Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Does Blogging Do For You?

I first started blogging after reading my sister's blog, Mean Mommy. I realized she had found a community of mothers where she could talk about the ups and downs of being a mom, bounce ideas off other people similar to herself, feel supported by others, and be honest about herself as a mother in a way that wasn't threatening because she just another anonymous blogger. After trying for 4.5 years to talk to my friends about teaching and watching their eyes glaze over, I too wanted to begin blogging to document the funny things that happen in my classroom and read about other teachers' experiences.

I had no idea how many contacts I would make, how much support I would receive, how much I would learn about others and how blogging would connect me to teachers all over the world... professional learning communities on a totally different, laid back, personal level. How amazing it was to read about a 4th grade teacher in Indiana and how writer's workshop works in her classroom ... a first year teacher struggling to make it through the end of the day ... a 2nd grade teacher who could write for "Kids Say the Darnedest Things." All in all, I had no idea how many other bloggers I had so much in common with. Despite our differences in grade levels, states, even countries, we all have a similar passion: teaching children.

This January I began graduate school and enrolled in a class that actually REQUIRED me to blog, for a GRADE! Similar to the diverse community of bloggers I was already connected to, the people I am in class with come from very different fields of study. We vary from birth- Kindergarten teachers to school psychologists but we all are passionate about children and specifically, for the requirements of this class, all have an interest in emergent literacy.

Blogging with this group has enabled me to hold conversations about literacy with my graduate school peers but not through face-to-face interactions. We have become a community within ourselves, created a "safe-zone" to talk about issues within our classrooms or case studies, and as a result our knowledge of emergent literacy has grown. We have tackled many tough issues in class such as developmentally appropriate practice, use of technology, home/school congruency, ELL students, etc. I participated in class discussions as well as blogging and as a result, I was able to build on my thoughts and reactions to the course readings/concepts because I was apart of something bigger than myself. We have learned from one another by reading and responding to others' blogs, we have taught one another by sharing our professional experiences and expertise, and we have established a professional learning community which I hope we can continue even after our class has ended.


Megan said...

I loved being in a group with you and hearing your knowledge and insight! Anyways, I thought you might enjoy this... I was in the bathroom at the school where I do my kidwatching project, and they had a poster about a 1st grade teacher who gave her kids a list of famous proverbs with the ends left off. The kids then had to fill in what they thought the end of the saying was. The best one was, "Better late than.... pregnant." hahahahaha

cbh said...

YIKES! hysterical!

laylablue said...

I am thankful that I found your blog. Reading your thoughts and reflections gives me a lot of creative inspiration.

ourspecialsurprise said...

I really enjoyed this entry that you made. I too am in grad school and working on a Master's in Digital Teaching and Learning. Reading and writing blogs has become quite the norm for today's student and its always helpful to find other teachers out there using this forum to learn how to become better educators and reach today's evolving students.