Everyone has a story. A path taken, opportunities missed, regrets from mistakes, and wonderful triumphant moments - In education though, it moves from every person, to every class. Every class has a story. Each teacher has his/her way of creating a unique and wonderful culture. This is especially the case in elementary school, where those 20-something kids are in the same class all day. Relationships are built, successes take place, and amazing things happen each and every day. So I have to ask, why aren’t more teachers sharing their stories?
At Christie, each teacher has a class blog. Why would we do this? Why would I ask such a thing from each teacher? Wouldn’t there be pushback? Wouldn’t they ask questions like: Who is going to read this? Why would anyone care what I have to say? The short answers...To share our stories, to increase transparency, some, yes, yes.
I would be lying if I told you that when asking each staff member to have a blog (updated weekly I might add) they all cheered. However, they all signed up...hesitant? Maybe. But here is the thing, we need to share our stories.
There are two things our teachers blog about: Classroom activities/learning, and the teacher’s personal learning along the way. Two parts...equally important for our parents, colleagues, and community.
Blogging our Activities/Learning: Miracles happen daily in schools. Students who never thought they could succeed do, teachers who thought the bar might be too high see students reach it, educational risks are taken, students make mistakes and learn from them, and kids build a self-efficacy that will last a lifetime. How can we not share this? How can we keep this to ourselves? Not only does blogging allow the sharing of ideas, but also the stories behind them. Teachers at Christie share activities taking place, lessons coming up, ideas for home, and pictures of great products along the way.
Sharing Your Learning: Having a PLN and utilizing Twitter is a great way to grow professionally. However, by blogging about their learning, teachers offer a transparent moment with other teachers, parents, and even students about their lifelong learning journey. “We want to create Lifelong Learners.” How many times has that phrase used in education? Yet how often do we model this? Blogging opens the door to not only learning from others, but also sharing our personal journey.
PLNs are the new PLCs - but that only works when you share digitally. PLNs are only successful when you are sharing your learning, as well as taking in the learning of others. At Christie we are willing to share, willing to try something new, and willing to step outside our comfort zone...and here is the best part...we are sharing this journey along the way.
So why does every teacher need a class blog? To share their classroom story, and to share their personal learning with others.
Make no mistake - Every week may not bring a literary work on a professionally epiphany that has changed the course of education as we know it...but it will deliver a small piece of the class journey. One week might simply say: This week we reviewed area and perimeter, wrote a story with the letter C, and learned how to get a boiled egg into a glass vase using a match… While the next week might bring a story of how a class came together to help a classmate through a difficult challenge. Both are important, just in their own way.
Miracles are happening, children are learning, wonderful moments are taking place...at Christie, we want to share these moments. It’s as simple as that -