This morning, I participated in a #pd4uandme chat. If you have never participated in this chat before, you should definitely check it out. It is a 30 minute chat every Saturday morning from 8:30-9:00 AM EST. Unlike most other chats, there is no preset questions, just a weekly topic that participants discuss during the 30 minute block. I try to participate as often as I can in this chat, but sometimes life gets in the way. So when I saw that the topic was blogging this morning, I put it in my calendar to attend.
Why start a blog?
As I share in chapter 7 of my upcoming book, TRANSFORM- Techy Notes to Make Learning Sticky, I somewhat reluctantly entered the blogging world in February 2019. I have to admit that I was nervous to do so. I wasn't sure if I had anything to share. I was afraid of pressing PUBLISH and putting my words out for the whole world to see. Luckily, I took a risk and sent my draft to EduMagic author, Sam Fecich, for feedback and she shared that my story was one that other educators needed to hear. I knew reflection was crucial to innovation and as I read Innovators' Mindset by George Couros, I knew that to truly grow as an educator, I needed to incorporate that practice more into my life. All of us have a story that only we can tell. Blogging helped me start telling that story beyond the walls of my classroom door.
How has writing a blog transformed me?
Since that morning of February 1st, I have written many blog posts. Each of them is different. Some share my struggles and lessons learned from them. Some spotlight work that the teachers I work with engage in. Some are anecdotes from my work with teachers and students. All of them are part of my story.
Blogging was the first of many CHALLENGES that I have engaged in the past 2 1/2 years. I started blogging for me and still do- but it delights me when others find value in what I post. Blogging keeps me centered and focused on my WHY. Blogging connects me with a community of other bloggers.
After blogging for nine months, I decided to start presenting at conferences. From my blog and my site analytics, I could tell what posts resonated most. Once again, I was nervous to put my voice out there and complete Request for Proposals. But after blogging, I knew I could. In 2020, I presented at ten virtual conferences. I loved the connections I made, the learning I engaged in and more. In 2021, I have already matched the amount of conferences I presented in during 2020. My PLN has grown and helped me to grow in immeasurable ways.
After blogging for nine months, I also started writing a book. I started slowly in 2020 sharing my TRANSFORM journey. As COVID hit full force, I took a break from writing. But as 2020 closed, watching a Teachers on Fire Roundtable gave me the push I needed to take the next step: send my manuscript to publishers. I am so glad that I did as we work on editing my book and plan to get it out into the world this spring.
Yes, the idea of blogging can be scary. Putting your voice out for the world to share seems like a risk. But if I have learned anything in the past two and half years, it is this.
Everyone has a story to share!
Only you can tell that story!
Blog for yourself, but don't be surprised who you inspire.
During this morning's chat, Laura Steinbrink shared this quote and I couldn't say it better myself:
If you are thinking about blogging, just press PUBLISH. You might be surprised by the unexpected benefits you find.
Remember, if you want to attend the Code Breakers Power Summit for FREE, I have five free passes that I will share. Just tag me on Twitter and share at least one way you will learn and grow this month. I will select the winners out of the posts made by April 14th.