The other day, I read a fantastic blog post by @sram_socrates on why he blogs. I follow Shawn on Twitter, and I always enjoy reading his blogs and tweets and learning along with him. This post though really inspired me to comment, and in Shawn’s follow-up comment, he said that he would be interested to read my post on why I blog. This got me thinking, so Shawn, this blog post is for you.
I wanted to try something a little different with this post though, and I’m going to do it in the style of @whatedsaid. This teacher keeps a fantastic professional blog where she often provides a “top 10 list” of her thoughts. Here is my Top 10 List (in no particular order) of Why I Blog:
1. I blog to reflect. I like to think about my teaching practices and find ways to improve on them. What worked and what didn’t work?
2. I blog to write. When I was growing up, I always used to say that I wanted to be a teacher and a writer. Thanks to blogging, I can be both!
3. I blog to share my thoughts with an audience. In teaching, I have learned a lot about the value of purposeful writing for an audience, and I believe in this purposeful writing for me too. I like to share what I do with others, and hear their responses too.
4. I blog to communicate with the community. I have two different blogs: this one, that is more of a professional one, and my Grade 1 Blog that is more of a parent blog. In both blogs, I want to keep people informed of what is happening in my classroom. I believe very strongly in parent communication, and blogging has certainly helped me with that. It has also helped me with communicating with colleagues too: both the ones that I work with and my wonderful online PLN.
5. I blog to model blogging for my students. Last year, I blogged with my Grade 1 students through a group blog and through their own individual blogs. I plan on doing the same thing this year, and I feel that if I expect my students to blog, I should show them the value in this type of writing by blogging too.
6. I blog to get feedback from others. I think that all bloggers enjoy the comments that they receive, and I can say that I definitely do. I have learned a lot from these comments, and I even made some great professional connections through the people that have commented on my blog posts. I love hearing what others have to say and engaging in good professional dialogue online: blogging lets me do that!
7. I blog to create an online portfolio of my work. I know that this is why a lot of teachers have their students blog, but this is why I blog too. When I look back at my first blog posts and then onto my more recent ones, I can see my growth as a blogger. I think that my language has changed, and what I can do on my blog has changed too. Now I know how to embed videos on my blog, upload photographs, and really share everything that I do online and in my classroom in one place. I can look at my blog and see how I’ve grown as a teacher, and I think that is important.
8. I blog to ask questions, and sometimes, answer questions too. Teachers constantly have questions to ask, and sometimes others will know the answers to them, and sometimes they won’t, but often the process of blogging lets me see the issues in a whole new way. Sometimes I can answer my own questions too through the blogging process, and sometimes, others pose questions to me that I want to answer in a blog post. The perfect example of this is Shawn’s question about why I blog.
9. I blog because other educators that I know and admire, blog. It was fantastic educators and bloggers such as @zbpipe, @gcouros, @thecleversheep, and @dougpete that got me blogging on a professional level. I read their blog posts and saw what they were talking about and the feedback that they were receiving, and I thought that it was time for me to reflect on my practices in the same way. Thank you for inspiring me to blog!
10. I blog because I love to blog! I may have started blogging for a variety of reasons, but the reason that I continue blogging is that I truly do love it. I like this time that I can sit in front of my computer, contemplate what I’m going to write about, and think about what I can ask here to receive feedback on my writing too. Blogging is fun, and I can definitely understand why many of my Grade 1 students said that it was the highlight of their year. I think that it is one of my favourite things to do too!
This may be my list, but I would love for you to share your list too. Why do you blog? Let’s see just how long a list we can make together!
Those are really good reasons, Aviva. It will be tough to add to the list. Do you use a graphic organizer when you’re composing or do you just do composition at the keyboard?
Thanks for your comment, Doug! I usually just compose at the keyboard, but sometimes I jot down ideas first. Regardless of which way I do it, I always spend a lot of time thinking before blogging, so that when I go to write, I know what I want to say. What about you? Do you use a graphic organizer to help you blog?
Fantastic post Aviva! As my school moves towards students and staff blogging and creating their own online portfolios, this is a great post to help others understand the “why” of blogging. I am glad you wrote this, because it is going to be very helpful in our school journey towards blogging!
Thanks George! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post. I think that it’s important to understand the “why” — something that you’ve mentioned in previous blog posts of yours too — and it was Shawn that really forced me to think about why I do what I do. I think that it’s amazing that all of your students and staff members are moving forward with blogfolios, and I look forward to hearing about their journeys too. I hope that they enjoy blogging as much as I do, and as much as my students did too!
I loved this post Aviva! I’m about to start my own blog and learning the reasons why other people blog is inspiring.
The reasons why I want to start blogging are pretty similar to your reasons.
Becoming a better educator and helping others by sharing my experience are my top reasons. I believe that writing my own blog will help me become a better educator by reflecting, sharing, communicating, and asking and answering questions…
Thanks for sharing this post with us!
