One year ago I took the plunge into the blog-sphere. What a year it has been! I have found new learning is everywhere! At the time I was curious about learning something new. Setting up a blog seemed intriguing, yet I knew I was a reluctant writer. I had started using Twitter earlier in the summer and had been introduced to some inspiring blogs. A Primary Blog For The 21st Century, The Principal of Change, Connected Principals, Finding Ways for All Kids to Flourish, Teaching with Soul, The Dog Ate My Homework, What Happened Today, and Van Meter Library VOICE just to name a few. Not only did these blogs inspire me to start my own, but the blogger THEMSELVES (@gcouros, @flourishingkids, @TheHomeworkDog, @kelalford, @shannonmmiller, @Grade1, and @teachingwthsoul) offered a vast amount of assistance and encouragement along the way! Others have been valuable cheerleaders as well: @gret, @pharesr, @franmcveigh, @angelamaiers, @eolsonteacher, @iateachr, @meairy and @toddwhitaker – and so many more! But, if it had not been for my good friends Linda Weir and Rich McGrath, I don’t think I would still be blogging today. Both have guided me to find my voice and encouraged me to write about my passions.
Learning new skills can be messy. As educators we know that for anything to become a habit we must continually practice the skill. We hear anything from 21 times, to a month and beyond. According to PsyBlog: Research reveals a curved relationship between practice and automaticity. Over the course of the last year I’ve pushed myself to write a blog post at least once a week – resulting in 63 posts. (Not bad for a former reluctant writer.) The majority of my posts reflect on everyday experiences. As I reflect, I tend to tie my thoughts to education. The love of learning and field of education have been a constant source of renewal in my life. Writing has provided the opportunity to reflect on a much deeper level. It has opened my eyes to new learning. It has built my self-confidence as a writer. The journey has introduced me to so many amazing educators around the globe. These global connections fill me with a sense of wonder and the reassurance that we are ONE and that together we can Connect, Collaborate and Innovate.
Perhaps my greatest accomplishment was introducing blogging to a remarkable group of 5th graders and their teachers. They were introduced in the blog posts And the Oscar Goes To, and There Ain’t No Stoppin’ Them Now. Blogging with these students was the source of motivation in a recent presentation (Authentic Writing + Blogging = Global Connections) I gave at the T.I.C.L. (technology integration & instruction for the 21st century learner) Conference. Their excitement for new learning, their creativity and their passion to show the world they were geniuses lit a new sense of dedication to our 21st century learners. Moving forward and updating the ways to meet students’ needs is now a persistent goal!
Learning is a lifetime process, but there comes a time when we must stop adding and start updating. ~Robert Brault
I am thankful for the many readers that have visited my blog. I am looking forward to year two as a blogger. At times I wonder if I’ll be able to top the visits made to my two most popular posts: “Angry Birds” – A Lesson in Assessment FOR Learning and “Angry Birds” – Part 2: Instruction one of which resulted in an all time high of 475 hits in one day. Angry Birds seems to be the top searched term – I hope they aren’t disappointed! (I’m sure some weren’t expecting to land on blog posts about education.) It is nice to know that the 2nd most searched for term is Good to Great! That sums up my goals as a blogger – always wanting to expand my learning – but knowing learning never stops! Great continue to always be waiting around the next corner. Something to continually seek!
The following 20 words will serve as my guide for the coming year as a person, instructional coach, leader, and blogger. What are your goals for the upcoming school year?
Year 2 of Blogging … Here I come! ONWARD!
Has there been a post on Learning is Growing that has inspired you? What would you like to read about in the coming year? I am always open for ideas!
I’ve thanked may people who have inspired me in this blog post. It is impossible to list them all. I learn something new from each of the 2001 people I follow on Twitter everyday. Twitter is my 24/7 source of learning and inspiration. Thanks to all!