2014 was the year I finally decided to seriously blog. After reading so many amazing posts from other educators’ blogs on Twitter, I resolved to become brave enough to put my own voice and thoughts out there. I am happy to say that it has been an amazing experience so far. Blogging has been clarifying for my own practice, as well as becoming a way to connect to other educators.
I have to give credit to two people who inspired me to become more serious about blogging in 2014. After some great conversations about the book Digital Leadership during an #educoach chat last spring, Kathy Perret, Julie Bauer, and I met to talk blogging during a Sunday afternoon Google Hangout. Kathy had been blogging for quite some time, and her advice about developing ideas for writing and finding your audience were invaluable. Julie, who was brand new to blogging, helped me feel like I had a partner in this new venture, as we both believed that we had much to say — even though we weren’t quite yet confident about sharing our ideas in such a public way!
When I reflect upon my venture into the blogging world last year, I must admit that it has changed me as an educator. I feel more connected to my colleagues around the world. I feel that I have experience, knowledge, and ideas that other find valuable. I feel more reflective about my own practices as a teacher and instructional coach, making me more aware of my successes and areas for growth.
If you wonder about whether your voice has value, I assure you it does. We need you. Start a blog this year.
Without any further ado, here are my five most popular posts from last year.
ISTE is a huge conference. It was my first time attending, and to say it was a bit overwhelming for me would be a understatement. I decided that reducing what I learned into five take-aways would help me reflect and take action.
This is a simple post about one of my favorite easy-to-use vocabulary-building activities. Making vocabulary acquisition engaging for students is a passion of mine, and this post was the first in a series of 6 posts about fun vocabulary activities. I also mention how this strategy can make word walls “interactive.”
I received a lot of positive feedback on this post. It seem like there is such a wide variety of preparation that teachers receive when they take on a coaching role. Some have absolutely no knowledge of effective ways to build partnerships with colleagues. I feel passionately that instructional coaching only works through positive partnerships, not pseudo-principal evaluations. This may be my most personal post of the top five.
In my district, we have begun an instructional framework of daily strategies for all classrooms. One of those is movement. It seems that movement in every class every day is a trending topic right now, so I am proud that my district has been “ahead-of-the-curve.” Many colleagues wanted practical ays t incorporate movement in their lessons, so this post recounts five movement strategies that I used or observed during the course of a work week. Just yesterday, an adapted version of this post was published at TeachThought.
Male readers are struggling across this nation, and many teachers are unsure of what to do. This post combined my own experiences with what research says about male readers in order to promote motivation. I originally posted this piece at ASCD Edge (a great place to post if you would like the potential for wide readership!). Since then, the post was adapted for TeachThought, and it was included in the resources section of NEA’s website.
Reflecting on these five posts, it is apparent that passion drives my most popular (and possibly best?) posts. So, again, I encourage you to write about your passions. Begin your blogging journey.
If you are a brand new or emerging blogger, please share a link to your blog in the comments, so we can learn from you!