It’s All About Me

My blogs are about me; my teaching problems and questions. Because this is what I do for a living and because thinking about teaching occupies most of my waking moments, it would make sense that everything I read (including for this class) I try to relate to me (the teacher) and my issues or concerns. It is why I took this course – I want to learn ways to be a more effective teacher.
I’ve written 6 blog posts so far and the majority of each has been related to how I teach. In three I wrote in detail about specific issues/benefits I saw in Blau or Scholes and how I could apply them to my issues. In others I recognized a general framework for the pedagogy of teaching which I had never given a lot of thought to.

Writing blogs helps me to organize my thoughts on a question I might have, or about an idea that developed because of our readings. Putting into words my thoughts on a reading frequently make me view a problem or concept in a way that just thinking about it does not. Maybe it is the concreteness of seeing my ideas in “print” or the tactile exercise of keyboarding. Maybe it’s knowing that somebody else will read these words, so they had better make sense. I’m forced to analyze the details of my thoughts because I am presenting them to a reader.

As I was writing my blog for Week 5, for example, I remember jotting down a few variations on a couple of exercises that Blau discussed. These ideas came to me as I was writing because the writing process forces me to think critically, which frequently triggers other thoughts and creates “new knowledge.”

In rereading my blogs, I also noticed that while the earlier ones are more general in nature, my newer writings are becoming more specific. This is partially do to the course readings, which have moved from the general to the specific, but I also think it is a result of the cumulative effect of the course work – I am starting to see how the concepts we are discussing provide a framework for my teaching and as we progress, I am starting to see how to actually apply them in the classroom.

While this is not part of this assignment, I would like to make a quick note on reading my classmate’s blogs. I usually don’t read what others have posted until after I have posted my blog – I do this so I am not influences by what others have to say. Writing my blogs, as I mentioned, has been a big help in synthesizing information, but reading what others post on the same readings has given me perspectives I don’t think I would have gained otherwise.

Seeing how my classmates respond to the course work makes me to realize that it is not all about me. We are all teachers and seeing how another teacher views a concept is a learning experience. Sometimes others post reactions that are similar to mine, which gives me reinforcement and affirmation for my ideas, but many times I am struck by the variety of insights into the different ways we all teach.