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sedders

1. Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to learn more about blogging and all the language and technology involved. I also realized I wasn't writing anything more than banal ramblings on forums and e-mails. I went to write comments for my students and was really struggling to articulate what I was saying because I don't write anymore.
2. What do you blog about primarily?
I just started, so I'm using NaBloPoMo to find a voice/theme/style/something
3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
Keeping up to date with the kiddies. My jrs and srs just did presentations and their techie knowledge is amazing. I need to get more than a few toes on board with technology
4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
Get my thoughts out like a diary, but in hoping to make it better than a diary, I hope to improve my diminishing writing skills.
5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?
Don't give out any identifying info unless you want your kids to read. Because they'll find you and they'll read read read. During a tech seminar, our tech person showed us how using very few key words we can find out a LOT about our students. Like, I can't even try to look or I'm flooded. But coming from a profession where you are largely on your own, it's nice to have a community.

Tamara

You didn't tag me, and my blog is probably not known amongst the teacher-blogger world, but, I'd like to do my part :)

1. Why did you start blogging?

I actually started blogging in and EdTech course at SDSU. I had the infamous and wonderful professor Bernie Dodge. He taught us how to set up a basic Blogger account, how to upload to a server and such. I was so turned on to it that I spent hours deciphering the CSS to make it unique. That was back in 2003 I think. I've been blogging ever since then. There were times when nobody read me, and I've had times where I've averaged 100 hits a day.

2. What do you blog about primarily?

I tend to blog about three things if you don't include my random posts. I blog about Judaism, I blog about teaching, and I blog about random happenings in my life.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
I think there are two key things I get professionally. First, I get ideas and leads on current technology and lessons that other educators are trying out. I also get to read the trials and tribulations of fellow teachers which is in its own way quite supportive. Another cool thing I do professionally, though I'm just starting it, is a class blog to discuss a novel my honors class is reading. That blog is: http://dataenglish.blogspot.com It's not spectacular but it's allowing my students to engage with education and each other in a unique way.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?

I got a husband out of blogging! I kid you not. About a year and a half ago I was reading a Jewish blog, became engaged in a dialogue back and forth. I in Los Angeles, he in Ottawa Canada. One thing led to another and two months later we met in person, a year and a half later we are married. Besides that, I've made MANY real friendships. Sure, some people I may never meet. For example, "Mia" lives in Sweden. Quite far. However, one of my closest Jewish and teacher friend is NaniRolls. She's in NY. We met via our blogs a few years ago. Since we've travelled to each other's homes and even attended an NCTE convention together.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?
I would first say to find other teacher blogs, read those, get ideas about etiquette and "how to's" of blogging. Next I would make sure to comment on many blogs. This is how people find and link to you. I'd also tell them to have fun and to never use student names.

Matt

1. Why did you start blogging?
I realized just reading blogs wasn't enough; to fully get it I needed to participate. I was also seeing the potential for student blogging and knew I needed to try it before expecting kids to.

2. What do you blog about primarily?
Mostly education technology issues, but I have also started a separate blog to write about fencing, the sport I participate in.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
Blogging gives me a way to reflect on ideas, share strategies, and get the "stuff" out of my head.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
The connection to the network of learners. It's good to know I am not the only one thinking about tech integration issues. Reading and writing with blogs is a great way to get new ideas and consider how to fit them into my own practice.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Don't worry about being perfect, just dive right in. :)

ms. f.

1. Why did you start blogging?
I had a lot of free time towards the end of one summer, had just started reading blogs, wanted to write one, and started thinking about what I had to say that might actually be of interest to others. Teaching science in the city seemed like the thing.
2. What do you blog about primarily? Teaching, science, personal stuff. But mostly education.
3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
I've connected to a much wider network of people involved in education. I reflect on my ideas and lessons. I read others' reflections and comments on my posts. Also I tend to keep up on larger developments in education more because I come across them through blogging.
4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
I like to write. This is where I do it.
5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?
Be careful in describing other people on-line. Never use children's real names or overly specific descriptors (and definitely no photos!). Be positive as much as possible. Don't assume that what you think is a story about you involving other people won't sound to them like a story about them. When you make fun of someone on-line, think about what it would be like to work with that person for the rest of the year if s/he found out and read what you'd written.

