Tuesday, April 15, 2014

There’s Gold in These Here Chats

I am comfortably and happily non-discerning in the twitter chats that I will engage in.  If I am connected and looking to learn, I am equally likely to join a chat about administration, education in Georgia, and independent school (all of which are fitting to my current role and location) as I am to join a student led chat on history, a district led chat on PD, or a state/national chat, so long as I feel I have information to learn or share.  Thus, December 17th seemed like any other such opportunity as I logged in and saw a group of educators that I admire (@jcordery, @michlampien, @alcp, @barrrykid1, @bhuntermusic & @ jannetemelee) discussing blogging.

Why should teachers’ blog?

Blogging is an inherently reflective activity that forces the author to examine their actions and emotions as they relate to events or ideas.  As teachers we need to be engaged in and model reflective practice so as to best meet the needs of all of our students.  Blogging allows us to share our thoughts, our challenges, and our successes with a global audience.  It offers transparency in to our humanity and fallibility, and it enables the potential for meaningful connection both internally with the community we serve and externally in to a larger community to we which we can both offer and receive support.

Being late in December and in the heart of resolution season, the discussion stemmed on the admiration for the consistency of blogging from other members of our PLN and the desire to contribute more regularly. 

And in the midst of the admiration, and idea was formed.

And it resonated…


Within a few days we had a weebly, google doc of participants, hashtag, and growing anticipation that #blogamonth would provide the “edu-couragement” we all needed to blog and comment each month.    We quickly decided that we should also add a monthly suggested topic so as to further help each participant battle the inertia of not writing due to the myriad of other tasks that stood in the way of our creative and reflective output.  


There are currently 73 educators who participate in the monthly challenge to both post and comment on each other’s post.  This amazingly diverse PLN is made up of superintendents, principals, integration specialists, music teachers, rabbis, substitute teachers, librarians, college professors, and more.  The diversity of geography, role, and thought contributes to the amazing diversity of sharing. 

My own personal PD

For me there is no greater professional development than the PLN of connected educators I engage with on a daily basis via twitter and blogs.  That I am afforded the opportunity to engage in and learn with the incredible community of passionate educators and thought provocateurs of #blogamonth, and that I am “obligated” to contribute to each of their learning on a monthly basis through my own reflection and blogging is truly a rare gift (or maybe even gold nugget).

(Want to join in the Edu-couragement? Join the group for monthly topics and tons of support! http://blogamonth.weebly.com/)

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