Friday, 3 August 2012

Letting go and trying.......

     So, I have been procrastinating about restarting, actually, REALLY beginning to blog all summer.
     This past year was a whirlwind of learning, chatting, experimenting and connecting. I think the most important thing that I did last year was to let go. Let go of all the things that I had done from year to year, let go of the need for approval from those around me, let go of knowing. I began to experiment with new ways of learning, new technologies, new ways of demonstrating learning, and began to just try. Try the iPad, try apps, try Twitter, try letting my students teach me, try being vulnerable.
     It was one of the most exciting and terrifying years I have ever had. Things were changing and at the end of each day I was exhilarated and exhausted, thinking WOW that was a busy day, maybe tomorrow will be more relaxing, but that tomorrow never came!
     We experimented with iPads, iPods, digital cameras, laptops. We blogged, we Skyped, we created, we recorded, we wondered, we played, we chatted. I read, went to work shops, followed Twitter and learned from so many. Yet actually writing about it all did not happen. I have never been a writer, never had a journal that actually had writing in it. I bought many, trying to inspire myself to put my thinking and reflections on paper. I had someone design my blog so that, maybe, I would want to write. Nope, didn't happen.
     I loved Pernille Ripp's blog post that said that maybe all teachers didn't read to write on a blog(woohoo, someone on my side!!), I sent her a thank you comment, I felt relieved! Phew! But guilty. I don't understand this guilt. Maybe, it is insecurity. All of these bloggers had important things to say, musings, wonderings and opinions. Maybe I was intimidated, why would folks want to read what I had to say, did I have anything to say? How could I possibly sound so eloquent, so knowledgeable, so confident?
     I have always been a learner and I have always reflected on my practice, I just never recorded my reflections/thinking. But, it has been in the last few days as I have been participating in the Connected Educator webinars that I have begun to find my voice. During the webinar with Chris Lehmann of SLA, I wrote a few words about the effects of connecting, and Chris asked me to elaborate. I actually spoke!! It was a first for me! It was a turning point for me! I don't think Chris realized just how empowered he made me feel. I made a comment and it made sense, it was in context and nobody thought it out of the ordinary(well, not that they mentioned anyway!) Today I participated in another webinar with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter-Hall. Once again I commented and connected with like minded educators and I came out of it feeling even more empowered.
     Tom Whitby's latest blog post, What's the Big Deal About Blogging?(you can find it here) called me out.
Here I was asking my students to blog, reflect and record their thinking but I wasn't. I wasn't setting a good example, I wasn't being transparent. So I am rising to the challenge. Challenging myself to record my thinking for me, as an act of reflection. Of course I will worry about how it will be interpreted by others but, I.... will it.....for..... me. As a means of sifting and making sense of this wonderful new learning journey that I have begun. I will be vulnerable, I will risk, I will write. I will try!

How did you feel when you first began to blog?
Who inspired you?


  1. What a great blog post Robyn. I started my professional blog last year when I joined twitter because I had way too much running in my head and I didn't like feeling so over whelmed. Of course I still get over whelmed on a regular basis (got to love being a connected educator with so many amazing educators sharing such fantastic teaching) but blogging helps with that a lot. I hope you also find blogging a way of processing your thoughts. It will also allow me another peek inside of your brain, and since you've got such great stuff in there, I can't wait to read more from it. Exciting to be reading your posts. Karen

  2. You are off to a great start. You have also validated my thoughts represented in my blog posts. Thank You! Tom Whitby

  3. Great post!

    Who was I inspired by? Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi! (@mrsdkrebs & @gallit_z) They gave me the name for what I wanted to do with my independent reading, and so I decided to publish my notes about it. After reading many other blogs, I learned how to blog better... Adding pics, asking questions, and not just jotting down my notes. I also became more reflective, and more focused (I think!).

    I hope you see your blog as something that helps your teaching instead of a time-waster. I know I have!
    Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr)

  4. Great post...never ask kids to do something that you are not willing to do yourself. WIth that being said, not giving the students the opportunity to write in a blog because a teacher does not feel comfortable is not fair either. It is important to not only give them a voice, but to teach them how to use it in a way that is effective for them. Maybe it is through writing, but maybe it is through photographs, podcasts, or video. Whatever it is, if you do not play in that sandbox, how could we understand how to leverage these opportunities for our kids? Kudos to you for getting back into it! Stick with it :)


  5. I love your post! I did and still do feel insecure about sharing my ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. I have let down my guard and even shared some of the thoughts that go through my head throughout the day in my classroom. And guess what??? Others have some of the same thoughts too! Blogging has been so encouraging to me and I don't feel like I am a failure who is doing a bad job with my kiddos (I am the type of teacher who is very hard on herself). I try and share lots of inspirational poems that help me remember why I teach. =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. I would love for you to hop over and visit me when you get the chance. =)


    Heather's Heart