Jenna

1. Why did you start blogging?

Actually, I started a now defunct online journal back in 1998 - Brain Floss. I started blogging after I was laid off in 2001 before I even thought about becoming a teacher... it's all a writing exercise. I love to write, but often find that I don't have time to do or get distracted. Blogging is a way to almost force myself to write something.

2. What do you blog about primarily? My life. Sometimes teaching is in the forefront, sometimes it's my garden, sometimes it's politics. As an exercise for my writing, really I write whatever it on my mind at that moment.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging? A release of stress and writing out my thoughts helps to organize them or make me realize that I need to go into a new direction.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging? A sense of life outside of school. I had a friend ask me just yesterday if all teachers spend as much time as I do at school (she's thinking of becoming a teacher). They don't. I choose to devote as much time as I do because I'm insane, and get bored easily. Balance is not an easy thing for me.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers? Don't publish anything you don't want others to know - blogging is not anonymous, not matter how you try to "hide your identity".

jennifer

1. I started blogging in high school really just for fun and to clear my head a little bit and get some thoughts out of my brain and into another receptacle.
2. I currently have two blogging perspectives-- one personal and one about my quest for fashion. In my personal blog I write a bit about teaching, but not much, as I don't have that many teacher friends who read it. I have considered starting a dedicated teaching blog, but it seems like three blogs is too much for one person.
3. Blogging tends to help me organize my thoughts; it's sort of an arena for pre-writing and brainstorming for ideas and things that I want to do and remember.
4. It's fun and relaxing, and I really like to read other people's blogs, as well. Community blogs are my favorite-- such a huge group of people collaborating is fun.
5. Careful what you blog! Keep the specific details out of the picture. All your audience needs to know is that you are a teacher in Middle School, NY or whatever. Getting too specific can come back to bite you in the butt.

Mimi

First of all, I'm flattered that you are interested in what I think at all...I hope some of this is useful.

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I couldn't stop talking about work. It was like I couldn't leave it at work...and there are a lot of people in my life who AREN'T teachers and while they care about me and my work, they don't really understand, know what to say, or after awhile...care. I love my kids and I love teaching, but there was so much negativity in my life related to the BS in schools, blogging has helped me to get it out in a positive way, connect with other teachers and leave it behind.

2. What do you blog about primarily?
I primarily blog about the crazy stuff that happens in school...sometimes it's negative stuff about the ridiculousness of schools and sometimes it's just the sweet stuff that keeps me going.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
Professionally, my blog helps me step back and look at the bigger picture of schools across the country through people's responses. I've also found some really informative teacher blogs through my own.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
Personally, blogging helps me to stay positive. It gives me a place to reflect and connect, but also to leave it behind to feel like I can do something else with my limited time outside of school.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?
Be careful what you write about...think about your annonymity. But definitely don't be afraid to get your ideas out there...teaching is only going to move foward if we move into leadership positions and get listened to!!

Mimi


educat

1. Why did you start blogging?
At the end of many teaching days, I marvel that my workplace is all at once so hilarious, so impossible, and so promising. I wanted to communicate that helpless, hopeful hilarity so that teachers could identify and non teachers would get a glimpse into what this job really is.

