All About Blogging
Wow!! Look at the Tag Cloud created by putting the URL of this blog into tagul.com. I think this just about sums up my professional life.
I have been blogging for many many year (yikes – since 2005!) in many many different guises. I’ve blogged about my MA, about teaching, about my practitioner research activities; I’ve used blogs in action research, and had numerous class blogs, for CELTA, DTELLS, PTLLS, different ESOL groups & currently with the Technology for Learning Delivery course.
The Good Things
I’ve been trying to put a silver lining on the closure of posterous, knowing that I was losing cathywint.posterous.com I had 3 years of posts to re-house. I think that silver lining is what I’ve learnt about my blog and how it is very reflective of my professional life.
Comparing the Cloud (on the right) created by tagging my posts with the Cloud (above) generated from all the words in all the posts these certainly tell a story. I am a Teacher, I am proud to be a Teacher and while ESOL dominates my reflections here, the teacher ed courses are also visible, as are my interests in technology for learning, HE in FE, CPD & reflection.
The Not So Good Things
I sometimes feel that blogging is a Chore. Sometimes I think ‘I haven’t blogged for a while, I should’ at other times I have Half Baked Thoughts running round my head that I think ‘I should blog that’. At other times my head is so full of post ideas that I can’t Think Straight.
Top Tips for Blogging
Over the years I have read others posts on ‘How to Get Started Blogging’ and ‘How to have a Successful Blog’ and other such advice, but I would read these and think ‘yikes, I can’t do that, I’ve got classes to teach’. They always seemed to be about how to build an audience, and how disciplined you need to be to post regularly, and how many posts you have ready to go before you ‘launch’ your blog. None of these things particularly interest me, and if anything have caused some level of Blogging Anxiety.
Reviewing my blog recently, I think what I like about Blogging is the ability to structure my thoughts, that sitting and writing is cathartic and that fundamentally I do a quick edit for typos and clarity but there is no big writing/drafting process that I go through.
What I also love about it though, is that it grows and grows and leaves a trail of my professional adventure. It is messy, and unstructured, and it takes time and a commitment and it is worth it.
Therefore my Three Top Tips for busy teachers who want to blog are:
1. If you have an idea write it down and post it. No matter how long, short, rambley or unstructured you think that is.
2. If you have an idea but don’t post it, don’t beat yourself up about it.
3. If you write something that you later don’t like. Delete it.
But I guess my biggest tip would be to just start. If you have a thought, write it down. Share it. And Go With The Flow.