February 1, 2009

The Metablogging Post

My friend is an amateur radio operator. He has a shack full of thousands of dollars of communications gear, which he uses to talk with other amateur radio operators about their communications gear. The whole endeavor seems incredibly pointless. Sort of like using a blog to talk about blogging. But everyone is entitled to at least one metablogging post, right?

Why I write:

"Writing may not change the world, but it might change you." – John Dufresne

"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates

There are many valid criticisms of blogs, bloggers, and blogging:
  • Blogging is a sure sign of narcissism.
  • Bloggers are just in it for the money.
  • Bloggers are chasing fame.
  • No one cares what you write.

The main reason I write is to reflect on my experiences as a teacher and grow as a professional. In the military, a debriefing is an essential part of each mission. Debriefings allow teams to analyze what went well, what went wrong, and how they can improve next time. That's my goal in blogging as well. It's my way of debriefing and learning from my mistakes. The way to grow professionally is through experience and deliberate reflection. Experience without reflection does not result in growth. Principals have told me that their best teachers are the reflective teachers – the ones who continually monitor their own techniques and seek ways to improve.

That no one else cares about my professional journey is probably a valid point. However, I don't mainly write for other people. I mainly write for myself. In fact, I started writing professional journal entries a full two years before this website was born. No one read those journals except me.

Having a public blog rather than a private journal has some advantages. First, it keeps me accountable. I've set a goal to write at least one article per week. Because I have readers, I feel more accountable to that goal than I would if the journal entries were just for me.

Having public readers also forces me to improve my writing skills. In fact, I've set this as a personal goal, and I've expanded into other types of writing since starting this blog.

The benefits of this blog accrue mainly to me, but not entirely. One goal of mine is to inform new and prospective teachers about what it's like in the trenches. When I was considering teaching as a career, it would have been very helpful to talk to a real live teacher about her experiences. My career change was one of blind faith; I didn't have a clue what I was getting into. Luckily I found out that the career change was a great move, but I didn't really know that going in.

Blogging allows us to connect with other teachers, too. During the school day, we don't get a chance to socialize much with adults, much less reflective and intelligent adults that generally make up the edublogging community. Being able to read and comment on other teachers' experiences is awesome.

So here I am, another blogger blogging about blogging.

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