Student Well-Being Opinion

Educator Voices Must Be Heard, That’s Why We Blog

By Starr Sackstein — November 29, 2018 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The bell rings, and the door shuts. This is when the magic happens. It doesn’t matter what is happening outside or anywhere else, the only thing that I want to wrap my brain around is the learning that is shared during that period or during the conversation I’m sharing with a colleague.

These moments of positive educational progress are the ones that people who are both in and out of education need to know about.

Too often, we spend time focusing on what isn’t happening or what is wrong that we lose sight of all the amazing learning that actually is going on.

As ambassadors of education, each one of us has an opportunity to put a positive spin on what the world sees, especially those in the communities we serve; they have a right to know about it.

So how can educators share their voices?

Here are some simple tips for starting a blog and sharing your voice:

  • Choose a free platform to start like Blogger or Weebly and create your blog. The steps are easy to follow and will walk you through selecting a theme (the layout and color scheme) for your blog. The hardest part will likely be what you decide to make the name of your blog as that will be the beginning of your personal branding.
  • Decide what your niche is. If you want to do all things education, make sure you spend time filling out the “about me” section in a way that will help readers know what to expect when reading your blog. You want to be a credible voice, so share what makes you the person to listen to on whatever your topic is. For example, when I started blogging, although I was a high school English and journalism teacher, I didn’t just speak about what was going on in my content. I wrote about pedagogical choices, the ones that worked and the ones that didn’t. Transparency became a hallmark of what made my readers come back to my site (so I’ve been told). Figure out what you want to say and focus there first.
  • Don’t be afraid to stretch. Even though you found a niche doesn’t mean you can’t go off subject. Education is a wide field, and you are likely more than just an educator. Those things seep into our jobs and therefore are fair game depending on how much you want to share with your audience.
  • Know your audience. Even though you know your niche, know who you’re writing for. If you’re writing the blog as a means for reflection, it can be for you, but also for your peers, so make sure your tone and voice suit the audience you’ve selected.
  • Share what is relevant. When I started blogging, I did it on my first free period of the day. It usually had something to do with one of my classes directly. It was a way for me to share challenges and successes, get other people to weigh in and to keep myself honest. When I ran out of things to write from my classroom or felt it was getting stale, I would think about the questions I had in education and would poll my professional learning network on Twitter. These online conversations often fueled future posts.
  • Don’t worry about the analytics. In the beginning, I was obsessed. Each day I would check my Google Analytics to see which posts were being read and how many clicks I had on my site. Many of them were me visiting to see if I had comments. Readers will come once you put yourself out there. It takes time, so be patient.
  • Start dialogues. Ending posts with provocative questions that get readers thinking about how they feel or their own experiences and inviting them to share those ideas will help develop conversations around larger educational issues. This is how you build readership and your personal brand. If readers comment on your blog, always acknowledge them. Set up a notification if you need to when new comments post so that no one ever goes unanswered or acknowledged.
  • Make sure to have a visual. This comes from my journalism background as well as a knowledge of SEO for page ranking. We want readers to have multiple points of entry and an image or video will help bring them in. This, coupled with a clear headline, will also be an entry point when they read it in a social media feed.
  • Make your headline catchy but to the point. Think about your headline like the central idea of why you wrote the post and what people are going to read.
  • Remember to stay readable. This means keep your paragraphs short and engaging. Avoid redundancy and vary your sentence structure. This isn’t a print-reading experience necessarily, so what it looks like on the computer or phone is different from how it would look in a hard copy.

Each of us has a responsibility to share our stories the way we want to share them. If we choose not to be the owner of our personal brand, then other people will tell our stories for us and then we lose control over the reality of our spaces.

What do you do to get yours and your students’ voices heard? Please share

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Work in Progress 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.

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion Educators, Be Future-Ready, But Don’t Ignore the Present
Being ready for what lies ahead is important, but we also need to gain a better understanding of the here and now.
5 min read
shutterstock 226918177
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Prioritize Student Well-Being This Year
Use the Student Thriving Index to find out where your kids stand. Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Supporting Teachers & Students
In this Spotlight, evaluate your district and what supports your schools offer, assess attendance policies to avoid burnout, and more
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Child Hospitalizations Spike Under Delta, Particularly in Low-Vaccination States
Nationwide, the number of children and teens hospitalized due to COVID-19 has ballooned nearly tenfold since midsummer, new CDC data show.
2 min read
hopital stethescope 1222194507
Aleksandr Titov/iStock/Getty