As I look at my growing list of draft posts (aka: best intentions upon self-reflection) I’ve come to the realisation that I’ve been talking the talk but not walking the walk lately!
It’s not that I haven’t been learning, discovering, teaching and learning some more over the past few years. It’s that I haven’t been reflecting – or should I say, I haven’t been documenting my learning and self-reflection. A recent conversation with my very good friend (and amazing educator -aka Langwitches) Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano made me reach down deep and really think about what’s been hindering my lack of documenting and self-reflection. I made a list:
1. Confidence Crisis
It’s not that I’m not confident doing/sharing something. It’s does anybody want to hear about it?
2. Backwards Writer’s Block
It’s not that I don’t know what to write about. It’s there’s so much to write about that I don’t know where to start!
When you transition from being the classroom teacher to being the coach who’s helping teachers you are often doing things that you’ve already written about before. It feels like you’re not doing anything innovative therefore it’s not worth sharing again.
4. Repetition Amplified
There’s so many great bloggers out there. They are doing the same things as me and writing so much better than I ever could.
Here’s where my a-ha moment kicked in! I began to question and challenge my thinking (self-reflection) on those three things.
Everything keeps coming back to purpose.
Why should it matter if nobody wants to hear what I have to say? Of course, I’d love to engage in conversation, be inspiring, and share my knowledge and understanding with others. At the end of the day though, what’s my purpose for writing down and reflecting on what I’m doing or learning? It’s ultimately for me. To document my ongoing learning and professional development journey.
What’s the purpose of all those drafts? They’re obviously things I thought were important enough to write down. Again, what’s the purpose of my blog – to document learning, experiences, and resources. As my friend Sheena would say, JFDI! Just flippin’ do it!
Does it really matter if it’s been done before? I’m often telling CoETaIL participants what might be old for you, may not be old for others – so share what you’re doing. Why am I not following that advice? What’s the purpose of my blog again? It’s a matter of perspective. Although I may have written about something from a classroom teacher perspective I should document it again from a coaches’ perspective. There will be subtle differences, I’m sure.
What’s the purpose of my blog again? To document learning – my learning. It’s a place for self-reflection. As I critically engage with media (reading, commenting, writing on blogs) my writing process can only improve. Does it really matter if someone else is writing about the same things? That’s not my learning is it? It might be part of my learning – as I may be inspired to share my own experiences with something. And my own experience might be different or I may have done something slightly different, or I may have even added to (amplified) someone else’s learning and re-shared. It’s all part of the blogging process and the part of the journey of blogging that has the potential to transform learning and teaching.
I know I am guilty of not doing the one thing that really helps makes your blog grow. Being consistent.
Blogging is a process, not an event that happens as a culminating activity of a lesson or unit.
The realization and acceptance of blogging as a platform for learning AND as a process, brings in the component of CONSISTENCY.
Silvia goes on to explain that consistency helps establish trust. It builds a relationship with your readers and it helps build a loyal readership. Consistency also helps you experience the cognitive process of learning over a period of time.
Well, it’s time to make some changes to my routines. Time to become part of the conversation again and get on with a process that I whole-heartedly believe in. It is time to remember the purpose behind my blog and the reasons why it’s important to document learning. If I make it back into your RSS reader – that’s a bonus!