2. What do you blog about primarily?
This is hard for me lately. My attempts at anonymity haven't been as successful as I'd like and so it's difficult to decide what should be shared. On my personal life, the entries I wrote around the death of my father were so personal that the comments around those entries didn't always hit me in the best place. It's silenced me for some time I want to blog more, but can't really find a voice anymore.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
Blogging helps me remember I am a professional. I have a better perspective of this job as it happens all over the nation. I love getting the personal take on education news.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
I have made real actual friends from my blog. I am overwhelmed sometimes by the community I have found.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?
Decide up front how anonymous and how personal you wish to be before you ever hit publish. Not every post has to have comments enabled. If you can imagine anyone you've ever known reading everything you publish, then go and enjoy! You'll have a great time!


Thank you for making me think of this. Good luck with your presentation.

marialucia

Good morning!
First of all, thank you for using your time reading my request.
I am a student of English (C2 European Framework)and I am trying to find out some international competions about English opened also to non-English speaking countries, in fact I am from Italy.
If you know some of them, in which you send a text or a composition or an article per email and then you can straight enter the competion, I will be grateful to you....
Please let me know...
Thanks again

NYC Educator

I started blogging about two years ago. At first, I wanted to expose Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein for talking a big game and doing little or nothing to improve education in the city.

Very shortly thereafter, my union accepted a contract that moved us back 40 years, decimating rights we'd traded for zero percent raises. For this, they didn't even get cost of living. And that put me in a very odd position.

I'm extremely pro-union. But I no longer believe the UFT represents the interests of working teachers. They're all about being perceived as "reform-minded," and earn the admiration of teacher-bashers like Rod Paige. So now I add UFT President Randi Weingarten to the short list of hypocrites who need exposing.

I don't get paid for blogging, but I like the fact that it's available as an alternative point of view.

You have to be crazy or driven to blog, and I'd say new bloggers ought to examine themselves for those qualities. Being crazy and driven are not necessarily bad qualities for teachers either. It's encouraging to see so many teachers on the net who like to write, and who actually do it rather than simply preach about it in classrooms.

NYC Educator

I started blogging about two years ago. At first, I wanted to expose Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein for talking a big game and doing little or nothing to improve education in the city.

Very shortly thereafter, my union accepted a contract that moved us back 40 years, decimating rights we'd traded for zero percent raises. For this, they didn't even get cost of living. And that put me in a very odd position.

I'm extremely pro-union. But I no longer believe the UFT represents the interests of working teachers. They're all about being perceived as "reform-minded," and earn the admiration of teacher-bashers like Rod Paige. So now I add UFT President Randi Weingarten to the short list of hypocrites who need exposing.

I don't get paid for blogging, but I like the fact that it's available as an alternative point of view.

You have to be crazy or driven to blog, and I'd say new bloggers ought to examine themselves for those qualities. Being crazy and driven are not necessarily bad qualities for teachers either. It's encouraging to see so many teachers on the net who like to write, and who actually do it rather than simply preach about it in classrooms.

Rachel

1. Why did you start blogging?

I moved to Japan and everyone wanted to know what I was up to. I couldn't afford the phone bill, but I could afford the blog.

2. What do you blog about primarily?

Now? Teaching. I try to make the stories me-centric, to keep my school/kids fairly anonymous.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?

Hmmm. Well, I've met some other excellently cool teacher-bloggers.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?

I love looking back and seeing all the things I felt -- good and bad. And my parents read it and I don't have to tell the same stories over and over to the family. :)

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?

Just be aware; your words can always get back to your school/colleagues/friends. Write whatever you want, but don't publish anything you won't feel comfortable defending later.

Blair Hogan


1. Why did you start blogging?
Lots of different reasons... my sister has a blog and she got me interested. Then I realized I had my own stories to tell. Writing about teaching helps me reflect. I also have thought to myself on more than one occasion that I have to write the things that happen in my classroom down... most everything is too funny, sweet, or crazy to not share. Plus... I ask my students to write everyday and see themselves as writers. I need to practice what I preach.

2. What do you blog about primarily?
Mostly, the things that happen in my day that make me smile, remember why I started teaching, or the funny things that come along with being a teacher.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
I love having contact with other teachers and knowing the things that are going on inside their classrooms. Its a way of collaborating, sharing, etc. with other teachers...plus, no one other than other teachers, really understand.

