Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blogging: One Year In

I started this blog one year ago today. I feel like my life is very different in some ways and very much the same in others. It's been a good year! I began a full-time position in higher education, and I've basically loved every minute of it. Even the stressful, overwhelming times. I've made new friends, strengthened older friendships, had lunch regularly with my wife (that is a benefit to the professor's schedule!), and developed professionally. I've had the opportunity to teach 258 unique, individual students, including supervising some in student teaching, which was an adventure in learning for me and them.

What a year!

When I began this blog last May, my first post was a sort of justification for the writing. I have been pleasantly surprised with how much feedback I've received--some in writing, but much more delivered face-to-face--on my thinking. I can confess it: I like hearing how my thinking is received by friends and colleagues. It is encouraging, and even a little thrilling when something I have written gets retweeted or shared on Facebook. And I even appreciate the pushback when folks don't agree with my ideas.

I don't know exactly what I was expecting when I began blogging last May. I suppose it's fair to say I was hopeful that people would read what I write here. I suppose it's also fair to say that I was hopeful that people would agree with me. And, when I'm really honest with myself, I suppose I hoped this blog would increase my sphere of influence as an educator generally and in Christian education in particular. I recognize how egocentric that sounds--it is. I'm confessing, I guess.

In truth, all of those things are still probably true on some levels. (I'm not necessarily proud of that...) That said, I'd say it's also true that my thinking about the purpose of this blog has changed somewhat. I do write hoping others will read and benefit, but I think I'm mostly writing for me now. That is, I'm trying to use this as a space to work out my own thinking, and hopefully get some feedback (either agreeing that I'm on the right track, or challenging my ideas into new directions) to further shape my thinking.

What will I write about in the year to come? Well, probably some of the same--I haven't changed that much... Some likely topics for year two:
  • Educational technology - both practical stuff and more philosophical topics
  • Curriculum - I'm teaching a curriculum course this summer, so this is very much on my mind at the moment
  • Teaching in middle school - I'm teaching a "middle school curriculum and instruction" course next fall, so that will likely be on my mind
  • More thinking about practicing what I preach - I've been surprised how much I've written on this topic in the past year...and since the blog is a way for me to work out my thinking, I'll probably have more to say in this vein
  • More thinking on teaching Christianly - What does this mean? What does it look like? How do teachers work out their faith in their classrooms?
If you've been reading this, let me take this opportunity to invite you to follow my blog (click the blue "Join this site" button in the right sidebar), and to comment regularly on the things I post here. Thanks for reading!

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