Our classrooms can seem so far away from our students’ homes.
We get busy. Our students’ parents get busy. Students get busy.
I’ve found in my teaching career that meaningful connections between families and the classroom reap huge dividends. Just recently, a quick Facebook message to a parent about a couple missing assignments potentially turned one student’s grade around. Points were earned and momentum was shifted.
As a teacher, I just don’t make those connections as often as I’d like. To be totally honest, I’d like to have those connections with every student of mine. Imagine the possibilities!
I think writing a teacher blog would go a long way to making those connections. There are plenty of reasons (several of which I will enumerate in this post).
To be totally honest again, I don’t currently have a teacher blog. But, after reading them and reading about them, I think writing one may be a step in the right direction. My goal in this blog, among other things, is to be totally transparent and to share my experiences with you.
So here’s why I think I should start a teacher blog (and why I think you should, too):
1. To share information. Deadlines. Assignment details. Projects. Parents like to know what’s happening at school. Especially because “what did you do at school today?” often ends in “I dunno” or “not much.”
2. To make connections with families. You don’t make new friends in a new environment without stepping out and introducing yourself. In the same way, you don’t make engage families unless you make the effort to connect. Connections via teacher blogs probably aren’t the meaningful ones – yet. But they likely will lead to the meaningful ones.
3. To give classes greater exposure. People should know about the great things your students are learning and doing. They want to know. Toot your own horn a little.
4. To keep an online record of classroom happenings. Lesson plans and artifacts are the evidence teachers use to show what they do. A teacher blog can serve the same purpose but from a different angle. Plus, any blog comments from parents or students can serve as extra positive evidence.
5. To reflect on what works. We teachers often are stuck thinking about the next lesson, the next unit, the next project. It’s hard to stop and think about successes and failures in our teaching. Blogs give you the medium to do that.
6. To have fun! Think of the fun classroom stories, the pictures, the lessons in life you could share. A blog gives you a stage for them.
There are tons of blogging platforms to help you get your start. But, after some Internet searching, I’ve found that Edublogs is a great free place that isn’t blocked by most school Internet security systems. They’re flexible and more than a million blogs are run through them. Edublogs gets my endorsement (even though I don’t earn a dime for it!).
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced. I’ll keep you updated on the progress – the web address, how it’s going, the successes and challenges. I hope you’ll write a comment about a teacher blog you already write or let us know that you’re starting one.
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone in an attempt to make better connections with my students and their families. Maybe those connections will lead to changed educations and changed lives.