Kate (@k8nowak), who blogs at Function of Time (Check it out, it’s awesome!) wrote a blog post and mentioned it on Twitter last night, since I do SO much better at blogging when I have a reason or need of my own, I told her I would write a post and help her out, as many others did too.
1. What hooked you on reading the blogs? Was it a particular post or person? Was it an initiative by the nice MTBoS folks? A colleague in your building got you into it? Desperation?
2. What keeps you coming back? What’s the biggest thing you get out of reading and/or commenting?
3. If you write, why do you write? What’s the biggest thing you get out of it?
4. If you chose to enter a room where I was going to talk about blogging for an hour (or however long you could stand it), what would you hope to be hearing from me? MTBoS cheerleading and/or tourism? How-to’s? Stories?
And my responses:
1. I got hooked on blogs back in 2006 during a hiatus between masters degrees and looking to expand my knowledge. I knew what blogs were, but definitely didn’t know the knowledge they held or could hold. I know I initially followed Dan Meyer because I came across his post on How Math Must Assess. I was hooked with that post, the idea behind it and started researching Standards Based Grading right then. I didn’t implement SBG until 2008-2009ish, but that started my love of blogs and trying to find more. I didn’t know what a reader was back then, so I had (& still have) a folder of blog I followed in my IE Favorites that I would check every once in a while.
2. Resources, ideas, problems, solutions, challenges, good things, bad things, collaboration…it all keeps me coming back. I get ideas from reading blogs, things I can use in the classroom the next day…it’s like a daily PD session where you walk away with something useful. Actually, I don’t read daily, but when I do catch up on blog reading I walk away with so much more to help my students, to improve my teaching, to think about and mull over and to reflect on. I also like the math problems that are posed; I like doing math on my own just to do math, so I find that fun as well. I enjoy commenting to solidify a point or to ask a question because I didn’t understand something and it then becomes a conversation where all who are reading and/or commenting benefit from the comments and questions from others.
3. I started a little over a year ago because after lurking for SO long, I finally felt like I wanted to give back. I also wanted to reflect more on my teaching and the things I do. The MTBoS Blogger Initiation was what got me started finally. I like blogging because I like the feedback I get from others…ways to change and improve things I have come up with, that’s what I enjoy the most, taking something I’ve done and having others help me make it better. I also like knowing that I am freely proving something other teachers may find useful. And I like reading blogs and knowing that I am not the only one to feel a certain way because sometimes teaching does feel very independent.
2 & 3 combined. I am the only Geometry teacher in my school, so the blogs I follow and the people I follow on Twitter have become my online Personal Learning Network (PLN). I like being able to bounced ideas off of someone and I know that no matter when I blog or when I send a Tweet, someone will respond to offer me help, share ideas and help me become a more effective teacher.
4. Hmmm…good question. As a current blogger, I would like to hear stories about how bloggers have created something together that was awesome. Something that might not have been created if not for the connections made across state lines, across countries, across the globe. I am selfish and I want MORE math teachers to blog…why? Because I want more ideas to read from them and I want them to help me become a better teacher by helping me reflect on my own work. So anything that would involve more teachers to get involved would be cool.
Side note: I am going to NOLA in April and look forward to seeing Tweeps in person (#TMC13 & #MTBoS) and I will be attending Kate’s session for sure!