And, I've "met" some really great teachers through this that make me think about my own experiences, lessons, school... its a way to compare yourself/your class to others.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
Its an outlet... writing always has been for me. I love to write, but never really had an audience. It excites me to share the trials and tribulations of teaching with others... give insight to those who don't teach.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?

Find lots of teachers blogs to read, respect confidentiality, don't use your blog as a place to complain.

Dana Huff

It's taken me a while to respond -- sorry!

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started my education blog because I saw the Education Wonks' blog, and it struck me that directing my blog toward one interest would be a good idea. I had already been blogging about books and other "stuff" (mostly life stuff). Why I decided to begin blogging period is more complicated, and I'm not sure I really know.

2. What do you blog about primarily?

I have several blogs. My most popular and I suppose my favorite one is education-centered. I also have a personal blog where I mostly write about books I've read. I have a family history blog and a Harry Potter blog, too.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?

I suppose a sense of validation that I am growing as a teacher and have something to say to other teachers -- and that they care to listen!

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?

I have made some really interesting professional contacts, and it never ceases to amaze me when I meet one in person -- someone who reads my blog.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?

Don't post anything you wouldn't want your administrators or every person traveling down your Interstate highway to read off a billboard. Read other blogs. Enjoy it, and don't worry about how many people come by and read. If you keep plugging away, your audience will find you.

Irrational

1. Why did you start blogging?

I had a really ROUGH year my second year of teaching, and I was looking for an outlet where people would understand the situation without knowing me personally. I didn't want to cry and complain to my family, because they didn't understand. And I didn't want to talk to people at work, because I didn't want to be complaining all the time, and sometimes I needed to complain about them! When I started blogging, I found...a family. Other teachers who really wanted to support one another and share ideas.

2. What do you blog about primarily?

Primarily stuff at work (middle school) and what's going on with my own schooling process.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?

RESOURCES! You can post a blog with a question and several people will answer you with different ideas. I posted about wanting more ideas for technology in the classroom and several teachers gave me links to websites and other resources for adding technology in my classroom! It saves a lot of time and helps to save time looking for help.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?

Release of stress and comraderie. I also get lots of laughs from reading other people's experiences.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?

Keep things anonymous, but don't be afraid to write about what really concerns you. In the blogging world, you will find someone who understands and will give you anonymous and truthful advice.

Erin

I only started blogging about a month ago. I am a a teacher ed program, taking a tech class, and one of the assignments was to create a blog. I am using it as an online journal but it is evolving into being all about my life as a beginning teacher blog. I will start teaching on my own Sept 08 and will student teach this spring. Until then I am doing a few lessons here and there, getting my feet wet, and taking classes. I am interested in using tech in the classroom and am excited at all the possibilities I have seen and heard about.

IMC Guy

1. Why did you start blogging?

I wanted to learn more about blogging so I could use it with my students. I also wanted a place I could vent a little.

2. What do you blog about primarily?

Mostly school related stuff. Sometimes stories from school or home. I also wanted to see what other were doing.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
Advice, a sense of community - I feel somewhat "connected" to some of the people I visit often. I also apppreciate people visiting and commenting on my site.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?

Relaxation. Getting a chance to know that some of things I'm going through are also happening elsewhere. It's a stress reliever to get some things off my chest.

5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?

Start slow - don't let it consume you. There's also so many good things out there you have to realize that you will not get to it all. Connect with some of your favorites often and try and build relationships.

Ranting Teacher

I guess I came to this too late - but hope you're going to tell us how the conference went!

I started up a blog-type website almost five years ago, but today have decided to go with the flow and continue blogging using blogspot. I'm at: http://www.rantingteacheruk.blogspot.com/

I'd like to build up a blogroll of other teachers' blogs, so if you would like to swap links then please get in touch!

