To blog or not to blog?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by vivalavida, May 7, 2013.

  1. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    May 7, 2013

    I'll begin student teaching next year and am toying with the idea of starting a blog to reflect on my experiences. Do you think this is beneficial for a student teacher or would it potentially be risky to talk about my experiences? I obviously wouldn't reveal any identifying information about the students, but I anticipate reflecting on my interactions with them (using pseudonyms, of course). I also wondered if this would be of any interest to a future employer. I feel like it would be a good tool to force me to reflect throughout the year. Plus, my friends and family could also stay up to date. What are your thoughts?
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 7, 2013

    I would think you would have to be really careful -- even with pseudonyms, if students could be identified by your descriptions, that could be problematic. That being said, I am a teacher and I have a blog and sometimes talk about my students but just keep it all as anonymous (for them and for me) as possible. So I will be curious to see what others think, as well!
     
  4. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    May 7, 2013

    No way. Never do that. If a parent or staff member recognizes a child on your blog, that would create a huge problem. Future employers would probably not look favorably on the blogging.

    If you want a tool for reflection, keep a private diary. Offline. Maybe even on paper.
     
  5. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 7, 2013

    When I was student teaching I had to turn in weekly "reflections", long form lesson plans(each day was about 7 pages worth of writing), grade papers, teach for the first time, and still manage my personal life(read fiance who gets mad when I don't talk to her).
    Blogging just wouldn't have been on my radar.

    I'm about to start my first year teaching. My plan right now is to have a class blog where I write a short blog each day for the students summarizing what we did, what work is due, ect. I will be doing this for the students but also for me so on year 2 I have a good resource to look at and reflect on how long I spent on each topic, how the year went ect. I wouldn't ever write about specific students. If you want to do that then a personal journal may be a better idea.
     
  6. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    May 7, 2013

    Thank you for your input! Just out of curiosity, do you say this because I'll be a student teacher or do you think all teachers should avoid blogging? I read quite a few teaching blogs and really enjoy them. I understand that mentioning anything about students could be problematic, though, and would want to avoid any potential for issues to arise.

    Mr.History: Good point! We very well may have to write reflections as a requirement for the program as well.
     
  7. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Thank you, HeartDrama. Perhaps if I avoid reflecting on behavior/management, I can stay in the safety zone. I agree that there will likely be MUCH more to write about.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    May 8, 2013

    I love blogging-I've had one for several years now! For the most part I am sharing activities we did and pics of kid work (with names removed of course) or videos/articles that spoke to me. I find it to be very reflective-I can go back and remember activities I did that worked or didn't.

    The best part is the connection you make with other teachers. It can really be true collaboration in sharing ideas and commenting on ideas. And yes, if I interviewed for a job, I would definitely share my blog with them-I think it's basically an online portfolio that shows my interest in all things education.
     
  9. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    May 8, 2013

    There were two reasons I say this. :)

    First, you posted originally about discussing specific students without naming names. I'm glad that if you blog, you will avoid that after hearing opinions on this board.

    Second, nobody is anonymous on the internet. You have to be very careful about posting things related to your job so that people cannot identify you. When you're a teacher, your administrators will probably prefer that you are not recognizable when you blog about their school.
     
  10. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    May 8, 2013

    Thank you, everyone, for your input. If I do decide to start one, I'll probably just avoid talking about particular students. However, just to play devil's advocate, how is talking anonymously about students on a blog different from talking about them here on A to Z? I know a lot of teachers use this forum to ask for advice about particularly difficult students. I'm not sure I'd ever do that because I would guess the student could be easily identifiable, no matter how anonymous you try to make it.
     
  11. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    May 8, 2013

    I talk about my teaching on my blog, but I talk about activities I did that I liked (or didn't like). I use it more of a reflection tool for me and what I do. I don't ever mention anything dealing with students or administration. That's just what I feel comfortable with. That said -- I do find what I use my blog for to be very useful and my family/friends enjoy reading it to keep up with me.
     
  12. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 8, 2013

    There is no reason to be SCARED to blog about your student-teaching experience. If a parent thinks they recognize their kid (under a pseudonym), who cares? I hate how everyone in education is scared of their own shadow. Your motives are pure, and blogs (to those who follow) can be very interesting. The problem, is just that.

    I also tried to do something like this... but it was something of a chore, coming up with interesting thoughts about your experience. Even now, I've tried to journal (e.g. in an actual journal, on my computer, on my phone via an app), and I've not been able to keep up with it. I suppose part of it that I'm not very exciting, but also it is just another chore that eventually becomes not worth it.

    If you can (and do) journal in your normal life, I would encourage you to go for it. Who cares what everyone else says.
     
  13. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    May 8, 2013

    I think it depends on what your goal is of the blog. If you're going to blog about the successful things you do in your classroom or things you would like to try next year or tweak, than I think it would be perfectly fine. You just want to keep your blog 100% positive in regards to your students and mentor teacher. I have a blog that is strictly to share ideas/thoughts on teaching strategies that I use or would like to start using. I have no problem with anyone reading my blog because I'm not going on the attack of my school, fellow teachers or students. I just want to share successful things that I have done in the classroom with other teachers.
     
  14. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    May 9, 2013

    Just keep it positive, and all will go well!
     
  15. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    May 9, 2013

    I blog about teaching. Or whatever is going on at the moment in my life.

    My blog is a way for me to get out the frustrations of being a teacher. I don't name names. I don't put up student work. I do talk about good days. I do complain. A lot. Because sometimes, it's really hard to be a teacher and stay sane.

    Actually, blogging about my trials and tribulations and triumphs has helped to keep me sane.
     

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