As I welcome this new year, I find myself reflecting on the old and all it had brought with it. 2013 is the year I started blogging. It wasn’t my idea though, I needed a push. Thanks to Dean Shareski, I already knew it was important for me to share, and that I probably had ideas worth sharing. But I was already doing that on Twitter, wasn’t that enough? When Jim Cash asked me to write about my first year as a technology teacher to help others new to the role, I decided it was the right time for me to start a blog.
I’ve been contemplating it for a while, but being a busy teacher I needed that extra push – the dreaded topic. Thank you Jim for providing the first one for me. I didn’t need to do any research for my first post, I was writing about my own experiences so I figured it should be a piece of cake. Surprisingly though, it still took me a while to publish it, I think I worked on it over most of March break. After all; I had to choose what blogging platform to use, decide on a name for my blog, choose a layout, and the format for my posts. Then, I had to reflect back on the year and the things I’ve done in my role as a tech teacher. As I started writing, I was surprised at how much I have accomplished over the year. Not only that, I also started to see a clearer picture of what else I wanted to do and how I could improve my practice for the next year.
When I was finally done, I was excited to share it with Jim and to post it on Twitter. Not only has it been a great experience to write, as it allowed me the time to reflect on my practice, but it was a great opportunity to share and potentially help other teachers just starting out in a similar role. You can read my first blog post here: Tips and Tricks from a First Year Tech Teacher
As happy as I was with how my first blog post turned out, I really did not have much hope for following it up with another anytime soon. Time was the main factor; but also, I didn’t really think that I would have much to write about. I’ve been getting many of my lesson ideas through my Twitter PLN, people who have done really remarkable things in their schools. What I was doing seamed like small potatoes in comparison, what could I possibly contribute? Yet, here I am – ten months and eight posts later. Here is what I wrote about:
My blog has been viewed in 47 different countries, and my posts have had over 3000 views so far, so maybe I have contributed in some way. Maybe someone out there has delivered a lesson to their students that was based on one of mine and saved some time not having to re-invent the wheel. Maybe they have been inspired by one of the topics I have written about and had a meaningful discussion about it with their students. That is my hope, at least. Regardless of whether or not I have been successful in ‘paying it forward’, I know that writing a blog has helped me become a better teacher. It has forced me to reflect, organize, and even to plan ahead (as was the case with my latest post: I know it’s true…I read it online)
So if you are thinking of starting a blog, stop thinking and just start it. If you’re thinking you don’t have anything worth sharing, think again. What have you got to loose? Whatever time and effort you invest in it, it’s worth it. Besides, you just never know how far your efforts will travel and who they will impact.