion), Ashli (@Mythagon), Andrew (@mr_stadel ), Fawn (@fawnpnguyen) and of course Max (@maxmathforum). I branched from Twitter to reading all their blogs and I was hooked (actually at times feel like I need an intervention!) I lurked at first and felt a little like I was eavesdropping but then I jumped in and chatted and everyone was great!
At a time when I was feeling a lot of pressure at school, this place was a place to vent a little, ask for advice and get some support – actually lots of support – from folks who had never even met me. At first I was surprised and thought why would these folks help me? They don’t even know me. But then I got it! They love what they do – just like I do. They love kids (most days) and want to do the best job they can. They enjoy working collaboratively with others and want to have conversations about how to do their jobs better. They are willing to put themselves out there all in the name of helping kids (and other teachers.) They are amazing – and I wanted to be them! So… I jumped. I blogged about a year after I started on twitter. The reasons…
- I wanted more than 140 characters to express myself (I love to talk!)
- I wanted to give something back to these folks that have been so supportive of me.
- I wanted to continue to work collaboratively with others that have now become some of my closest friends (even though we haven’t met.)
- I want a place to bounce ideas off others, share stories and learn about the ideas of others.
Schools are busy places and sometimes collaborating with colleagues is tough to do. Time always seems to get in the way (I can blog and tweet when it works for me) and sometimes being in the same place doesn’t lend itself to generating new ideas. I have friends and colleagues everywhere now. I’m excited about my teaching again. I’m not perfect but I know I have a place where I can go and talk about my ideas and get honest feedback and support. I don’t have to be perfect – just willing to listen and share.
Kate – not sure that’s what you’re looking for but that’s me. Sorry its so sappy – but it is what it is. Its been a game changer for me. What’s that saying – “If you don’t grow, you grow old!” Heaven forbid that should happen! Thank you all!!