Lisa J

What a great "study" this is! Next semester I am teaching an Education course entitled "School and Community," at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. My intention is to focus the undergraduate class (intended for pre-service teachers) around the idea of parental involvement, questions of community, and the influence of technology on these matters. One area I'd like to explore is teacher blogs and other 21st century modes of communication.

If you have a minute, shoot me a reply, I'd love your permission to use your findings as part of my class and learn more about your presentation. Thanks so much, Lisa

Carol Richtsmeier

Is it too late to answer your questions? Let me know… And, hope you don't mind but I got tagged and was hoping you would play. (You don't have to, but I'm hoping that you always got "played well with others" on your report card and won't mind playing. If not, sorry to have bothered you… still let me know if you're still taking responses._

Claudia

I am a first year science teacher at a middle school in Baltimore and stumbled on this blog. I have a blog of my own that is a mix of comments on teaching and on m personal life.

1. Why did you start blogging?
I have blogged through college and most of my college friends wanted to hear all about my teaching experiences so that is why I started my current one. I also do it so I can get my anger out in a slightly constructive fashion.
2. What do you blog about primarily?
I blog about problems I am having in school, things I want to change, my personal life.
3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
I'm able to see where I need to focus my professional growth as well as techniques and styles I should try with my students based on blogs of past results.
4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
I am able to look back and realize while the first year of teaching has been very tough so far, there have been good days and that helps me keep going sometimes.
5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?
Blogging really helps you get through some of the tough times and is a great way for you and others to reflect on your teaching. Just be careful to keep is anonymous.

Spanish Teacher Buenos Aires

Very interesting blog.
And design is nice.
I'm a teacher too.
Best wishes from Buenos Aires.
Silvina.
Spanish Teacher.
Argentina.

sarah

1. Why did you start blogging?
To reflect on my teaching practices and to share with other teachers. I also wanted an outlet- I review so many books and I wanted to be able to help students, parents, teachers and librarians find that perfect book for middle grade and young adult readers.

2. What do you blog about primarily?
Teaching, specifically language arts. I review a lot of children's books and write about issues in the world if reading/writing for kids. I also talk about my own classroom and projects that we are doing.

3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging?
The community of bloggers is amazing! It's like free professional development in my own home. I can blogjump and learn so much about what works for other teachers, how they are teaching, and even ask them questions. It's been an amazing experience.

I have also connected with a lot of authors. I am able to make lessons more important to my students when I can tell them I spoke to this author, or we can email that author. Their eyes just light up.

4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging?
It's fun! I genuinely enjoy writing and sharing my opinions. It's a great reflective practice, too.


5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers?

Connect with other bloggers! Make the effort to comment on their blogs, to join the community at large. It's invaluable!

lbw

1. Why did you start blogging? - Brain dump.
2. What do you blog about primarily? - Anything.
3. Professionally, what do you get out of blogging? - Not much. My blog isn't linked to my profession, but I spose when I've had a hard day i "debrief" in the blog. But I do have a professional blog...which is more content/activities 4 students.
4. Personally, what do you get out of blogging? - Personal enjoyment, feeling connected to people with similar interests/take on life
5. What advice would you give to new blogging teachers? - don't bitch about your work unless you're a completely anonymous blogger. Also sometimes if you've had a tough day with a kid and feel like blogging about it, you can just save the post. I don't think it's v professional to rant about the students on line. But if you are reaching out for support and feel you need to tell your story, change all the key details so that there's no way of identifying the student.

Eric

Hello;
I am a math teacher and recent graduate student at Walden University. I started blogging as a requirement for a class I am taking. This is my first blog so to speak. Since I am new to this I don't blog about anything, but I am willing to learn from other experienced bloggers. I hope to gain a new avenue of exploration to share ideas and learn from other teachers. Personally, I hope to find new friends and virtual colleagues to share ideas. My advice to new bloogers is not to listen to me...I am the newest blogger here. I hope to hear from some of you.

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