Its been 3 months and 20 posts since I’ve started blogging, and I think I’m hooked. I started my blogging adventure as a vehicle to achieve one of my professional growth plan goals which pertains to purposeful reflection for professional growth. In one of my earlier posts (Why Blog), I outlined 3 purposes to help guide my blogging efforts:
This easily been the greatest benefit for me so far. I am reflective by nature, but I often reflect, process, and that’s often the end of my reflection process. I don’t want to think of the countles reflections and ideas have escaped me due to any lack of formal documentation. Taking the time to put fingers to keyboard has given me an amazing opportunity to purposefully organize my thoughts. The writing process has allowed me to slow down and deepen my reflections; truly think about my reflections.
My blog adds permanence to my thoughts. Once I push “publish”, my thoughts are saved, and easy to review and revisit. I actually find that in a blog format, I go back and revisit my reflections. Any time I’ve used a traditional Journal, I’ll put thoughts down, but I seldom revisit those reflections. With a blog, I not only revisit my thoughts, but also easily reference former posts, creating interconnectivity between my reflections. I still wish I could get all of my ideas down, but some are better than none.
Using a blog, I can also organize my reflections. A traditional journal is limited as a chronological sequence of my thoughts and reflections. With a blog, I can organize my reflections with categories and tags. The main categories of my blog represent the leadership dimensions of the Principal Quality Practice Standards for the province of Alberta. When I write a post, I can assign that post to the categories that pertain to the topic of my post. My blog is still a chronological account of my thoughts, but I can also revisit my reflections by topic as well.
Leading by learning and learning by doing
This blog has definitely been a learning journey for me this year. I have never been much of a writer, but as a school leader, writing and correspondence is part of the job. Three months of blogging, and I am feeling more comfortable as a writer. I find it easier to sit in front of the computer and put my thoughts down in written form.
Between the writing and the blog itself, I definitely find myself as a learner; floundering, learning, succeeding, and celebrating. Regardless of form, I am learning to be a better reflector, and learning while reflecting. I am also making purposeful reflection a component of our professional development days. I include reflection prompts throughout the day to allow my staff time to stop and reflect. At this time, I don’t have any staff that are active bloggers, but here’s hoping that I might get some takers in the future.
The process of blogging is also helping me create a personal portfolio. Linking posts to categories associated to leadership dimensions of professional practice allows me to create a living document reflecting my professional practice.
Promoting public practice
As educators we are notoriously private with our practice. I’m choosing to blog this year as a reflection tool to share my thoughts and practice. As educators we need to share to understand each other, and share to learn from each other. Through a blog, my thoughts can extend beyond my office, my school, my division and reach a theoretical global audience. Overall, my practice is far from exemplary, but I do have something to offer the education community, and as educators we need to be more purposeful in our sharing.
The beauty of the internet is that sharing is a reciprocal process. Through my blogging, my eyes have been opened to and amazing network of great minds throwing ideas around. I find many of my online hours gravitated towards other blogs. I am able to learn from an unimaginable variety of fellow bloggers. Geography is no longer a limiting factor. The blogger in New Jersey is as good as my next door neighbour.
The blogging community provides me learning opportunities beyond the limits of the educational community as well. Through blogs I learn from educators, parents, students, youth, the business community, and a variety of other sources. These sources not only help me become a better blogger, but also a better educator.
Purposeful reflection through my blog has been a rewarding journey so far. Here’s to three months of blogging and many more to come.