Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why a Blog?

As I reflect on my continuous evolution as an educational leader I am constantly amazed at how things have changed over the course of a year and a half.  It was in March of 2009 that I decided to give this thing Twitter a try.  At the time I was skeptical about whether my time was going to be well spent posting updates in 140 characters and whether or not people would actually care or be interested in what I was doing.  Obviously my perception of Twitter early on was formed by the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Shaq.   Boy was I wrong!

Fast forward to February of 2010.  After nearly a year of using Twitter from an educational perspective I had begun to find and read blogs on a daily basis.  I often marveled at the creative thought and passion that so many educators put into their writing.  Envious would be a more appropriate word.  As I became active on Twitter members of my PLN (Personal Learning Network) began to suggest that I start a blog.  Well let me be the first one to tell you that I am NOT a writer and always struggled with expressing my thoughts in words.  My mind was set in concrete that I would NEVER under any circumstances begin to blog (wait, I said the same thing about joining Facebook up until 2010).

So what changed?  The most important factor that influenced me to begin a blog was my PLN.  Had it not been the modeling by and support of so many unbelievable educators I would NEVER, and I mean NEVER, started blogging.  The support I received gave me the courage to share my thoughts, experiences, and ideas with others who have a stake in the noblest profession.  My reflections led to a belief that I actually had useful information to share that might be utilized to help other educators grow, think, take-risks, and eventually share their success stories.

I absolutely relish the fact that I now utilize my blog as a vehicle to share the successes of my students and staff.  Sharing is the key word here.  The concept of a PLN and immersion in the educational world of Web 2.0 has shown me the unselfish nature of educators as they constantly strive to help each other day in day out.  Why do we do this? The answer is simple, we want to ensure that students succeed!  No one person or group has all of the answers.  Each and every educator has something to share.  Blogs now provide a valuable set of services to educators in a time when our profession desperately needs it.  These include mentoring, professional development, encouragement, and most importantly inspiration.  They also show students, parents, and community members how passionate we are about what we do!

Why do I blog? I do so to give back to those people that have helped me break free from a traditional mindset and hopefully inspire others to do the same.  I blog in the hopes of challenging my own thinking in order to continually grow into a transformational leader.  Finally, I blog to be transparent.  I want to brag about my students and staff while providing examples of innovation.  It was an absolute honor to have my blog selected as the Edblog of the Week (thank you Cory Plough for setting this up). If it wasn't for Twitter, my PLN, or the support of my family and NMHS community, this post along with all the others would never have been written. THANK YOU!


  1. Keep on blogging! You sure have done an outstanding job with your blog. I especially enjoy your sharing of the accomplishments of your students. It is so important to showcase the wonderful accomplishments of our youth and you do a great job of that.

    I cannot believe how many great blogs I have collected on my Ed Blogs page and yours is one of my favorites.

  2. Am teaching a Twitter workshop in two weeks and this was just what I needed to remind new adopters of why going native, digitally native, matters. THx @kyraocity

  3. Nice work, Eric! I have been stuck for a few months with a block in terms of what topics I wanted to blog about. Listened to Sue Waters at #iste10 and got some great ideas about what to do when that happens. Were I still a principal my blog, like yours, would be ripe with great vignettes about my school, students, teachers, community. Instead, my blog purpose now is to write, even some small piece that will inspire to action the need to teach with unceasing passion! All the best to you on your journey...

  4. Thanks for the mention Eric. I started blogging about 3 years ago, maybe a little longer. I started Twitter around the same time. Both of which I found an instant connection too, but blogging was much harder. I had to walk a fine line with what I said because some of my admin was watching my blog, and I hadn't found a way to correctly express my opinions without getting in trouble. :) I really appreciate your transparency as an educational leader, it provides a great model.

    I took a break from Twitter but continued to network with my PLN outside of that hub. It was way too long of a break, and I am glad to be back and helping to contribute a little.

    Your blog is fantastic, glad you dived in!

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  6. I love the component about "transparency". I, too, believe we should be transparent, both to our peers (colleagues) and to our students. I appreciate your modeling of this concept. That's the reason I changed my policy on adding students as Facebook friends. I have nothing to hide from students and want them to see what a responsible digital citizen "looks like".

    I blog as a way of reflection. It has taken a while, but I have finally found the value in reflecting on my practice. I remember during my undergraduate work, being required to reflect. We even reflected on reflections! Bottom line, I am working on my Master's and will be going straight into a Doctoral program after I finish, so I really use it as a place to catalog my learning. I refer back to my posts to see what I've learned.

    I don't have many readers, but that's okay. The few that do read get something out of it, but mostly its my administration that reads and they are just looking to see what I am learning so they can see what they want me to do at the next Professional Development session!

    I do enjoy the act of writing. It's somewhat therapeutic for me to get my feelings/thoughts out on "digital paper". Thanks for asking!


  7. I blog to share and reflect. I post lesson ideas, which turn into reviews and reflections on my classroom practice.

    I blog to share the successes and failures. As educators we too often reinvent the wheel or are hesitant to open the door and open the plan book for others. I want to be more transparent in my practice and get contributions and ideas from others.



