Kate Nowak was the one, whether she knows it or not, that gave me the convincing boost I needed to start blogging. So I figured I owed it to her to respond to her request of “why I blog.”
1. What hooked you on reading the blogs? Was it a particular post or person? Was it an initiative by the nice MTBoS folks? A colleague in your building got you into it? Desperation?
I was taking a PD class called Thinking Mathematics through my districts Teacher Academy. As part of the course, we were to read a chapter from Accessible Mathematics. Of course, I bought the whole book instantly because it was exactly what I needed to get me excited about changing some of my teaching practices to become a better teacher. The book was so easy to read, easy to follow and made so much sense.
Anyway, as part of this class, we were given time to develop a unit plan and formulate lessons. I was determined to scour the internet for some good resources. I found myself flooded with them. I can’t recall the very first blog I came across, but I found that I needed to start reading blogs regularly because there were some great math teacher bloggers with some great ideas and who were open and freely willing to share their resources. I was immediately hooked. Good thing I already had an iphone.
2. What keeps you coming back? What’s the biggest thing you get out of reading and/or commenting?
I found that the more you give, the more you get. I started blogging and commenting on blogs at about the same time. The more I commented, the more I wanted to write more blog posts, the more I wanted to comment, the more I wanted to blog, the more I …you get the idea.
I am find that I always love to hear other people’s ideas face to face. I knew that reading about other people’s ideas could be even more fun!
Just as students learn more about mathematics by talking to one another about mathematics, we as teachers should take that same advice. The more we collaborate across the web, the more multi-faceted our lessons can be.
3. If you write, why do you write? What’s the biggest thing you get out of it?
Enter Kate Nowak. Once at a Global Math Department meeting, she mentioned something about why SHE started blogging. She said she started blogging for herself, to get her teaching ideas out of her brain and to reflect on her lessons. I took this to heart because I realized that if I was going to blog, my goal should be for self-reflection.
The first blog post I wrote was for Dan Meyer’s Makeover Monday. It was the last week where he kills it with the Desmos Penny Circle. I was very intrigued that there were other teachers across the country that cared about my input on a particular task. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me. I care what other teachers have to say, why shouldn’t other teachers care what I think?
4. If you chose to enter a room where I was going to talk about blogging for an hour (or however long you could stand it), what would you hope to be hearing from me? MTBoS cheerleading and/or tourism? How-to’s? Stories?
Your story. How blogging transformed your teaching and your view of how teachers connect. And how easy it is to get started. I’d love to hear it. Good luck, Kate.