Kate Nowak would like our insight into why we blog, so what better way to respond than to fire up the editor and blog about it. It’s been a while for me anyway, so here it goes:
1. What hooked you on reading the blogs? Was it a particular post or person? Was it an initiative by the nice MTBoS folks? A colleague in your building got you into it? Desperation?
Reading the blogs of others allows me to extend my professional development outside of the walls of my district. I teach in a very small district, and there often isn’t a lot of new conversations and ideas that take place in our in-house professional development sessions. I’ve been reflecting over the last 7 years of my current position, and I can’t recall many (if any) moments where I was like “Wow, this is really going to help my teaching and therefore help my students.” So I turn to the many individuals (and their blogs, Twitter feeds, etc.) I’ve come to know in our online community to meet what I perceive as a need for myself to keep my professional practice moving in the right direction.
2. What keeps you coming back? What’s the biggest thing you get out of reading and/or commenting?
Even as life continues to get more chaotic with ever-increasing responsibilities (read: kids), I always make sure to carve out time for reading blog posts, interacting on Twitter, and helping organize the Global Math Department. The online world I have immersed myself in is full of individuals that are always seeking for a better way to teach, a better way to assess, a better way to approach education for the benefit of students. I’ve never been one to settle with what I’ve already done in the classroom, so it’s my hope that continuing my interaction with the MathTwitterBlogoSphere will keep providing new ideas that I can utilize. I’m often afraid that I will miss something that will be immensely beneficial for myself, so I keep coming back, day after day, hour after hour.
3. If you write, why do you write? What’s the biggest thing you get out of it?
Time for honesty here: I don’t blog for self-reflective purposes. I know that a lot of other bloggers who say they blog for this purpose, and I could (or maybe should), blog for this purpose, but I don’t currently fit into that ideal. I blog because I am selfish; I want someone to read what I have to say, or use what I am sharing. I crave the interaction and collaboration that can take place about an idea, lesson, or resource when I write about it. I want to be relevant while I blog. If no one ever commented on my posts or engaged in an online discussion concerning what I posted, I would probably not blog anymore. Honestly, it stings a bit when you think you have something of substance, share it with the outside world, and receive no feedback. Or acknowledgement. Or criticism. So I blog hoping others will find me useful.
4. If you chose to enter a room where I was going to talk about blogging for an hour (or however long you could stand it), what would you hope to be hearing from me? MTBoS cheerleading and/or tourism? How-to’s? Stories?
Let’s be honest again: sitting and listening about blogging could quickly become tedious if it involved an hour of cheerleading about how great blogging is. The most effective (and memorable) talks I have experienced have a narrative that tell a compelling story about reality. They include the good, the average, and the ugly. Successes and failures, conflict and resolution. Blogging isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, so for me at least, it would be engaging to hear your personal story of blogging, with all the gritty details about 3 AM posts and the heap of posts that never made it out of draft purgatory. And the posts you shot dead on the spot. Basically, what has blogging done for you to make you better at what you do.