Why Blog?

30 Apr

I'm not sure if I've answered this or not.  I do know I've talked about why I'm teaching and such.  But the blogging bit is different.  And somewhat similar.


Last year, I came across a few education blogs and became somewhat interested in what other teachers were talking about.  Only somewhat, because not many were talking about things that explicitly interested me.  That's the cool thing about blogging.  If you don't like what's out there, you can start your own.  I like parts of what is out there.  There are a lot of education blogs that function as a variation of the old Paul Harvey's News and Comment show. The Education Wonks and Eduwonk come to mind as two blogs that move briskly from topic-to-topic in fairly rapid fashion, providing access to both news and editorial thoughts on education topics and policies.  Many of us teacher blogs try to emulate their success to varying degrees.  I've been known to rip into a news story on occasion, and editorialize. 


Then there are those blogs who go into more limited areas, plunging deeper into editorial and policy content with a more narrow focus.  NCLBlog, Sp. Ed Law and Teach Effectively come to mind as blogs with more focus and depth into specific areas. 


The above are a wealth of information that teachers can draw upon.  The question is: what do I do with that information?  Most of the time, the authors hit relevant information and insightful commentary and readers are left to be dazzled and amazed by the intelligence of the writer.  But, and this is kind of hard to say to people I like reading, but teachers remain mostly untouched.  The same is true of parents and other folks interested in teaching and the learning of students.  And there are so many doing it, it gets a bit dry after awhile.


There are also some teachers who have some good storylines, and they blog about day-to-day drama, and the daily grind of teaching.  Mad Tedious, Reflective Teacher and Ms. Ris are some good ones.  Good writing and good stories that are amazing and inspiring.  Unlike the news and comment blogs, we get to know the writers and learn to care about them and their students.  They may venture into the politics of education but they bring it home.  These are the more entertaining to read.


On all of these blogs, there is some education of the reader taking place.  Being educators, what else would you expect?  And so it is, with me.  I'm enjoying putting together an edublog and the challenge that goes along with balancing content with entertainment.  Unlike a personal journal, an edublog is explicitly written for others to read.  While it can be cathartic for a writer to let loose with thoughts, I think we are all hoping to help larger segments of the population.  The focus is on the audience as much as the author.  It isn't written just for myself, although I do often get something simply from writing things out.


  My major focus is special education and everything that goes with it.  I'm aiming for other teachers to give information about special education.  I'm aiming towards parents as a parent, trying to offer up useful material.  Against the educational focus there is the storyline of the day-to-day drama of my own classroom and a secondary storyline of being a parent of a child on the autistic spectrum.  The second still needs more fleshing out which I can do over the summer.


It's taken a few months to shake all of this out and to see how it all fits together.  There's been complexities to deal with the ambitious nature of this blog, but it has become a definite labor of love.  If it weren't enjoyable, I wouldn't do it.  But I do see people searching for answers and ending up here.  I hopeful that readers will find some use in reading my various ramblings.




2 Responses to “Why Blog?”

  1. Michele May 1, 2006 at 3:56 pm #

    Hi Dick,

    I think it’s a question all bloggers do (and should) ask themselves. At the NCLBlog, we hope to engage teachers but also those in education policy community.

    Michele at AFT

  2. summer Rose May 2, 2006 at 4:46 pm #

    I know I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again Thankyou!. You have a lot to deal with, at the same time you also have a place to vent when you’ve had a bad day in the classroom, to let any parent thats new to blogging that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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