I have been teaching for many, many years and only recently have I started blogging. It actually seems natural for me as a teacher to write about my teaching experience and the issues that come up during sessions. I do spend 24/7 talking about work, so why not blog about it? Why not be an educational blogger?
Why I started blogging
I must say that when I was a child I had a fascination with libraries and books. Instead of playing with dolls, I often played “librarian”. I also liked writing, and made my own book when I was 9. I wrote a story and drew pictures. I was very proud of my accomplishment. I was a writer. So, I always had the book/writing bug in me. Blogging came into my life many years later. I actually started blogging as part of my Delta training. My Delta tutor suggested I write a blog post about what it was like to be a Delta trainee and I did. I really enjoyed it.
Blogging for me
There are many teachers who blog. I am one of them. But what is the motivation behind blogging? Don’t I already spend many hours teaching? If I am already talking about my work, why spend more time writing about it? Well, for many reasons.
First of all, I get to write about what I love; teaching. Talking shop with my friends is what I do on an everyday basis. Blogging allows me to do the same thing but with people from around the world. That is actually an extra bonus. In fact, I connect with people through blogging. I have ‘met’ people from all around the world because of blogging. My professional learning network has grown a lot because I blog. Interacting with teachers from all around the world gives you the chance to learn from their experience.
It’s also like writing a diary that’s public and educational. In your diary you write about your everyday life and so on. In your blog you share your thoughts. I am quite informal when I blog. My friends actually tell me that it is as if I am out for coffee with them and chatting about work. I like that. It is the only way I can keep going. I am myself when I blog.
Blogging also gives me the chance to reflect on my classroom practice and see what worked and what didn’t work. The fact that I have to sit down and write about a lesson makes it more tangible for me and allows me to take a closer look at my teaching habits. By writing about my teaching I can put my finger on what went wrong or what went well. This allows me to improve as a teacher. It is like looking into a mirror but instead of a mirror, it’s my own blog entry. A visual representation of my teaching.
Because I blog on a regular basis, I like to try new things, to look for activities and share them with other teachers. Comments on my blog posts reinforce this. I learn from other teachers’ experience and there are always occasions when teachers add a link to a blog post which may inform my own teaching. I learn a lot because I blog.
It is also like having an e-portfolio, a way to save your own teaching ideas and try them out once again. So for example, you have a lesson on conditionals next week, if you blog about lesson ideas and have written a post about fun activities for conditionals, you can go back to this blog post and get ideas! Recording your great teaching moments, the interesting activities are like a think tank for yourself!
Is it a hobby?
Well, that’s a good question. If it is a hobby, I definitely take it very seriously and when I blog, I am in the zone. Ideas often float in my head. It actually often keeps me up at night. I must admit. You know how we stress at night about things that happened in class. As a blogger and I teacher, I often wake up at night with an idea and I think, “Hey, I need to write this down” And I do. I now have a notebook on my nightstand so if I have an idea, I take notes, and then go back to my notes in the morning. The best posts about my teaching are those ones. The ones that are a product of a lot of ideas bubbling in my head during the day….. and the night.
Blogging does take up a lot of time. I don’t regret it though. I think all teachers should blog. It is the best reflective practice you could ask for. Teaching is all about learning. Educational blogging is about learning through your teaching. Am I good at it? Don’t really know. One thing I am sure of though is that I enjoy it. It’s fun. Try it already, will ya?
This article first appeared in Iatefl Hungary’s The mELTing Pot. Many thanks to Beatrix Price and everyone at Iatefl Hungary for giving me the chance to write about one of the things I ❤ doing.
Till next time…..