I wish I blogged more on my professional blog. An ongoing Genius Hour challenge I have for myself throughout the summer and into the next school year is to blog on a more regular basis. Currently I blog about once a month. For the amount of thinking I put into life decisions and education this is not nearly enough. About a year ago I wrote a post 1 More Fun Lane to Travel In. In this post I quote about the reason behind why I blog:
“I blog because I love to share. It also helps me make my way around perceived stop signs in my mind into an open highway lane of learning to be explored.”
In reflection I realize I need to blog more frequently to forge new paths into an open highway of possibilities. I need to allow myself personal time to do this. I am a better educator when I share my story. Sharing is learning! I know this is why many educators blog. They want to make sense of what matters to them and by sharing it they improve their practice and in turn improve the learning opportunities for the students they are entrusted with.
I do a lot of thinking, blog reading, and have many engaging conversations daily at school with @gallit_z, @vendram1n, @jpulvers, @skc99, @teacherrempel, and countless others inside and outside the walls of our amazing school relating to teaching, learning, motivation, and engagement. I am excited by learning and believe everyday is a great day for learning. However, sometimes I find blogging difficult to do with the challenges of balancing a young family, my health, and the personal responsibilities that come with being an educator. I realize I need to let go of trying to making things perfect. I just need to get my ideas out there and let others question them and make sense of it. By doing so I am giving myself an opportunity to refine my ideas and use peer feedback to help me question my own thoughts and improve my learning.
I have a number of posts I have started, but I just haven’t pulled the trigger on to finish. Reflecting back on our classroom this year and last year I understand some of the struggles some learners in our class had with completing their posts in the timeframe we asked. Sometimes more thinking and reflecting needed to be done in order to feel confident in the finished product for the larger audience they are expecting to read their posts. Other times they just needed encouragement that their opinion and voice matters to our world. In writing this post I think of George Couros’ post Resiliency and Grit, Not Failure. In it he talks about the importance of modelling grit and resiliency in our students and giving them opportunities to practice facing problems that are difficult to solve. This is one of the powers blogging gave my students the past couple years. When a post doesn’t go the way they think it should go it should not be seen as failure. Failure is giving up and not demonstrating grit (hard work) and resiliency to obstacles. I realize I should be looser with deadlines and be more giving of school time in order to encourage their authentic voice to shine through on their blogs. Creativity in expressing ideas does take time. I need to be more flexible with it. I also need to recognize those moments when I need to give of my time to model that my voice matters and encourage them that their voice matters too.
True learning comes from letting go of fears and being honest with yourself in talking about the bumps and turns in your journey. A lot of my fears when writing is whether something is good enough or is clear enough for my intended audience. In turn by making my learning visible to a bigger audience I also directly or indirectly have the ability help them understand and make sense of their journey. This is powerful stuff knowing my words and ideas could do that. This responsibility weighs heavily on my mind before I press publish on a post. I need to get over this and trust my gut and continually work to inform my opinions, be selfish, write to improve my learning, and subsequently improve myself as a person and an educator.
Be awesome everyone! Today is a great day for learning! Share your learning with others, so you can help yourself better understand it and for others to help make sense of their own. Today marks my 2 year anniversary with learning and connecting with others on twitter. The journey continues! Thank you to my personal learning network for supporting me and for sharing your learning with me.