A blog is a writing opportunity. A blog is sharing (in case someone else is reading). I’m a retired teacher and have no qualms about writing, especially since this computer thing replaced my Smith Corona manual typewriter. Back then, the thought of retyping anything kept me back from getting the ideas down and then editing. It always surprises me how many very educated people seem reluctant to grasp the opportunity to express themselves.
As a case in point, Tom Whitby writes a blog called “My Island View.” He is a connected educator and isn’t reluctant to write about his experiences while sharing educational views at conferences and on line, centered on the Twitter #edchat tag. His recent post “Sharing is not Bragging” lead me to post a comment.
It has seemed strange to me that teachers are not usually producers of student-directed material. That they are reluctant to share what they have produced certainly fits.Whatever encouragement it may be, I hope anybody reading this blog is motivated to grab their keyboards, set up a blog or a whole website (P2PU Webmaking 101 can help you get started) and start writing, creating and sharing. If my experience is any indicator, it can make you feel good.
Teachers have spent immense amounts of time preparing for their jobs, not to mention the money which they have paid for college or advanced degrees. Teachers then enter a classroom day after day and engage students by sharing their expertise. Yet, most teachers also rely on somebody else’s textbooks, xeroxed worksheets, and more recently, apps and Internet links. As a rule, teachers do not produce their own teaching materials. Given the chance to “publish” a blog or web site, almost none of the staff of almost 200 in my school took the step, even though the learning opportunity was free.
A few of those teachers did make worksheets of their own, but not most.
Sharing daily with their students is a verbal exercise, lecturing, questioning, nudging students along. It isn’t done through personal writing very often and, perhaps because of that, does not translate into sharing with other adults.
How often do “faculty” meetings find a faculty member speaking? Aren’t the faculty most often returned to their student/listener roles while yet another level of educator lectures, questions and nudges?