Thanks so much for your comment, Greta! I’m really looking forward to reading your blog post when you start blogging, and I love reading your student blog posts now. Thank you for sharing why you want to blog too. I think that these are wonderful reasons and definitely ones that I share with you too.
Great post! So far I have only ventured into the blogosphere to provide classroom information for parents and students. I have not yet used a blog as a professional tool for reflection. Your vision of a blog as online portfolio is very appealing. I think I might be headed in the direction of creating a reflective blog. However, my area of strength is definitely verbal. Writing is more of a struggle for me, and I tend to obsess over what I write – even in replying to posts 🙂 I think you must be an amazing time manager to do all that you do.
By the way, I love the look of this blog. And – I appreciate all that you share through Twitter and your blogs. Much of what my students will be doing with technology this year is because I saw what you were able to do with your first graders last year!
Wow! Thanks so much for such a lovely comment. I really enjoy learning from you too, and from everyone else that I have communicated with through Twitter and through my blogs. All of you inspire me to try new things with my students.
I also kept a classroom “informational blog” long before I ever started a “professional” one, but I’m glad that I manage both now. I know that I have parents that read both of my blogs too, and I think it’s great that they can see my professional learning as well as seeing what I do in the classroom with the students. I hope that one day you’ll start some professional blogging too, and if you do, please let me know, as I would love to read what you have to say.
Thanks again for your comment!
What a great idea – “Why I blog”…There really isn’t just one reason. When speaking to educators recently about blogging I tried to make a distinct point about differentiating between a class blog and a professional blog. Two very different purposes and you certainly gave many examples. I plan to show my pre-service students this post. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and dedication.
BTW, I love the blogging format you’ve used.
Wow! Thank you, Zoe! Your kind words mean a lot. I’ve always really admired you as a blogger, and you’ve certainly inspired me to blog both personally and professionally. I agree with you that there is a need for both and a reason to separate the two blogs too.
Glad that you enjoyed this post, and I’m thrilled that you’re going to share it with your preservice teachers too!
P.S. I’m glad that you like the new look. I’ve been meaning to change the WordPress theme for a while now, and I finally did it today. I’m so glad that I did!
Well, there’s no need for me to write my own ‘Why I Blog’ since I would simply be plagiarizing yours. Thanks for the perfect description of why us PLNers blog!
Thank you so much for your comment! You’re an educator and blogger that I really admire, and I definitely appreciate your thoughts here.
You inspire me, Aviva! I so wish I could express what I have to say in a blog. As I mentioned before, I think there would be some with whom I work who would not appreciate what @dougpete calls my ‘shooting straight fro the hip’. I’ll be retiring in a year or so. Then…bring it on!
Thanks for your comment, Cyndie! When you do retire, I hope that you start blogging, and as soon as you do, please let me know. I would love to read a blog post of yours!
Aviva, what a fantastic and reflective post. I enjoyed reading it thoroughly. I really liked that you put it into a list, something all teachers like and regularly make (wish I would have thought of it). I would also like to thank you for the great compliment at the beginning of the post. It is an amazing compliment and I thank you for it. Dedicating a post to me, I’m blushing, and feeling elated. Thanks again, not only for the compliment, but for responding to my post and for following a suggestion.
It is truly a great post, one I and probably @gcouros will mention at some point during this year when we are talking to colleagues about blogging. I also look forward to the responses you get in regards to your request to see why others blog.
Once again great post and thanks.
Wow! Thank you Shawn for such a lovely comment and great compliment! I would have never blogged about this topic without your suggestion, and I really appreciate you making it. From your tweets and blog posts, I can tell that you are a passionate educator that truly cares about students, and I feel very fortunate to get to connect with you and learn with you (and from you) too.
Have a great school year! I hope to read many blog posts from you and your colleagues throughout the year too!
First of all, how did I not know you had this blog as well???? It’s just so hard to keep up with all you have going on in the virtual world. You’re an inspiration to us all.
I really enjoyed your reasons for blogging. Like you, I share many of the same reasons for starting to blog. I enjoy blogging because it helps me reflect, organize my thinking, and remember it. (Yes, these days I seem to need help remembering everything! lol)
Most of all, I blog to participate in the larger educational conversation taking place every day on Twitter and across blogs. There’s a thread that seems to connect so much of the thinking between educators. Reading blogs, and writing posts, helps me to stay connected to all that is happening. It causes me to rethink my practice and work to improve the work I do with children. Thanks for sharing the reasons you blog.
Cathy, thanks for such a nice comment! I haven’t been blogging too much on this blog over the summer, but once school starts again, I will be back into my regular blogging routine!
I’m so glad that you shared the reasons that you blog. Those are such wonderful reasons. I really do like to read all of the posts that people write reflecting on some of the conversations that do happen on Twitter. It allows us to continue these wonderful conversations without the 140 character limit.
Thanks again for your comment!