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Educators ARE Writers

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“Walking your talk is a great way to motivate yourself. No one likes to live a lie. Be honest with yourself, and you will find the motivation to do what you advise others to do.”  ~Vince Poscente

Click on picture to watch Simple Truth's Movie: Walk the Talk

I’ve mentioned many times in blog posts that I’ve been a reluctant writer throughout my life. As I look back on my 18 years of classroom teaching experience, I embraced a Writer’s Workshop approach to guide students away from being reluctant writers. I had the process in place. Students knew the guidelines and expectations. They were avid writers. They produced some amazing work and were proud to share with others both locally and virtually. We studied a variety of authors and their style in order for students to add to their craft. As I look back one important step was missing at times. I modeled writing, but not enough. I modeled what was comfortable for me. I modeled pieces that I had pre-written and passed them off as writing them for the first time in front of my students. Was I living a lie? I loved learning along with my students and my “enthusiasm for writing” seemed to guide students in their writing, But,  I was staying within my comfort zone.

I stepped out of that comfort zone this past year by becoming a blogger. I’ve experienced the joy and frustrations of a writer. My blogging experiences have motivated me to “walk the talk.” I’ve stared at blank pages, frozen and unable to get my thoughts out. I’ve sat for hours pounding the keys as my thoughts flowed across the page. I’ve felt humbled by the positive feedback and challenged by comments that have pushed my thinking. I’ve learned to use what I know and construct new understandings!

This year, as an Instructional Coach, I’ve had the pleasure of assisting 4 teachers and 100 5th graders in their own blogging journey. This time as a writer myself. What a difference that has made! We are now working on the same playing field and truly learning from each other and each living our motto inspired by Seth Godin and Angela Maiers:

We are geniuses and the world demands our contribution! 

As summer approaches for many of us, my challenge to educators (administrators, teachers, etc…) is to consider joining the world of blogging. The world is waiting for your contribution. Each of you have a special calling and voice in the world of education. By sharing your thoughts and ideas, dreams and challenges we all become stronger educators. The flowchart created by blogger David Wees which can be found at his blog post entitled “Why Teachers Should Blog: A Helpful Flowchart” solidifies my new passion for blogging. My hope is that it inspires you as well.

A few resources to help get you started include FREE blog platforms such as Word Press, Blogger, Posterous, Edublogs, and Kidblog.

There are many resources available to help you get started. Reading other educators’ blogs has been an inspiration. You may be interested in checking out the following resources.

As this video suggests, blogging can be an authentic and engaging experience for students. Yet, in order to understand this new genre completely we need to Walk the Talk. I look forward to reading your contributions. Please share your blog URL and journey in the comment section below. Let’s all inspire each other to join the Blogging Generation! Educators ARE writers, too!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwLB7TetCEo]

This post will be the Weekend Guest Blog Post on Richard Bryne’s blog Free Technology for Teachers (May 15, 2011), if I figure out how to get it posted. Always new learning!

Categories: Blogging, Instructional Strategies, Leadership, Personal Writing
Tags: ,

16 Comments to Educators ARE Writers

  1. Aviva (@grade1)
    May 14, 2011 8:03 pm

    This is a great post, Kathy! I think that blogging is a great way for educators to connect and share with others. About 3 years ago, I started writing a class blog (http://avivadunsiger.blogspot.com), and then I moved into a professional blog too (http://grade1ad.litcircuits.com), and now I contribute to a group blog (http://livewithlivescribe.edublogs.org) and my students even have their own blogs as well (http://kidblog.org/missdsclass2 and http://grade1.litcircuits.com). My Grade 1’s and 2’s love blogging, and they love knowing that I blog as well and that we can all really learn together! I think that this is so important!

    I’m so glad that you started blogging, as I love reading your posts! Congratulations of having this post appear as a guest blog post on Richard Byrne’s blog. What a great opportunity for you!

    Aviva

  2. Linda704
    May 14, 2011 9:13 pm

    Your post is well-written and very timely for me. I was actually perusing your blog the other day, and made mental notes of ideas I want to “steal” and apply. Now that I have finished my degree, it’s time to regroup and refocus. You inspire me! 🙂

  3. skypingreadingtutor
    May 15, 2011 10:14 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful entry. It is so important for our students to see us writing authentically and for purpose. I truly believe that a writer’s workshop approach to writing is one of the most wonderful ways to get each of our students writing. Thank you for being candid about your own experiences. We all learn and grown together.

    • Kathy Perret
      May 15, 2011 10:22 am

      Thanks for your comments, skypingreadingtutor! Writer’s Workshop is a wonder approach, especially when students are able to generate their own thoughts and for real reasons and audiences! There is an amazing world out there waiting for everyone’s voice!

      Kathy

  4. Mr. Patterson
    May 16, 2011 4:26 am

    I am in total agreeance with the points made in this post. I am a graduate teacher and could not get into the whole reflective practise that was crammed into me during uni (at least not at the formal level). Once blogging crossed my mind I could’t resist. I’m up and running now at:
    http://www.pattersonandscience.com

    • Kathy Perret
      May 17, 2011 10:10 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Just as you have noticed, deep reflection comes when we are on our own terms (not an assignment). As I begin another chapter as an adjunct professor of Content Area Reading, I must keep this in mind as I facilitate my online class. You have me thinking – how can refection at the “formal level” be more meaningful? Thanks for pushing my thinking!

      Love your blog! Thanks for sharing it!

      Kathy

  5. Fran
    May 16, 2011 6:03 am

    Kathy,
    It’s always a pleasure to follow your passions! You have whole-heartedly embraced 21st century technologies to improve your own writing and the writing of teachers and students! The strength of your voice is being heard around the world as you continue to promote authentic writing and now encourage all teachers to be bloggers complete with the resources to guide their journeys!

    • Kathy Perret
      May 17, 2011 10:12 am

      Thanks, my friend. You are one of a few people that has had the “wonderful” pleasure of following my journey as a writer (even when it wasn’t a passion). Thanks for always being there for me! Your support and guidance is greatly appreciated.

      Kathy

  6. Classroom Aid Inc.
    May 18, 2011 8:54 pm

    Just like to share some tools that might help teachers sharing and publishing…

    BlogBooker turns blogs into PDF Books.This service is offered for FREE for blogs based on various systems, like Blogger, WordPress or LiveJournal. Based on open-source tools, BlogBooker provides ready to print PDFs within minutes.

    And, if you have documents want to publish online , Issuu is a Web 2.0 tools that allows you to publish any document files.(PDF, Words…) Simply log on to Issuu and upload your PDF, then you have a digital magazine style document in front of 33 million monthly readers on its online social community. This can be embedded into a blog or your website.

  7. Denise Krebs
    May 24, 2011 7:37 pm

    Kathy, this is one of your best posts yet. It comes from your heart.

    You are a great writer, and you are speaking about something that has become important to me over the past year too.

    My journey began with a blog that tried to do a bit of everything, but as I learned more about blogging and focused my goals, I changed it into a professional blog. That one is at http://mrsdkrebs.edublogs.org/

    Then I started a new blog for my class and connecting with other students around the world. That one is at http://krebs.edublogs.org/ I am having fun with both the blogs.

    Edublogs is a great platform. I would suggest users become Pro. It costs about $36 a year, but the extra support offered and no advertisements on 50 blogs are well worth the small price.

    Blessings,
    Denise

  8. Kathy Perret
    May 27, 2011 10:26 am

    Denise,
    Thank you so much for your lovely compliment. You made my day! We’ve both found the benefits of blogging. Such a powerful tool for professional reflection!

    Kathy

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