A Blog’s 3rd Anniversary: Preparing the Mind is the Best Professional Development

July 3, 2013 — 3 Comments

birthday11July 3rd is this blog’s third anniversary.

WrdPress provides a map of where visitors accessed this blog.

WrdPress provides a map of where visitors accessed this blog since 2012.

One way of determining whether this three year venture has been successful is to look at the overwhelming amount of statistical information provided by the host of this site, WordPress.com. To date, the stat page notes that there have been over 70,000 hits, the most popular search term has been Of Mice and Men, the most popular post has been Teaching Elie Weisel’s Night with Choice Books, and the most frequently used category for this teacher, not surprisingly, has been EDUCATION.

The other way to determine the success of this blog, however, is to reflect on how well writing has served as my own professional development for the past 36 months. In writing each post, I have tried to find links that support or refute a position. I have searched and researched all elements of the Common Core State Standards; read journals or policy statements from educators and education reformers; and cited hundreds of quotes, graphics, and statistics to support my ideas. Even if no one read this blog, the writing experience has been important.

Many of the ideas for blog posts come from links provided by other educators on Twitter. Many ideas come from the students in my classes or from news stories that are related to education reform. Then there are the ideas I have while I walk with fellow educator on weekends.
For example, I will notice how the ripples on the pond create an interesting pattern, and I will casually remark, “that reminds me of how students can create ripples when they discuss their book choices!”
“Well, that’s a great idea for a blog post!” she will respond.

I have discovered that I have little control over my need to write; that the impulse to set things into print is hard to ignore. In addition, the motivation to write comes at the most inconvenient times, often late in the evening, and I have seen many digital clocks click into the AM hours of the morning as I polish a piece.
“Are you still awake?” my husband complains.
“Just finishing,” and I huddle to hide the glow of the screen while I reflect and revise.

Nothing has taught me more about how to teach writing than my writing this blog. Nothing.
Nothing has made me appreciate how hard it is to meet the deadlines and requirements of assignments given to students. Nothing.
Nothing has made me more aware of how important developing confident writers is in preparing students for the real world. Nothing.

My friend, who also writes on her own blog, often quotes the scientist Louis Pasteur who said,

“In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”

On this third anniversary, I am confident that writing on this blog has helped me to become a more informed educator. Writing what I think about education prepares me to say what I think when I am at leadership meetings, or department meetings, or when I am teaching. I am primed to discuss any number of issues related to education because my mind has been prepared, and the chances that I will talk about these education issues is more than good.

On this blog’s third anniversary, I am convinced that the best professional development I have is to write what I think.

3 responses to A Blog’s 3rd Anniversary: Preparing the Mind is the Best Professional Development

  1. 

    Congratulations! And thank you for pushing my thinking ever forward. Together we could make a case for the walk as PD. I might have to write about that. 🙂

  2. 

    “[T]he best professional development I have is to write what I think.” Love this. Writing IS thinking — that’s why it’s so hard — it’s the mind in search of meaning. As Joan Didion claimed, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” No wonder your thoughtful, open, creative, earnest blog posts have made you a better educator.

    I’ve enjoyed your blog since 2011–thank you!

I would like to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s