So I've been writing this blog for about 13 months now. Just wanted to take the time to reflect on why I started and where it has taken me.
There were two main reasons I started blogging. The first was to force myself to reflect on my practice. I am very good about thinking random thoughts about why I do what I do and how I feel the day went. But these thoughts never make it to the concrete or conclusion level. They are left as disconnected or half thought ideas floating around in my head. Strands that may never be tied together and I'll have to start anew because I never took the time to take them down.
The process of writing or planning a post forces me to communicate these thoughts in a way that may not make sense to the world, but at the very least make sense to me and can be picked up by me to carry a little bit further.
The other main reason I ended up starting this blog process was to keep track of my evidence and create arguments around my evidence for the educator effectiveness process that is a part of my evaluation process as an educator in the state of Wisconsin.
As a part of the process, teachers are required to provide evidence to demonstrate proficiency in different regions of the Danielson Framework.
So as I begin to find evidence to present come evaluation time, I am able to look back over the last year at my posts. They provide the evidence and the rationale behind that piece of evidence. I'm on an evaluation this year, so we'll see how it goes.
Teachscape has been an issue for educators all over Wisconsin. My administration has used Google Docs to make the process supper efficient. To provide evidence for the framework elements we provide links in the matrix below. The links in the links send the evaluator out to appropriate blog posts which provide more analysis then I could hope to in a simple meeting.
I figured that I would be one of a handful of people reading my blog. It would be limited to my evaluator and myself. Once I started writing more, I found that it represented more than just a simple reflection space. It became a space for me to share new tools or methods I was trying in my classroom. To take it a step further, I have a colleague who has begun tagging her posts with the applicable domain as she posts them. I wish I was that diligent. Well, there's always room for growth.
I am not one who does a lot of sharing in meetings. I can lead a meeting if I am tasked to. I am not the first one looking to fill a vacuum of leadership. In fact, I am the student who is most likely to work by themselves or let others do the work even though I have my own ideas going on in my head.
The blog has become my way of sharing my voice. In that respect, I have gone out of my way to post links to my posts on Twitter and Google+. So although I am writing for reflection and fixing my own thoughts in my mind, It has become a place for me to share what I am excited about. It's heartening to see that people are listening and commenting.