What a teacher blog should be Part 2

Last week I wrote about Konrad’s efforts to instill real learning from his blog he has for his students.  I think that speaks for itself as to how a teacher should blog with his/her students. But I still have a hard time convincing teachers to blog for professional reasons.  Statements like, “Why would I just blab my thoughts”, “Who would want to read about my experiences”, “What if I say something I shouldn’t”. 

All valid points but I recently re-discovered Dan Meyer. Dan is a young teacher who, just like most teachers, is full of great ideas,insights and is willing to share. I like the fact that Dan is honest which means, be prepared to disagree with him at times. But what’s wrong with that? Although Dan is a math teacher, his understanding of design and media has rekindled my interests in his work. Why does he blog? What’s in it for him?

His about page really tells the story.

I’m Dan Meyer. Three Four years ago I lucked into a job I love. I’m a high school math teacher stationed outside Santa Cruz, CA, and I get better at this job every day I keep at it and keep pondering my wins and losses. This is a documentary of all the fun I’m having. My purpose here is practice not policy. I’m leaving NCLB and charter schools to the wonks and ‘wizes. (For the most part.) This blog goes out to the classroom grinders, to the teachers handling the tough classrooms. Let’s figure out how to make this job better and easier. So no ads. This is for the joy of working hard at one of the hardest jobs there is. As much as I hope this is valuable to other teachers, I hope most for input from the outside. Please leave comments. The input of good teachers has always been valuable to me.

’nuff said.

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  • Rich

    Dan’s blog is at the top of my daily “must read” list. As a secondary math teacher myself, I appreciate getting to dialog with a very insightful colleague (and vicariously, with others who also comment to his postings).

    I only look forward to the day when Dan turns 30 and realizes that geezerdom is wayyyyyy further out there 😉

  • I’m also a Dy/Dan fan. Even though I teach elementary I still find some of his ideas and insights applicable to my job. I’ve also been impressed of the frequency of his updates (sometimes 3 posts a day). I’ve been struggling to write one post a week since the school year began.

  • I like that approach — “practice, not policy.” I have read many blogs in recent days. I find myself drawn to those who just talk kids, life with kids, and impacting lives of kids. I recognize the power of policy, but the day-to-day seems so much more important — I am not a policy-maker or breaker — but I am the person with power in my own classroom — the one who best sees my students and their needs, the one who knows where the gaps may be and how to fill them, the one who wants to continue learning daily (though I’ve been teaching for almost 30 years). So I too, will add Dan’s blog to my reading list — thank you for sharing!

  • I like that — “practice not policy.” I have been reading blogs for several
    days now, as I explore this area of communication and collegiality. I have
    been drawn to those that focus on the dailiness of our roles as teachers –
    I am not a policy-maker or breaker. I do have power in my own classroom,
    though. I am the one who best knows my students and their individual needs.
    I am the one who can best assess what assessments are needed to determine
    how to proceed and move students forward. I am the one who cares about each
    learner so I strive to keep learning myself (though I’ve taught for almost
    30 years). For this reason, I also will be adding Dan’s blog to my reading
    list — along with this one. Thank you for sharing and making learning how
    to use a new tool so inviting!

  • Sam

    Do you ever have personal issues that take over your thoughts while at work? I am going through some things at home and no matter how hard I try I cannot stop thinking and worrying about it while at school. I don’t want my students to suffer. How do you deal with this and focus on work while at work and not on home stuff?