With my new job, my time structure is different, so blogging is on my priority list, first as a tool for self-reflection. I know all pro-bloggers say write for yourself, and I need to figure out my new place and roles. But because my job is about serving educators, I also want my blog to include my best finds.
To continue my #ReflectiveTeacher ABC journey, I'm sharing what I recently discovered about blogging, reflection, and habits.
When I first started exploring blogs, I used Google Reader to keep up with posts. I now use Feedly and the Mr. Reader app to access my subscriptions. In the past, I followed blogs via RSS feeds and rarely looked at actual blog pages, so when I started this blog, I wasn't too concerned about the theme, background, widgets, etc. I personalized this blog a bit, but it wasn't a huge concern.
Fast forward just 3 years, and now I discover many resources on Twitter and other places. When I click a link, I now get to see the actual blog...along with all kinds of creativity and more information! As Larry Ferlazzo points out in this post, if you plan to share your work, you must consider a myriad of social media outlets--not just RSS feeds.
In an effort to update my blog, make it more personal, and add functionality, I explored the resources listed below. FYI, some of these updates required a bit of coding, so I'm glad I felt comfortable playing with a bit of HTML!
- I first updated my template (after downloading and trying about 5 others, plus changing all kinds of options in Blogger.) Personalizing the social media icons, updating the widgets, and changing the header took more work than I expected, but I'm pretty happy with it now.
- How to Make a Professional Website on Blogger inspired me to buy my own domain name, and I utilized the new Google Domain, which made connecting to Blogger a breeze! I also updated my favicon.
- Emily LaGrange shares how to create a custom signature, and I've seen many cute ones on other blogs, but this is still on my "maybe" list. This post from Code It Pretty is a bit older, but I followed these steps, and I have a signature that I can also use elsewhere.
- I never even considered updating an error page until I read this post from Hello Brio Studio.
Blogging Reflections - WHY and HOW
A few resources about the importance of reflection for growth and improvement:
- I love the 4 reflection questions listed on this post from "Only Dead Fish." The questions remind me of our PLC tenets.
- As usual, Edutopia has several great posts about reflection. The Reflective Teacher: Taking a Long Look specifically mentions blogging as a reflection tool. Reflecting on Reflection: A Habit of Mind provides some specific examples of how-tos for reflecting. During presentations, I started sharing this post, 21st-Century PD: Retention, Reflection, and Redistribution of Knowledge, which challenges us to make certain we find a time and space for reflection.
Finally, I am working to change my habits for reflecting (thus blogging). I am currently reading Gretchen Rubin's book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives to learn more about habits and tendencies. I learned that I am an upholder, so by adding external accountability, I am more likely to keep a habit. I've started by adding "Update Blog" to my weekly calendar, but I may need even more external "pressure." We'll see. :)
Shout out to #MTBoS and "Made4Math" Mondays, which inspired me to start enter the world of educational blogging. I'm now open to any ideas to keep me in the habit of blogging, reflecting, and sharing!