Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolution: Get Blogging!

I've been blogging now for a little over a year and a half, and I feel like I almost know what I'm doing now.

Since May 2012, when I began blogging, I have posted 186 posts (this one makes 187, I guess.)

My blog has had over 47,700 views. (That is CRAZY!) I had one post take off in January of 2012, which was my most-viewed post to date--almost 4500 views so far, and it still gets about 200 view per month. And while I've had a handful of others with over 1000 views, the norm for most posts is 100-200 views. So it's not like I'm out changing the world. But I do get visitors from around the world!

My visitors map, as of 12/31/2013...

I've had feedback from dozens and dozens of people who have read my blog over the past year and a half. Some comment right on the blog--I love that. Some reply via Facebook or Twitter when I push posts there. And it's amazing to me how many people respond to something I've written when we talk together face-to-face. It's fascinating to me, actually, to see how many people actually read things that I'm writing here, and take the time to share their thoughts.

And honestly, that's the best part of blogging for me, but it's not why I blog.

I started blogging with a grand idea that people would care what I have to say. I realized pretty quickly that if I was blogging for public accolades, I was going to be disappointed.

So I began blogging for me. I began using this space as a place for plotting out my ideas in writing, and in a public place so people could read along, and perhaps share in conversation about the ideas, helping me refine my thinking, probe places I was being unclear, sharpen up what was out of focus. As I state in my disclaimer in the right sidebar: I've started thinking of this as "a place for me to work out ideas and get some feedback on them from friends and others." And that has made all the difference.

Blogging has helped me think about my teaching practice, and get feedback on my thinking from a wide variety of folks who have read it.

Which is what brings me to the point of this post...an encouragement:

Educator, start blogging!

Call it your New Year's Resolution. Start writing about your teaching practice. Write about what you are learning about being a great teacher. Use it a tool for reflecting on your teaching practice. Share your amazing lesson ideas. Share what you are reading. Make your thinking visible. Don't worry about your audience--blog for you.

Not sure about this? Here's how you can get started:

  1. Start a blog site. It's super easy here at Blogger. (Here's a video tutorial for Blogger.) Or if you don't care for Blogger, consider Wordpress as an alternative. 
  2. Write a post! What are you doing? What are you thinking about? 
  3. Share your post! Push it on Facebook or Twitter or with your colleagues across the hall. Or don't share it at all, and keep it to yourself. (But I hope you'll share--this is the best part of making your thinking visible, after all!)
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 regularly!

You might not have anyone read it, or you might become the next big thing, who knows? But the point is, that by taking the time to reflect and write and share, you'll be mindful about your teaching practice, and hopefully continue to get better!

If you do start blogging, please share the URL to your blog in the comments below. I'll read yours too. And I'll even comment on yours too!

Hope you have a very happy New Year! Grace and peace to you.


  1. Great post, Dave. I am relatively new to blogging myself ( a little over a year and a half). I got started blogging to reflect on my practices in the classroom. It turned into a chance to reflect on those practices and educational beliefs. While doing this, I have either reinforced a current belief or actually began to see the other side of the argument. Lastly, I guess I started to blog to show my students and my own kids how we grow personally when we step out of our comfort zones. Great post, Dave!

    1. Thanks, Jim! I find the pushback I occasionally get from friends is helpful for shaping my thinking, and helping me to better articulate my ideas. I totally agree with you about growing when stepping outside of our comfort zones!

  2. I blog mostly to give parents a glimpse into my classroom:

  3. You've finally done me in....I started a blog. It will for now be less than 50% educational related topics because I am just spilling thoughts out about a book I am reading. But I hope to weave some in there and move towards a more educational type blog. Thanks for the extra push to get me on :)


    1. Awesome! Tyler, I'm so impressed! No apologies needed about the content of the blog--not all of my own entries are education-related either. :-) I hope the discipline of writing and reflecting will be as beneficial for you as it has been for me.