  8. Eric,

    It is great that you are blogging. You were the first administrator that I found on Twitter when I first started and 140 characters is not enough room for you to share all that you have to offer other leaders. Love seeing your posts pop up in my GReader!

    Blog on!

  9. Thanks, as always, for continuing to provide inspiration to other educational leaders. I've added this to my post, "Want to help a principal start a blog? These 5 principals can provide inspiration" at

  10. Eric;

    Great post! I've started and stopped blogging several times. Whether or not it was something akin to "Writer's Block", I don't know.

    Many times, I think that it's difficult to write something that would others would find useful. But, I think that if you will just write something, it will be worthwhile!

    As a classroom teacher, I always wonder what the Administrators that I work for think, if they even read what I write. You and your ideas are really out there for everyone to see when you blog. Transparency is a good objective. But you never really know how what you write will be received.

  11. I always enjoy your thoughts. Glad you share them out loud. Thanks for taking an administrative lead.

  12. Why blog?


    The money.


    Blogging doesn't make you money?


    I'll just have to continue blogging for my own amusement.

    Michael Smith

  13. I really love all Principals that blog and here's why!

    Too often I see upper level management in educational organizations place demands on educators and their students to engage in the use of technology while justifying their own lack of use with answers like I don't have time, I'm a busy person, I don't need to know they need to know how to use, I can't afford to because I might say the wrong thing ......

    I'm a firm believer that our leaders should be leading by example -- modeling what they consider good practice while also demonstrating how it makes them better and more efficient at what they do!

    And on a personal note re- "My mind was set in concrete that I would NEVER under any circumstances begin to blog" -- not everyone knows this story but I'm was known as the reluctant blogger! When I was first introduced to what is a blog I thought why would any one ever want to blog :) Surprisingly more so because I struggle with language.

    I still think about that irony as I'm a well known edublogger who is employed to support educational bloggers. But remembering how much I struggled myself just makes me better at supporting others.

    Keep up the blogging (and twittering) and Cory -- great work for promoting these bloggers!

    @Lisa Hope my information helped? Not sure if I made a lot of sense?

  14. Thanks for giving us a little insight on the process of joining these tools. I am a brand new blogger, twitterererer, and I am working on a school based wiki. My school is very far behind on technology, but we do have the internet. I am finding that with enough connection to awesome educators, I have access to hundreds of tools that will benefit my students.
    If you get a chance to read my new blog, or join my twitter ( I would love start building PLN.

  15. Thanks for sharing! That's a great story. I have been following you on Twitter for a while. I get so many good articles and resources from you. Thanks for taking the time to do this.


  16. Sue stole my comment. ;-)

    When I was in Prof Dev, I often spent a lot of time talking with teachers about how to get students to write more, write better, etc. The "given" was that they need a larger audience than just the teacher who reads their "papers." Blogging=bigger audience.

    Convincing teachers to get students to blog meant that I needed teachers to model that behavior. Then I found that I needed to convince ed leaders to buy in, and not many of them did/do. So, KUDOS to you for jumping in! A good leader always leads by doing, not just by talking. I'm so glad that you walk your talk, and you are one example that I will be sharing with the admin in my district.

    By the way, Angela Maiers mentioned something at EdubloggerCon Denver about reading with the writer in mind and writing with the reader in mind. Blogs are EXCELLENT places to do both!


  17. I commend your decision to blog and engage across multiple communication platforms (Twitter, FBook).

    I see too many so-called leaders that have become irrelevant because the refuse to stay engaged with technology, and hence, lack vitality in their communication. The former ED of our organization (who just retired) would be an example of how that happens.

    I will continue to read/follow your posts and look forward to the obvious dialogue that you’re engaged in.

  18. Eric:
    Great post! I loved the "I think, therefore I blog." visual. How about:
    "I teach, therefore I blog."
    Keep up the great work!

  19. Teachers interested in being good teachers and great teachers may find this site interesting: What make Great Teachers

  20. Excellent post, Eric! Your blogging inspired me to start my own blog. I really like your thoughts on transparency in education. What can blogging offer teachers? I loved J Bowie's use of blogging as "a place to catalog my learning." Blogging creates a reflective journal for educators to track their thoughts and ideas, a way to share their learning with the world. "I think, therefore I blog," says it all.


  21. In my own experience, regular reflective practice in all it's forms helps me to re-align priorities, analyze issues, and discover solutions. With the discovered gift of blogging, the experience can be easily chronicled, and past reflections readily reviewed to see thinking trends that spur new perspectives. But best of all, blogs are easily shared, providing new inspirations from thinkers who share a common topic. Thank you to Eric and all edu-bloggers who add richness and scope to my own reflections.

  22. That was beautifully written! "I think therefore I blog" is right on the mark! I have always shared thoughts, experience and other materials with colleagues both as a teacher and as teacher's counselor, yet all of this has "disappeared". On a blog the material is there if another teacher would like to use something. Moreover, it is an amazing tool for reflection as I can go over my own postings too!
    Looking forward to following your blog!

  23. Inspirational innovation! I like your reflection back 1.5 years ago - I often share ask others 'What was your mindset 5 years ago?' Mine - email, PowerPoint, some websearching. Now, we endeavor to catch up with kids potential. Your example is great example on how and educator can never settle. Evolve for students?