“My goal is to offer a small contribution to the amazing work so many educators are doing on the web. I’m hopeful that there will be responses, simply to assist my own learning.” – Two sentences from the first post of “The Principal’s Principles.”
99 posts later, I find that I am one of many educators blogging, or doing my best to contribute to the collective learning on Twitter, but still facing the “why do you do that?” question. While I don’t know that my answer is perfect, I have taken some time to think about why I blog and thought it would be appropriate to share my reasons in my 100th post.
As a building principal, I preach “reflection.” My blog allows me to show that I “walk the talk.”
In working with students and staff, I say the word “reflect” a lot. In evaluation meetings, I ask teachers questions in hopes they will think about their practice. In talking with students, I ask them to think about their actions, their learning, and their decisions. My blog is a collection of many of my reflections, and shows that I think about what I do as I try to get better in my role. Part of my motivation to blog is selfish, it allows me a forum to think about my professional practice and share what I am doing.
In our organization, everyone learns. My blog shows that at our school, the principal learns too.
On top of reflecting and sharing my ideas, my blog has given me a forum to talk about conversations I have had, books I have read, and lessons I have learned. Students need “learning role models,” when they see my blog, I hope they see me trying to do my part.
Thinking should be visible, my blog makes it so for me.
Proposing ideas to myself on a drive home from work doesn’t allow our community to see me “get creative.” By writing and publishing my thoughts, I contribute to the ongoing dialogue around education.
Public education needs advocates. My blog allows me to do my part.
Through media coverage, legislation, and advocacy from organizations with few, if any educators invovled, public schools are under attack. The constant reporting of our failures is harmful to our work. The truth is, our system is the best in the world, and we need more professionals to step forward and let their voices be heard when misinformation and inaccurate stories are spread. Writing about the work we do, as well as articulating my position on education policy is my way of fighting back against the negative reports about our important work.
We all have a digital footprint, my blog gives me some control over mine.
Ever google yourself? If you are a public educator, you’re a local celebrity. Your work is talked about at dinner tables throughout your community. As these conversations take place in a digital age, it’s likely that your name is entered in to a search engine in a home or two each week. While I don’t sit down and see what pops up when my name is typed in to Google (at least, not too often), when people look me up, I want to have some control over what they find. My blog allows me to do so.
By no means am I am expert, just a middle school principal trying to do my part. The above statements represent my best answers about why I blog. Thinking back to the quote I opened the post with, after 100 posts, I am confident that I have gotten far more out of writing than any reader has, and I am glad I started, and will continue to blog. My hope looking back and moving forward is that I’ve contributed in some small way to the ongoing conversation about the work of public education in the 21st century.