Teach.com

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Maintaining a Blog is Hard!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13053467@N03/
     Watching the US Grand Prix practice rounds this morning and then opening my blog to see if there were any comments I had to respond to, I realized that I was attempting to maintain my blog so that it was functioning at it's highest level.

     Not quite like maintaining a F1 car like this Lotus team to the left.  Still, if I want to get the most from my writing, and I want my readers to get the most from my writing, I need to keep my hand in on the process.

     Before taking this tack with this post I went through my posts from November and December of last year.  What was I looking for?  I'm not really sure.  But last year was my most successful, as far as number of posts, and I know I had some posts that really resonated with some readers.  There were a few trends I noticed.  For one, beating my self up over not writing as consistently as I wanted.  I have been really hard on myself for not posting more because my "numbers" weren't at the level they were last year.

    Number of posts doesn't always go hand-in-hand with quality.  But, being a math guy, I do see the numbers and when I finished my 52nd post last year I was very excited because I had suddenly met my post-a-week goal.  And, this year, when I was behind my pace from last year I started getting mad at myself.  I really wanted to get posts up so I could meet my mark again.  Well, that aint gonna happen.  I am NOT going to write 52 posts this year.

   So why maintain a blog at all?  I write, mainly, to reflect on things going through my head.  I blame that on being a PBL teacher.  In Project Based Learning we are always having our students reflect on their learning.  We have them do journal entries and "tickets out" telling us what they learned or are still confused about as they leave the classroom, during the project.  Then we ask our students to critique themselves, their group partners, the project as a whole, and their teachers at the end of a project.  Reflection and learning go hand-in-hand.

     It naturally follows that I reflect on every aspect of what I do as an instructional coach and a teacher.  How could things have gone differently?  Notice I didn't say better.  That was by design.  It's easy to look at the negatives that come to the front when you reflect.  It's a better idea to look at every aspect, good and bad.  If I narrow my scope of reflection I can say that as a New Tech Network trained teacher I use a critical friends protocol when I examine how things have gone.  This protocol asks you to look at things you "liked," things you "wonder" about, and "next steps" you can take for future work.

    My next steps, in life, are to reflect upon what has occurred and write them down in this blog.  I like the fact that I do this.  I like the fact that a handful of people will read what I wrote.  I like the fact that 1 or 2 of the readers might leave a comment.  And, I like the fact that I do this on a regular basis.

     I wonder if I can ever get over looking at the stats for this blog.  I wonder if I will ever write a post that is suddenly read by hundreds of people with dozens of comments.  I wonder if I can be stronger with my content of my posts.  And, I wonder how many years I will keep this blog going.

     My next step is to hit publish on this post and not worry about what happens next..... PUBLISH....