Last Summer, as I prepared to attend my first Online Teaching Conference, I decided to create my own website, with a new blog. I wanted a place to keep the things that I normally post and lose on social media, to share with my students and colleagues, and for myself. I've been quite irregular with these blog postings though, and so I was delighted to get a little "nudge", as a member of the @ONE Online Reflective Teaching Club, to write 6 posts on 6 topics in 6 weeks.
Reflecting on this collective blog posting experience, I realize what an eager student I am, and how I adore assignments. Toward the end of the week I started to anticipate what the topic might be and how I might respond, according to what is alive for me. Other teachers in the group started posting their blog links on Twitter, and it was fun to read each person's individual entry, and see how they presented their ideas; with photos, with videos, with sketch notes. And then, what a delight, as others in the club started posting comments on my blog and sharing the links on their Twitter pages. It was an authentic audience- someone was reading! We were interacting with one another!
My big take-away is how much writing I do in isolation. I develop presentations, I do assignments, I apply for grants. But it's hard to imagine who my audience might be. Similarly, my students write random assignments with no authentic audience, just me, reading them with my purple pen, circling incorrect verb tenses and making suggestions about their organization of ideas. It's a back hole!
Moving forward I'd like to stay more consistent with my blog entries and share them with more courage. I will stay motivated if I look for engaging topics, like the ones suggested in the Reflective Writing Club. And I'd love for my students to post their writing on more authentic platforms, where their peers could kindly comment and praise their ideas, where they can encourage one another. Creativity and inspiration are meant to be shared!
Thanks, Reflective Writing Bloggers.