I reflect, therefore I blog.
A tweet came through last week that caught my attention. I retweeted it, favorited it, and now have spent some time looking back, reading, reflecting, and now writing:
As is the case with social media, the path to the origin of the thinking took a bit. Shelly Terrell sent this tweet about a post by Justin Martin on the Connected Pricipals blog. Justin’s post was in response to the “ground zero” post by Ryan Bretag, “My Principal Doen’t Need to Blog.” Ryan’s original post is brilliant – he uses not too many words to propose an argument that blogging is not worth it for his principal (who is an exceptional leader). What Ryan unleashes is an awesome response across the spectrum related to administrators and the value/need/time in blogging (including my response here…)
The thought about “to blog or not to blog” hits home with any blogger since we constantly wonder, “is it worth it?” As I read through the original post, comments, and subsequent posts, here are a few things that stood out to me.
In Ryan’s argument, he makes the following comment:
In life, we make trades of our time and the question really comes down to whether blogging would be a better use of time for our principal than…
- Visiting classrooms
- Getting to know and connect with 2,100 learners
- Getting to know and connect with hundreds of educators
In my first administration experience as summer school assistant principal, I made a conscious effort to be out and about as much as possible. My daily social media connections definitely went down (not logging into Twitter, Skype, etc). I completely agree that the most important job of an administrator is personal connections.
One of the responses to Ryan was from Russ Goerend:
For me, blogging is where I reflect with the purpose of asking other, smarter, people to reflect with me. Reflection is the one thing I saw missing from your list of what your administrator does. Is that a possible reason that tips the scales?
Reflection is the bell-ringer for me in blogging. I think reflection in teaching practice is important. Any good teacher or administrator reflects, whether in voice (chatting with a colleague) or in public (a blog). The difference between vocal reflection and written reflection is that writing it down makes a difference. To paraphrase Peter Reynolds, writing turns ideas into action. Writing it down in public makes a bigger difference. Is written public reflection on practice for everyone? Nope. Can it make a difference in the practice of a teacher or administrator? IMHO, yup.
Before I move on to more of my own thoughts, I want to point out one more comment that came through on this topic. It is a video post by David Truss:
I love the media response, as opposed to a typed response. His thoughtful comments, along with visual support, is awesome. Thanks, David, for providing an exemplar for media communication. I hope to move that direction in my own blogging – I think it is much richer 🙂
To bring together my own thoughts about why I blog, I took a look at the wikipedia article for blog. Under the sub-heading for types of blogs, here is the description for a personal blog:
- Personal blogs
- The personal blog, an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read. Blogs often become more than a way to just communicate; they become a way to reflect on life, or works of art. Blogging can have a sentimental quality. Few personal blogs rise to fame and the mainstream, but some personal blogs quickly garner an extensive following. One type of personal blog, referred to as a microblog, is extremely detailed and seeks to capture a moment in time. Some sites, such as Twitter, allow bloggers to share thoughts and feelings instantaneously with friends and family, and are much faster than emailing or writing.
I bolded the part that stands out to me most – blogging become more than a way to communicate – it is a way to reflect. The comment about bloggers taking pride in their work, regardless of readership, also rings true. I have always blogged for an audience of one (me), although it is fun when people stop in to read and/or comment.
Blogging takes time. My personal goal is to try to do one post per weekend, when the idea comes to me. Note that it happens on the weekend, and that there are the time trade-offs that allow me to find those few (3-4) hours to craft my thoughts. I have found that I do enjoy the writing process. Not everyone does, and not everyone has the time to devote to blogging. Ryan’s principal doesn’t, but he is still a great leader. If his principal does try blogging (and makes the trade-offs to do so), I believe he will find it valuable. I do not believe that anyone who takes the time to do it will find it un-worthwhile.
In any case, for me, cogito ergo blog. Thanks for taking the time to read this.