I started blogging because I was frustrated by talk of introducing more formalised learning programs into preschool. Everything tells us that children learn through play, I thought, so why was no one listening?
Blogging about my experiences at a preschool was something that I could do to get an audience for this message - even if it initially only consisted of one!
There are loads of other great reasons for teachers to be blogging. Here are just a few:
1. Blogging is educational.
We are teachers, but we are also learners.. After all, how can we teach kids to love learning when we don't love learning ourselves?
Unfortunately the expense of workshops and day courses mean that they aren't a regular thing for most teachers. And if you are a part time or casual teacher, or a child care worker you might as well forget it.
I was starving for insights into what was happening in other preschools, and in the wider worlds of early childhood and progressive education.
Through my blog - and social media - I now have access to learning on tap. The world is my classroom and within seconds I can access a links, ideas, opinions, and resources from people in the know.
2. Blogging builds community.
This is the big one. Teachers can be quite isolated - we don't get out much which makes exchanging ideas, information, experiences and support quite a challenge.
Through blogging - and tweeting and facebooking - I have found my own hand-picked world of people generously willing and able to share their insights and knowledge, their experiences and their humour. Happy days indeed.
3. Blogging helps us to reflect.
Blogging can be a wonderful tool for teachers to reflect on their practices and grow professionally and personally.
The act of writing alone can be a powerful way to reflect on experiences, ideas or practices. Reading other blogs challenges me to think of things in different ways, or to question my own practices or beliefs.
4. Blogging widens your horizons.
Like I said, teachers don't get out much.
Now in addition to the amazing bunch of colleagues that I see when I'm at work, I feel like I have colleagues from all around the globe.
I have colleagues I can count on and call on in America, Canada, Scotland, England, South America and even Nigeria. Closer to home I have blogger colleagues in Melbourne, Queensland, Perth and the ACT, some of whom I have been lucky enough to meet in person.
5. Blogging shifts your perspective.
I learn from my colleagues every day I work with them.
However, if our colleagues are the only teachers we speak to it can be tricky to avoid becoming stuck in certain ways of thinking, acting and working.
Through blogging I have daily contact with other teachers worldwide. I'm exposed to different points of view and ways of working. This will hopefully save me from the dreaded "because that's the way we have always done it" mentality.
6. Blogging motivates and inspires.
Connecting with other bloggers is a way of being around motivated and passionate teachers all the time, and this kind of positive energy is infectious.
7. Blogging is a way to share your expertise.
When I first started blogging I felt like a bit of a fraud. Who did I think I was, an ordinary part time teacher writing as if I knew what I was talking about?
Now I know that it doesn't matter if you are a student teacher or a professor - we can always learn from each other and contribute to the global conversation on education.
8 Blogging is a way to find support.
Whether it is due to administration, parental pressure, government reforms, standardized tests, parental pressure or the lack of a professional network, many teachers feel unsupported.
Through blogging I've developed my own support network of like minded people. I know that when I have a problem that needs sorting or a question that needs answering, someone, somewhere can help me out.
Sometimes I almost think that if I'm quiet enough, I can hear Sherry and Donna from Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning cheering me on all the way from Melbourne. And that is a nice feeling.
9. Blogging spreads the word.
Blogging won't change the education system, but it is a way to spread the word and make it contagious.
As my friend Teacher Tom is fond of saying "Together we are stronger."
10. Blogging is fun.
I blog because I enjoy it, pure and simple. I enjoy the challenge of thinking of things to write and how to write them; I enjoy 'meeting' other teachers; I enjoy peeking into other people's classrooms; I enjoy learning something new each day.
It is also a good excuse to spend time playing on the computer.
What about you? Why do you blog?
What do you think of teachers having blogs?