During my first year of teaching, I kept telling myself over and over “You really should be keeping a journal. This could be a book.” Alas, it wasn’t until December of my second year that I did begin keeping that journal. Only it wasn’t a notebook, it was this blog.
I decided to create a blog because I was bored over our winter break that year. I signed up for Twitter the same day. I never thought either would play much of a role in my life past a diversion to return to from time to time. I was wrong.
I began blogging about all the things that bothered me about our education system, like testing, reform and those enforcing it. I also shared stories and successes from my classroom, while also peppering in some failures. Few, if any, people, past my mother, cared.
But then a friend told me I should begin submitting blogs for publication in a local paper. I did, and for the next year-plus, had eight blogs published. It was amazing to have a byline in a newspaper again – not to mention be paid for it – but there was still very little activity on my web site. Four views a day is nothing too special for the ego.
There came a point where I went weeks without writing, unable to find any inspiration in the classroom, in my head, or online. I began to think about creating a 30 day blogging challenge for myself and others like me who wanted to write but couldn’t.
Around this time, I spent hours attending sessions at the third Reform Symposium, meeting awesome new people, checking out their blogs, and as a product of both, soaking in new ideas. I had inspiration. I revamped my “about” page to tell the story of why I became a teacher, and that set a new tone for my blogging.
Since July, this blog has become so much more about the pluses of the job rather than the minuses, about the ways we can raise our kids up instead of beat them down, about how we can try to look inward to improve ourselves as educators. I have tried to blog on a daily basis, hoping to make as much of a splash for others as possible.
In essence, I’ve found a voice for myself. In turn, my readership has skyrocketed (helped by the immensely humbling and awe-inspiring day when I was Freshly Pressed). A recent post has nearly 250 retweets and close to 1,300 views.
It amazes me that so many people care about what I write, that I am generating debate and discussion among people much smarter than me, and that I am inspiring others to try new things with their students and themselves. It is my great joy to be able to impact the lives of others.
I am grateful that I am viewed as an important voice in education and that anyone thinks my words are worth considering. I am grateful to have people who join me on my journey to become a better teacher and improve my students’ lives.
I never expected blogging would open up a network as vast as mine. It has, though, and for that, I remain deeply touched and consider myself incredibly fortunate.
Happy to be part of the Rockstar Meme – How Blogging Changed Your World. Now, I’d love to hear from the following wonderful bloggers about how blogging changed their world: Maureen Devlin, Erin Breedlove, Ms. D. Mac, Nichola Harrison, and John Spencer.