Blogging 201: Day One

For the next two weeks I’ll be participating in an blogging seminar conducted by the good folks at WordPress. Our first task is to identify three concrete goals for our blogs. This is a useful assignment for me since my blog is going to need to change in focus a little bit going forward. I originally envisioned it as a classroom blog that would be a place for me to reflect on my teaching and share work from my students. I’ve used it that way over the last two years, but now my role at school is changing. I’m moving out of the classroom to become a full-time administrator, so I won’t have access to the wellspring of blogging ideas that teaching provides. What then should become of this blog? Some goals . . .

1. Follow education news from the mainstream media and other edubloggers more closely, and use my blog as a place to participate in the conversation. This can be a challenge at times since so much of the news and media coverage is aimed at the world of public education, but there is more than enough that is relevant to my work in the independent school world if I visit the right sites and use my Twitter PLN for leads.

2. Reflect on my work. Although my work as a dean will often involve issues that can’t be shared online, I can reflect on the tough philosophical dilemmas that face school administrators. A blog is a good place to write up those thoughts since members of my PLN can chime in via the Comments. It is also helpful to be able to go back and look at my evolving opinions on tough issues and matters of philosophy as they change over time.

3. More creative writing. Occasionally I feel moved to write a little satire (such as this piece from last year) or poetry, and it would be good for me to try to do more. I’ll be returning to the classroom as an English teacher sooner or later — maybe next year; maybe in two decades — and I need to keep my own writing skills sharp. I should make it a goal to publish something creative on my blog at least once a month.

I admit that these goals aren’t as concrete as some of the examples from the Blogging 201 Daily Assignment instructions. However, I’m not actively looking to “build my brand” or drive a lot of traffic to this site. As an educator at an independent school, my personal brand is subsumed by the brand of my employer, and I’m not trying to pick up nickels and dimes via advertising. I’d be happy if the visitors to my blog came away feeling that the level of discourse was high and the quality of writing was halfway decent.

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