New Year’s Resolution

Well, here it is.  My first official blog post.

It is not that blogging has not been on my radar.  I’ve known about it for years.  When I created my first class website in 2007-2008, I had my students post on the book they were reading for a project.  It wasn’t terribly successful (none of us really knew what we were doing), but we gave it a shot.

Then, about four years ago, an AP Literature teacher named Brian Sztabnik put out a request on the AP Community Forum for readers for his students’ blogs.  He had decided to flip the traditional independent read, letting students read in the classroom and blog at home.  I’ve been reading his students’ words now for around four years, and I am always impressed.

I was so impressed that I decided to give it another shot myself.  For the past three years or so, I’ve tried student blogging in one form or another, gradually tweaking assignments and expectations.  This year I took the leap into giving my AP Literature students their own blog for the entire year rather than simply for one project as I had done in the past.  We’ve even hooked up with two sister AP Lit. classes – one in North Carolina and one in Virginia – and students are commenting on each other’s poetry analysis posts.  I’m still learning how to use student blogs to their best advantage, but I am pleased with the successes I have seen this year.  And, of course, I’m making notes for next year.

I knew that teachers blogged, too.  At one Writing Project Summer Institute we tried a bit of blogging, but it didn’t go anywhere.  I suppose that blog is still out there somewhere.  I wonder if I remember the address…

But it wasn’t until I joined the Twitterverse that I really became aware of how much other teachers blog.  It seemed like everyone had something to say and a blog on which to say it.  I began to wonder if I had something to say, too.

That brings me to this: my New Year’s Resolution.  I wanted to blog, but more importantly, I wanted to share my blog.  That is a scary proposition.  I am a born perfectionist.  So much of my own work is never quite right.  But I’m asking my students to share their thoughts and ideas; they even have an authentic audience.  It is time for me to try sharing my own – to an authentic audience of my Twitter followers.

I don’t have a firm title, yet.  (I want something literary, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!)  I don’t even have a firm idea of what this blog is, except for a reflection on my own learning.  Perhaps for now, that is enough.  I signed up for #EdublogsClub, and they suggested I write my first blog post on blogging.

So there you have it: my first official blog post, which I am now going to share on Twitter.  May there be many more.

10 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution

  1. From a fellow perfectionist, welcome to the blogosphere, Tia! You’re on your way. I’m glad you got started without feeling the need to finalize a title — your voice will guide you there. You mentioned you are on Twitter, perhaps you could add your handle to your site so I can connect with you there? Looking forward to being part of #EduBlogsClub with you!

  2. I look forward to blogging alongside you! I share your trepidation anoutvreleasing your writing to the universe! Let’s be bold!

  3. Hi Tia

    Titles are hard! I eventually went with my name in the title because it was the simplest option, fitted with my name on Twitter and then used the tagline to help readers work out what I write about on my personal blog.

    I’m also interested in your reflections on your student blogging and the notes you’ve been taking of ideas for next year.

    Sue Waters
    @suewaters

  4. Tia, this is awesome! I’m continually in awe of what you do! You’re the epitome of educators I have been trying to work closely with over the last few years. I’ve longed pursued a location alongside others just like you! This was inspiring for me to read and just may get me back on the blogging horse soon!

  5. G’day Tia,
    Welcome to the blogosphere. Your students are lucky to be blogging during their classes. Having run a student blogging challenge now for 8 years, one of the positives students say about blogging is being able to make connections and also to voice their opinion in a safe and engaging way.

    Keep up the great work and build that PLN in twitter.

    Sue
    @tasteach

  6. I love your post! I am also a first blogger (haven’t even posted my first blog yet, because I am busy reading through everyone else’s first 😉 I am gaining inspiration from your courage and commitment.

  7. “Reflection on my own learning” seems to have a nice ring to it, your words. It’s like a book. I always like to find the title of the book in the stories. I think one of the best traits an educator (at any level) can have is that of a self-reflector. Looking forward to hearing more of your stories.

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