Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"School Daily" - Why I Blog

Everyone has a different reason behind their decision to start a blog. Some may see their blog as a chance to communicate with distant family members or long-lost friends. Others may see blogging as a chance to make their imprint on worldly topics and current events. A close colleague is soon to begin their blog on 21st century education and what it looks like for today's students, parents, and educators. We all have our own slant on the purpose of our individual blogs. For me, it came down to three main elements of why I try to write a "school daily" blog ("school daily" = when there is school, I blog.)

First, writing a blog has become my opportunity to share thoughts with my past and current colleagues, to provide support to new or aspiring administrators, and to allow our parent community and middle school students a brief look into the mind of their school principal. Since joining Twitter, I've discovered an outpouring of articles and blog entries, many of which I to share out with my colleagues but filtered through my own lens. Blogging is just one way for me to process through past issues, current topics, and future ideas. I do believe that my decision to write may inspire fellow staff members and administrative colleagues to share their story through their own blog. They, in turn, will encourage others to follow in their footsteps, each individual telling their story and adding to our educational community.

My blog has also allowed for me to share what I believe to be practical stories for current and aspiring administrators. I've found that while I truly enjoyed my administrative classes en route to receiving my masters in administration, I didn't receive the "real world" vision into what being a school site administrator truly was, the "day in and day out" of the job. I still think, even in year nine of my administrative career, that I'm learning how to best handle many of the out of the ordinary events that occur daily at a middle school. Being able to provide future principals with a quick glance into our daily happenings and an overview of what they'll encounter as an administrator is something that I wish I had during my transition out of the classroom and into the front office. I intentionally blog only about the daily, practical events that they'll experience; we have so many experts working at the 20,000 ft level -- I'll leave the much needed recommendations for our nation's education policy to them.

The third reason I blog is not why I first began to write but instead why I'm continuing to share my thoughts: I've found a love of writing that I didn't even know I had. I will fully admit that I'm not the most talented writer. I am definitely a "math guy" and seem to spend more of my moments in middle school math classes, enjoying the topics and chiming in with the class (perhaps more than I should) when we're discussing the distributive property. Among my colleagues, I even often joke about my intentional style of "writing at the 8th grade level" so as to make my thoughts and experiences accessible to as large of community as possible. While I could transcribe diatribes that establish a metacognitive understanding of my professional tribulations, I've found that speaking directly to the average 8th grader, even if the reader has progressively advanced past that education level, allows for a common ground to reflect on the blog and for the reading community to collaborate.

I will admit that writing a blog is akin to taking a substantial, professional risk. You are telling your story, but your words can and will be taken out of context in our digital world. I'm hopeful that my blogging is seen as useful for my fellow and future administrative colleagues, as read-worthy by our student and parent community, and continues to be a positive outlet to process and document the stories from my days in school administration. I encourage you, the reader, to consider starting a blog as well. You never know -- you may find yourself writing on every school day as well.

(As always, comments are welcome... feel free to share your story why you blog <or don't> as well.)

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