Why I'm Blogging and What I've Learned

Tuesday, July 7, 20159:33 PM

The Schoenblog: Returned, Revamped, and Refocused

I had a good run of regular posts here but completely fell off with blogging at the end of the school year. Wrapping up the year, grading finals, APPR, traveling for conferences, and the excitement of summer came together to pull me away from blogging. It's been a few weeks and I'm back and ready to do better.

I started this blog as a place to reflect, share, and grow, but I didn't realize how important that reflection would be. I always talk about making students' work authentic by providing audience and purpose, and the same applies here. When I write about the things I want to do better and publish the blog post, that writing becomes a sort of contract with myself and with my readers, as few as you might be so far. That makes this real and meaningful for me in a way I didn't expect.

This fall, I'm starting a doctoral program at Manhattanville College in Educational Leadership. I started with administrative classes in June and will have completed 9 credits and taught 3 by the end of this month. I like being a student, and I'm excited to be back in school and in a program that's meaningful. I'm eager to develop my learning, voice, and expertise to help make change in my school, practice, and world. The best advice I found to prepare to do better is simple: read and write more. 

And here's my plan to do so: I have a pile of English Journals and ISTE publications sitting on my desk. Every week, I will read one and write about an article here. There's a handful of books I have to read in the fall. I want to start now, and respond to them here, too. Finally, I want to continue to blog about my plans for my teaching, my ideas, and my reflections more regularly. Read and write every week.

While I was #NotAtISTE15 this year, I had the pleasure of attending #TCT15 (Tomorrow's Classrooms Today) and #HackEd15 in Philadelphia. I got to promote Remind, learn a lot, and most importantly, get the highest score in the world in RaspberryPi. I also had a great time connecting face to face with my #PLN, hanging out with the #EdJusticeLeague, and exploring Philly.

At TCT, I attending a session on "Secrets of a Scholastic Blogger" with Meghan Everette . She helped reinforce a lot of ideas I needed to hear about how to be a better blogger and attract a consistent audience. She tweeter out her presentation, which can he found here.

Here was some of her advice that I plan to follow:
  • Write shorter posts of 400-700 words, with choppier paragraphs and an active voice. 
  • Use pictures to grab the readers' attention--even pull quotes from your own work.
  • Create titles that are 7-8 words with colons or semi-colons and use key words that will be repeated in the post. 
People spend 3 seconds deciding their level of interest and 79% of the time they scan the article, which you are probably doing right now. I hope you find this blog worth your time and interest.

So here is my plan and my commitment to my readers, my blog, and most of all, myself:

I will blog at least every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the summer. Meghan also spoke about the value of mapping out a plan for your posts, which I've done. I want to read every day and blog multiple times per week.

Let's hope I'm up to the challenge.

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