I started blogging in 2005. It was something new, something different to engage my 4th graders. I didn’t even contemplate the power that using it for reflection would do later in my career. Permission from my parents was the easy part. More difficult was convincing the technology powers that be that it was safe and also purposeful. I had to present the whats and whys to the district’s technology department and convince them….awkward is an understatement. At the time, literally, they told me, “We don’t think anyone will actually read it, but as long as you don’t mention our district/your school, it should be fine.”
Can you even?
Thankfully, I did it anyway. And whether anyone read it then or not, is irrelevant. I used my blog with my students, through David Warlick’s hosting tool, and it was amazing. I had to upload pictures to separate hosting site, and then code the HTML to get the picture to share to the blog. My fourth graders loved it…we used it for our version of homework and I tricked them into writing the best lab reports ever by promising to share the best ones with the whole wide world.
While much has changed, including the transition of my blog to being a tool used to teach/guide teachers while I was in the tech department, or administratively through my leadership roles, I still use it to share, to reflect, and to connect. The ability to chronicle my growth through the posts and experiences is irreplaceable. The comments and people I have met through this space has made me better.
It’s what I want for our staff, and our students. Of course I should expect no less for myself. By putting it out there, in a space that allows for feedback, and or criticism, it allows me to process in a completely different way than just talking to my peers when we have time. (ha!) Life is busy, and the days are long…I don’t see many of the people who push my thinking on a regular basis, but through blogging, I can definitely feel more connected, and vice versa. It’s where I genuinely hold fast to that the things I tweet or share, are aligned to my true thoughts. I never want to share something that isn’t aligned with my philosophy or vision…and my experiences via my blog back that all up. That matters to me. It’s why I don’t mind writing as casually as I do, because my favorite thing ever is when I interact with someone and they say that I am just like they thought I would be from reading my blog…(hopefully, that’s a good thing!)
How does that connect to #LeadLAP? I bought “Lead like a Pirate” while at #EMPOWER17 last week. (To say I read it quickly is an understatement. I devoured it.) I so wish I’d had it my first year as an administrator and think there were so many valuable nuggets that resonated with me on a professional level. I highlighted and tabbed so many places…again makes me wish I could figure out the darn #booksnap wave! How this connects to this blog are the powerful words Burgess and Houf used in talking about reflection, “…as leaders, we often rob ourselves of this much-needed time to stop, slow down, and improve our own practice.”
If I want our teachers to move past “proficient” in TTESS (our state evaluative system), my word, shouldn’t I also have growth expectations for myself? I use my blog to set those goals, and to hold my self accountable. It’s the only way I know how to do this thing we call leadership, and I am thankful that there are others out there that are doing the same.
Blog writeN & accountability seekN,