I’ve been chosen several times to sit on a hiring committee for my school. After each applicant leaves the formal interview, the informal one begins. I Google his/her name, email address, former place of employment – anything that may bring up something that will help us make the best possible decision for our students. Most times I find a password-protected Facebook account (at least they know how to stay discreet), but occasionally I find some comments on a message board, or even a blog.
These things give us a better picture of who the candidate is. The formal interview shows us that they know how to dress nicely and can (hopefully) proofread their resume, but a blog tells the whole story. You want to know a teacher’s educational philosophy? Have them write a dozen or so posts, and it will naturally emerge. The results will be more insightful than any pre-practiced interview question response.
Practice what you preach
Teachers not writing regularly is the same as a child being scolded to eat his vegetables while his mother dumps hers into the garbage disposal.
But there’s more to it than just the obligation to write.
Ideally, every student graduating from high school with have the ability to write. They learn how to write opinion pieces, compare/contrast expositions, research papers. We teach them the skills, but we don’t make them enjoy using them. They learn writing, but rarely feel writing. Shouldn’t teachers model the idea of writing for personal enjoyment rather than how to write to a rubric or complete a graphic organizer?
Much of the teaching experience happens after the lesson. For most, it’s during the car ride home from work when we think about what went on in our classes – what went well, what flopped, what can be done better next time, how we can build on the experience. Putting these ideas into a blog makes them more substantial.
Take, for example, this blog post right now. I’m sitting here sifting through all the reasons why I enjoy keeping a blog. By doing so, I’m getting more out of the experience than if I were to just be thinking about it to myself. Meta-reflecting, I suppose. By putting it into my blog, I am responsible for it – and responsible for holding myself to whatever conclusion I arrive at.
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