Blogging On Blogging

I really liked being able to go back and take a critical look at what I’ve been thinking and writing about in this class so far. Here are some things that I noticed myself noticing quite a bit in my responses: 

  • Practicality of the reading: In almost every blog post, my comments tended to drift to what I found most useful or practical about the readings—in other words, I commented on the assignments, arguments, and tips that I thought I could translate easily to a classroom. In my post about Elements, I talked about the practical assignments like the Difficulty Papers and the Reading Logs. In my responses to Blau, I commented on the usability of the workshops, specifically by focusing on techniques he uses like the jump-in reading, pointing, and “most important line” writing assignment that I found really helpful. In last week’s post, I talked about both that I admired Blau’s assignment descriptions and how adaptable they seemed to be to a classroom. On the flip side, my main critique of Gee was on his inability to translate the learning principles of video games to the classroom. I wrote, “Where Gee loses me is when he gives little to no tangible examples of how to actually employ these learning principles in the classroom (the only practical example he gives that I’ve seen so far is about the computer game that asks students to elaborate on Galileo’s principles of motion on page 86).” Even as I’m disagreeing with Gee, I am still using this idea of practicality as the overarching ideal that determines how I value the readings.
  • “I am a new teacher”: I’m somewhat surprised and maybe slightly embarrassed to see how many times I’ve used some version of the phrase “as a new teacher” in my responses. Going back through my posts, I see that I’ve used this phrase in 3 out of the 5 posts. I think using this phrase goes back to the practicality aspect of my posts. In constantly writing “I’m a new teacher” in my posts, I think I’m justifying (to myself, perhaps?) using the “practicality” filter in my readings and responses.
  • Starting with something I liked/was surprised by: In most of my posts, I focused the bulk of my comments on something I liked in the reading. In Elements, I commented on how Salvatori and Donahue “clearly promote the act of writing as a critical thinking tool in the study of literature.” In response to Linkon’s article, I commented on how I was drawn to the kind of classroom where the students are apprentices and the teachers guide their students to becoming expert readers themselves. For Gee, I commented on his strength of describing with incredible detail the examples from the games that demonstrate the corresponding learning principle. In response to Blau, I talked about practicality. Starting with something I liked, for most of these responses, shows me that I’ve been really excited about what we’ve been reading in class. This kind of response technique highlights my tendency towards picking out the elements that I find most relevant to me while reading for class. Perhaps, it also shows that I’m not as critical as I should be when I read for class.
  • Applying readings to my experiences in the classroom: In two of my posts (Linkon and Blau), I connected some aspect of the reading to my own experiences as a student of English in high school and college. For both posts, the connection I made was how my experience did not really compare to what the writer was advocating. For Linkon, I commented that I didn’t experience an “apprentice-like” classroom until my graduate school studies. For Blau, I commented that while I have had assignments like Blau’s before, they were never as detailed or contextualized as what Blau advocates. Both of these comments suggest my tendency to both agree with and get excited by the readings for this class, particularly when the writer advocates a pedagogy that I see a need for, from my own experience.