Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Guilt From Blogging Less

This week, I read a post by colleague and friend George Couros that really struck a chord with me.  In his blog, George wrote:

"Sometimes I wish that I had more great ideas. I wonder when an awesome idea will pop into my head or I will be inspired and I can share it with our staff and get them really excited about some new learning that can happen in their classrooms. Lately though, it just doesn’t seem the wheel are turning and I am starting to wonder why. I know that I have helped to push some great learning initiatives within our school division, but it doesn’t seem that there have been any new ones coming from my office lately."

For me, this hit the nail on the head.  I do my best to stay current with what is going on in the educational world:  I read articles each day, comment on blogs, try to collaborate with colleagues as often as I can, and put on PD sessions and attend conferences every few months.  But lately, much like George has alluded to, I feel like I have 'run out' of things to share.

Several months ago, I wrote a post called "Do What Should Done THEN tell" in which I wrote about my need to provide more practical applications in my blog:

"Each day, I read countless newspaper articles, impassioned posts, and convincing studies that shout out "we are failing children", "change the system", or "do something different".  These excellent resources are written by talented, skilled educators who work in the system today and clearly care deeply about students and student learning.  And to this end, I agree with all of them (or at least almost all of them) that I have read.  But then I think about Mom's comment in the Detroit Public Schools investigative report--"I know you care, now what are you doing to show it?".

This year, I am going to focus less on TELLING people how much I care about students, education and the need for educational reform to better meet the needs of student and teacher learners.  Instead, I am going to focus more on DOING things to make our school and current system of education better and then share with others."


And as much as we have been "doing things to make our school" better, I find myself feeling guilty that my blog has been relatively silent lately.  That according to the metric that I quoted for my blog above, that I am not being creative and innovative enough at our school that I feel like there is something new and practical to share.  Rather than blogging excitedly twice per week about the new and exciting things that we are doing at our school, I find that I am blogging once every couple of weeks, and reaching to do even that.

After beating myself up about this for quite a while, I am coming to grips with the fact that it's OK just to try to make what it is that you are doing BETTER.  That everything that you do doesn't have to be new.  That reflecting on what you are doing is likely not as 'glamourous' and 'share-worthy' as when you begin implementing something new and innovative. But while not as 'glamourous', reflection on what you are doing and tweaking things to make them more functional and effective in improving student and educator achievement is likely just as (if not more) important.

This year we have changed our staff meeting format and are constantly looking for ways to make staff meetings more interactive for our staff by altering our collegial conversation topic voting format.  One of the topics that we will be discussing in the near future is the effective use of cell phones for learning in classrooms:  some of our staff members are expressing some concerns with how they are currently being used.  We sent a team to the Professional Learning Communities Summit in February to create more eyes to critically examine our collaboration and intervention strategies along with surveying our staff so that we can tweak them at our next staff meeting. We changed the format of our SMART goal template so it more accurately describes the progress that our departments are making towards their goals.  Our library looks like a construction zone because we are coming close to our its being transformed into a Learning Hub.  Our student wifi capacity has been increased and changed to a more 'hotel-like' feel so more students can use it. And I am hopeful that our District's application to Instructional Rounds at Harvard will be successful.

However, none of these things are particularly 'new'.  Yet we continuously tinker.

I still struggle with this odd feeling of guilt for blogging less, but I hope that it is because we are reflecting more.

Do others struggle with this feeling?


7 comments:

  1. Cale
    A very timely post for me as well. Over the past few weeks I have attempted to write a "meaningful" post about a half dozen times but have not been able to really "get going". I thought it was an acute case of writers block - but your post has caused be to reflect more deeply. I think I need to write for myself as opposed to someone else. I think I need to get back to why I started my blog to begin with - as a vehicle to becoming a "reflective practioner". Thank for providing me the opportunity to reflect more deeply

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  2. I am all to familiar with these sentiments. It's times like these that I dial it back to tweeting instead of blogging. I also have two book ideas swirling around in my head - but I am having a hard time carving out time to write. Like others have suggested - sometimes my posts are just for peace of mind, with the hopes that someone else will benefit from the share. Good to know that we are not alone. www.rtschuetz.net

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  3. Been there, still doing that. I try making notes when inspiration hits, but by the time I return to my quickly jotted notes, I've lost the candle and the purpose of the note's idea.
    Great post and timing.

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  4. Simple truth, Buddy: Sustainable change is evolutionary, not revolutionary. It involves working at the edge of the box. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

    Keep tinkering and grinding and polishing and tweaking -- and use your blog as an opportunity to reflect on a regular basis. Writing in this space regularly isn't for us -- it's for you. It forces you to polish what it is that you THINK you know about the work you are doing.

    Hope you're well, BTW.
    Bill

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