This is my 1000th blog post on alicekeeler.com. I started blogging years ago in response to helping other teachers on my campus with their tech questions. At first I would reply to the entire staff to reduce having to answer the same question repeatedly. This evolved into creating a website to post answers to questions. This allowed me to refer to the post each time I received the same question.
My blog has been super useful to me to remember how I did something previously. I look myself up frequently. Blogging what I did created a repository that reminded me of tricky processes or links. Especially for tasks I do infrequently.
Reflecting is my head is a good task, writing it down for an outside audience is better. When I have to write something up for someone else, I include details and nuances I would not normally consider. The process of writing for an outside audience helps me to think more deeply about my own practices. During the blogging process, ideas and understandings will come to me that I would never have thought of otherwise. I am much more critical of my own practice and my take aways are amplified.
More Than a Tech Resource
My blog connects me with other educators. I regularly hear from other educators how they are using different ideas or tools, this gives me new ideas and things I can do with my students. I receive free feedback and ideas from other teachers. My pedagogy around teaching is challenged by other educators, which helps me to be more intentional in my teaching practice. My teaching practices and policies when I first started teaching math in 1999 is almost unrecognizable to how I approach teaching and learning today. So many times someone has said something to me that I thought… “that is just crazy.” It was contrary to my comfort level and experience. Those comments ruminate. Mastery learning, grading practices, using games/gamification, being the source of information, student creation, application of concepts not just memorizing, project based learning, rubrics, retakes, student input and voice are all things I have come to think differently about over the years.
Share What You Do
I have become in the habit of sharing what I am doing. I tweet highlights of conversations I am having. When I think, so glad Control Z (or whatever) exists, I will tweet or blog that. Things that seem obvious are not obvious to everyone. Regularly someone says to me “seriously, you don’t know that.” There is so much to know, it takes more than a lifetime to learn all of the tricks and tips. I encourage you to share what you’re doing. We learn from each other.