Last January, as I began the second semester with my high school beginner ESL class, my students were asked to create and maintain a blog. This was designed as a low pressured journaling project where students keep track of “good things” in their life.
At MGSD, we follow the “Capturing Kids Hearts” program by the Flippen Group. Teachers begin their classes by asking students to share “good things.” This year, rather than just orally sharing good things, I had students write about them. First of all, it was an opportunity for them to practice their English writing skills and be able to see their improvement over time. I also wanted them to be able to look back at their posts and hopefully be encouraged on a bad day. In the fall, they simply kept a table of their good things for the day, but by the spring, most of their skills had improved and so they were ready to blog, and blog they did. This is a free writing exercise and I make very few corrections, if any. The more conscientious students often ask me to check their work before posting, but for the most part, I only read their posts after class is over and then I enter comments.
While students usually write about good things, some days they reflect on a project, presentation or other work. Their blogging has been so successful, that I started to think about blogging myself. After all, I’m a firm believer that students should not only do as I say, but do as I do. I thought about it for some time but hesitated. First, I wasn’t sure what I would write about and also, I don’t really consider myself a prolific writer. Nonetheless, I decided to take the plunge and here I am. Like my students’ blogs, this is will be a place of celebration and reflection. A place to share my successes and learn from my challenges, so I can grow as a teacher and a person. I love to teach and love to learn. My students come to me to learn English, but there is so much I learn from them every day. I’m not sure who all will read it or follow it, or even if the audience will only be me. Regardless, I think I will enjoy blogging as much as my students have and hopefully, just like them, I will be able to look back and see some professional and personal growth.
So, here I am and the answer to the question is .....To Blog!