Writing a blog is a great way to connect with people. Truth be told, before writing for Education Week I had only written a handful of blogs. What I have learned over the last four years is that, when done consistently, blogs provide us with a tool to communicate our feelings. More important than that is it also provides a format for educators who read the blogs to respond with their thoughts about the blogs we write.
I have formed some really great relationships over the years since writing Finding Common Ground. I thought I would try something new for this blog and provide the links to 10 blogs that really resonated with people over the last year. They opened up some really great dialogue among educators and parents. Considering the title of this post mentions 11 I wanted to start with one that I wrote almost two years ago.
Those 11 blogs are:
10 Critical Issues Facing Education - For the last few years there has been a lot of noise coming at us in our profession. Unfortunately, when that happens we are at risk of missing out on the good things that are right in front of us as well.
Why a Growth Mindset Won’t Work - I am a huge fan of Carol Dweck’s work, but a recent keynote by John Hattie made me rethink whether the growth mindset has a positive effect on student learning or if educators’ actions speak louder than their words.
What Do You Want to Be to the Field of Education? - We all entered this profession for a reason but sometimes that reason gets lost along the way, or we find a new reason to continue along this path. The ultimate question is what do you want to be to the field of education?
5 Reasons Schools Need Instructional Coaches - As an instructional coaching trainer for Jim Knight, and someone who has admired his work for years, I see a need for instructional coaches, and these are just 5 reasons why.
18 Women All K-12 Educators Should Know - I received a lot of pushback from readers for this blog because I didn’t mention their favorite women in education. The point of the blog was to get us talking about women in education, so I started the conversation with those women who inspired me when I wrote it in January...and they still inspire me today.
Where Are All the Women in Educational Leadership - This was a follow-up to the 18 Women All K-12 Educators Should Know. When we go to conferences and talk about leadership, so many men are there in the forefront and I wanted us to talk about the women.
You Know What Really ‘Sucks’ About School? - Truth be told I hate the S word but after hearing a mom in a bake shop talk about how it sucks that her daughter’s school was starting a day earlier than last year, I thought I would add to the list of what sucks about school, and the first is how we talk about it.
3 Reasons Why Many Schools Won’t Offer LGBT Curriculum - I have been inspired by GLSEN, who have been one of the leaders of safeguarding LGBTQ students, and I did my doctoral research on the topic of how well school leaders safeguard LGBTQ students. This is the social justice topic closest to my heart. Every educator should find ways to engage a marginalized population. Maybe then we will all get a better understanding of their needs and they will feel engaged in school.
Do We Practice What We Preach? - We talk a lot about growth and making errors as part of our learning but our actions don’t always support those words we use.
3 Reasons Why Your Observations May Be a Waste of Time - One of the two biggest wastes of time in the school day because we don’t use it for what it’s worth. Leaders could be co-constructing goals with teachers and approaching observations like an instructional coach but unfortunately observations are seen as something to get done, instead of something to get done right.
3 reasons Why Faculty Meetings Are a Waste of Time - This is the other wasted time in our school day, and I was guilty of this as well before I started flipping meetings. We need to use faculty meetings as professional development sessions and include teachers in the process.
In the End
The school year is a month behind many educators, and schools in the Northeast started this week. As we go through another school year, leaders should think about trying to write a blog to engage their school community. I understand that not everyone feels comfortable doing that.
When done correctly, blogs can connect with stakeholders and open up conversations. They are a great way to get feedback from students, staff, and parents. Although scary at first, they can help build many bridges...I know they have for me.
Thanks for reading.
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The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt’s Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.