Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Professional Blogging - My thoughts

So, there was a recent post on the blog "2 Cents Worth" that discusses the views on "Professional Blogging."


The usual excuses are presented about why teachers would not want to blog. (Time being the main issue.) I could not agree with this more but I think that there is more to it. Teachers need to see the value of having a journal that can be shared with other teachers. I do think that there are those teachers who find the value in keeping a journal and those teachers who think that sharing with other teachers is very important. The struggle that I am having is finding the time to do all the things that I want to do. Truth be told, I will find the time in my day to accomplish the things that I want to do along with the things that I have to do. It becomes a list of priorities. I think that teachers need to stop using the time argument as an "easy out". We need to be looking at things that will help us to be more effective in the classroom and help the students to connect with material. Right now, I see the blog as a tool that can be more helpful to me and a way to discuss ideas with other educators.

As David Warlick says in the post referenced above:
Today, the world is the curriculum, and the world is changing every day. In a time of rapid change, education must become highly adaptable, a place where teachers can retool their classrooms every day. The time issue must be solved. ItÂ’s a very simple problem (granted that the solution would not be simple) that, if solved, would have a dramatic impact on teaching and learning. But a significant part of that impact would come from the professional discourse that would be necessary in order for teachers to productively manage adaptable classrooms. It would come out of well thought-out and compellingly written (and illustrated) conversations from teachers who are paying attention, reflecting on their observations, sharing their insights concerning the impact on teaching and learning, sharing, and continuing the conversation.
When I read this post, I started thinking about my classes. I cannot ignore the fact that the method of teaching science that is occuring now is really not science. I have said it before that I think the current method of science instruction teaches the students about science and what has been done in science but does a lousy job teaching the students how to be scientists. Then there is the issue of motivation. I do not just mean the motivation of the students, that would be a whole different entry. I mean the motivation of the teachers (I am talking to myself right now, so feel free to listen). It takes time, energy, resources, and a willingness to fail to change what is happening in a classroom. Time is the easiest scapegoat. I think if I can figure out the resources then the time will not be as big of an issue. The truth is that it takes a lot of work to create the changes that I would like to see happen. It is good to see that there are a few teahers out there who are willing to try to change and then continue to evaluate what they are doing.

"We are continually faced with great opportunities, which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems."
-Margaret Mead
From: Teacher's Calendar, Andrews McMeel Publishing, March 30 entry.


Barbara S. said...

"The truth is that it takes a lot of work to create the changes that I would like to see happen. It is good to see that there are a few teachers out there who are willing to try to change and then continue to evaluate what they are doing."

I totally agree, and I feel we all need to encourage and help each other make these changes. I so want to keep trying different techniques, and I am excited that our new math curriculum will help facilitate change in the classroom.

Blogging has been helpful to me and sometimes useful to my students. I think podcasting would be more beneficial to my students (maybe because I got an ipod for my birthday!).

Karl Fisch said...

Well said. I think the other thing to keep in mind is that this is not a "one time deal." You're not going to be able to do "a lot of work to create the changes" and be done with it. Unfortunately (from the time perspective, anyway), this will be an on-going process for the rest of your career. It will probably be hardest the "first" time to make these changes, but I think "in a time of rapid change" you will end up continuuing to make changes over and over again.