Photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/max_fellermann
Week 1 – Learn about teacher-blog creation
In the spirit of taking risks I enrolled in WordPress’ Blogging 101. Use my chronicle of the first week to get your own blog started, and to think about how you would use blogging with students.
Day 1 – Introduce Yourself to the World
Two shares today:
1) I introduced myself to the world with Who I am and Why I’m Here. Please go read it so you know who your spending time with!
2) If you’re on the fence about starting a teacher-blog enroll in a WordPress Blogging 101 course. Here’s why: The rigor that we want for students, is the same rigor we want for ourselves. It’s characterized by what Pauline Gibbons calls high-challenge and high-support. With too much challenge, students back away after experiencing failure. With too much support, students tend to get bored or come to depend too much on others. As a newbie teacher-blogger, you need both high-challenge and high-support and WordPress courses offer exactly that!
Day 2 – Take Control of Your Title and Tagline
Before I published my first post I had already thought a lot about my title. In fact, I came to this task with some background knowledge. And we all know how important that is when it comes to new learning!
If you don’t have a lot of knowledge in this area, here is something I recently learned from writer Cyn Franks: KISS – Keep It Simple Silly.
Titles and taglines, especially for teacher-bloggers, should be catchy but to the point. You want your readers to find you quickly, and know they’ll get what something worthwhile in exchange for their attention.
Day 3 – Say Hello to the Neighbors
Now this is something you do know about: building and utilizing community. How many times have you told students to ask a neighbor before asking you? Remember “Ask three before you ask me?” It’s the same with blogging. You need to get to know others, and rely on them for help.
Here’s what our teacher, @kristastevens, said:
“Publishing posts is only half of blogging — engaging with the community is the other. Considering what other bloggers write will inspire you and sharpen your thoughts.”
When you start your own blog find a safe group to bounce ideas around with. In WordPress courses, The Commons is a ready-made community to do just that. Trust me, it will be worth your time.
Day 4 – Identify Your Audience
I’d thought a lot about my potential audience prior to launching. I’m a teacher, of course I want to write for you, my fellow educators!
But this got me to hone in even more:
“Writing with a specific person in mind is a great way to focus both your thoughts and your goals for your blog.” (@kristastevens, WordPress Blogging 101)
Blogging and teaching are both about creating purposeful, personal connection. So when you begin your teacher-blog, put that one person in your mind that you really want to speak to. Doing so will push your blog to the next level.
Day 5 – One week down – nice work!
Whew! My first week of blogging brought joy and excitement. I’m finally doing something I’ve thought about for a long time.
I loved receiving a “nice work!” message. The power of recognition cannot be overstated. For students, and for teacher-bloggers, just a little bit goes such a long way!