Blogging!

This is my very first blog post.  I have thought about blogging many times over the years, but I had a constant niggling that I had nothing to say.  This strikes me as funny, because I never lack for things to say when having coffee or dinner or drinks with friends!  I love to discuss a large variety of topics and have often thought to myself, “I should start a blog about….” – here’s where you fill in the blank with: teaching and learning, the state of American public education, socio-economics and social mobility in the U.S., dominant culture beliefs and facing the myth of the American Dream, single parenthood, mothering/parenting, caring for your inner self, and the list goes on.

Today I am posting as a seasoned educator who would like to connect further and deeper with other educators and community members.  In Tanzania I have been a community educator with a local non-profit working to raise awareness about child mobility and homelessness as well as a classroom teacher at an international school.  In the U.S. I have been a classroom teacher at an immersion elementary school, an instructor for pre-service teachers, researcher in a variety of areas, and an independent consultant working with people and organizations to research and improve their practices in education.  I recently completed my PhD in education and am looking to change direction and embrace more fully the monitoring and evaluation of educational research and projects, as well as set up a non-profit that focuses on education for sustainability.  We will conduct research on current best practices in nature and project based learning.  Through this research we will decide what comes next.  We may open a school ourselves, or support already existing schools and programs through professional development and capacity building.  Or we may build programs that support and enhance what schools are already doing through camps, after school programs and weekend intensives.

With my present situation in flux, developing and growing into something new I would like to use my first blogging experience to be about documenting this process.  I think I will learn a lot from writing down the stages of growth, and perhaps someone else who is in a similar situation will connect and we can learn from each other.

7 thoughts on “Blogging!

  1. Hi Kara

    Welcome to the Edublogs Club!

    Many of the participants have shared similar reflections that they are concerned that they have nothing to say. Weekly prompts should help because it takes the pressure off deciding on a topic while allowing you to share what you want to say on the topic.

    I would also encourage you to read and comment on posts by other participants as it will help build connections with others that can help and support your goals.

    @suewaters

  2. Hi Kara,
    Welcome to the blogosphere. Reading and commenting, as Sue says, is very important if you want to start making connections with other educators.

    I run a student blogging challenge twice each year and often have teachers and classes from international schools taking part. How do they differ from a typical American school?

    • Hi Sue,
      I have also created a blog between students in my class in Tanzania and at a school in the UK. It was an interesting experience, but a little challenging at the time due to technical constraints on the Tanzanian side. However, the students all enjoyed connecting and learning from each other. What was most interesting to students (I was teaching a 2nd and 3rd grade combination class) was seeing the photos of each other’s schools and homes. Our school had lots of outdoor space, and our students had more than 1.5 hrs a day outside playing each day. This was very different from the UK school (and the schools I have taught in here in the USA)!
      What are the benefits you see your students gaining from connecting with student in other countries?

      • Hi Kara,
        I am retired from full time teaching now but still run the student blogging challenge twice a year. THe last post for the challenge is also an evaluation of both the students’ blogs as well as the challenges I have set.

        Students will often say they were amazed how other students around the world have similar hopes and dreams, music interests etc – the fact that they are more similar than different no matter what country they are from. I think this is one of the main benefits for blogging and connecting globally – the world becomes very small and we can look for similarities.

        • I agree, Sue! It is so wonderful that students can share their ideas, questions, hopes and dreams with each other. This will lead to a more peaceful future world, in my opinion.

          • Hi Kara,

            The other importance aspect is the audience affect. Studies show that when students are asked to write for a real audience in another country, their work has better organization, content and longer than if they are writing for their teachers. The bigger the audience, the more they are aware of their audience, the more motivated they are.

            As Sue Wyatt says in her blogging story. Being a connected educator is important to blogging success as a personal blogger. It is equally important for student blogging which is why we assist with challenges like the Student blogging challenge.

            Sue

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