I have been reading many different blogs lately, ranging from other educators in my PLN to mommy bloggers at home and funny observational writers. I have been updating my “personal” blog regularly with our adventures and my own lessons I’m learning while being away from work.
What I’ve really come to realize is how much I enjoy writing a blog. When I first started writing, I seemed to be writing for an audience and wishing to make important and relevant points, even preparing to debate some of my choices. I was writing daily and hoping it would get noticed. Soon, I realized I couldn’t write everyday and it became almost stressful to contribute meaningful posts. Now, being off work, I find myself writing less and less on my “professional” blog because I’m not actively in the class and not sure how I could contribute in that arena.
However, noting that, I have started blogging a lot more on my personal blog, and am loving it. I publish some to the WordPress reader, some I share in facebook, occasionally I even link it to Twitter, and quite a few make it to the “draft” list. Once getting over the initial worry of having to produce something daily and hoping people like it, I felt released and just started writing.
I hope I can start blogging in the class when I return. I would like my students to start a blog. At first, like me, they may feel pressure to write and worry how I will mark it. But I don’t want that. I don’t want them writing because they have to, or putting things down they think I want to read. I would like them writing for the enjoyment of it, for the therapy it seems to bring.
From just starting with, “my teacher is making me start a blog”, to jotting down homework, personal schedules, ideas, to actually enjoying the process and recording feelings. Perhaps it will take the form of a humourous blog, informative fan site, handy DIY, whatever happens, happens.
The fact that they can keep some hidden, publish some, share them with a select audience, play with the design and look, invite feedback (or not) or just reflect on how much they’ve changed over the course of a semester is exciting. I hope they would come to enjoy the experience as much as I do. I would hope that maybe it almost becomes therapeutic and a means to express themselves.
Can blogging help with anger management? Emotional release? Stress alleviation? Starting the conversation? Asking for help? Without the constant fear of it being read, spell checked, and graded, I hope blogging will be a tool to help my students reach some personal goals and grow. Can’t hurt to try.