Posts Tagged ‘student blogging’

Trust Your Gut

Every year, I struggle. I struggle with being the best teacher I can, doing the best for my students, and am always trying to provide a classroom with choice, student voice and authentic learning experiences. I usually spend most of my summer reading professional development books and planning for the upcoming year. When September hits and I meet my new class, I falter. I get overwhelmed by everything we need to get done, by what my students needs are and by what they have yet to learn. I question what I think is important and I get advice from people who do not believe in what I do.

When you are doing things in your classroom that you don’t believe in, it will not work. I found that the hard way this year. Doing something that you do not believe in makes you not follow through the way you should. And it just will not work. I need to learn to stick to my gut. To teach what I believe in.

Blogging is something I truly believe in. I know the power of sharing your views with the world. This blog has transformed me. Never would I have thought that I would be a blogger, or that people would want to hear about my learning. This blog has made me a reflective learner, collaborator, professional development planner and more. I’m so grateful.

I know how essential all my students voices are and by giving them choice about what they want to blog about, they are engaged and empowered. They are actively finding out more about blogging, checking out their blogging stats and being blown away when people are visiting their blog. And we are only in week two! They are learning that their voices matter. That they matter. Nothing is more important than that!

Focus on what you know is important. Trust yourself. Trust Your Gut! The learning will follow.

Blogging as a Teaching Portfolio

I was so lucky to be able to attend the first Bilingual and the biggest ever GAFE Summit in Ottawa this past weekend. I got to hear the incredible George Couros deliver an emotional keynote and see him present a session about blogging as a teaching portfolio.

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He talked about having a blog as a teacher to show your learning that happens day to day and to showcase your talents. In order to blog, you need to really think what you are writing about, interact with it and therefore thoroughly understand the subject. A blog as a teacher is a great way to ask questions, brainstorm, and try out new ideas.

The new trend in education is to get students to blog about their learning. I’m trying it out this year for the 1st time with my first and second graders. In order for us to get students to blog, you need to learn to do it yourself. You are their role model and you can’t ask them to do something that you aren’t willing to try out yourself. Learning to write is really important but there are so many other ways for students to demonstrate their learning. They can make videos, take pictures, or make podcasts. All of these are ways to document their learning and are so powerful when the student sees how they have improved.

Tips for Blogging as a Teaching Portfolio:

  • Images are more powerful that words
  • Tag your posts using your Standards of Practice
  • Include your name in the post or tag it to increase SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Gather kind tweets, emails, notes… for your blog

Amy Bowker, Teacher