So I want to begin this post by saying I don’t think that ALL non-bloggers feel this way…
Here’s the scenario… You meet someone new who is also a teacher, just like you! You introduce yourself and begin chatting and then you bring up the fact that you’re a teacher blogger. Then it happens. That look or that voice tone change that let’s you know they are judging you. Any why? Because you blog!?
Or maybe its not someone new. Maybe it’s someone who you have known for years. You’re having a normal conversation about a classroom project and you mention your blog in the conversation. Or maybe you don’t even mention it at all. Maybe just that fact that they know that you blog is all that it takes.
I feel that lately there’s become a ‘stigma’ that’s attached to teacher bloggers… and unfortunately a negative one. One where other teachers, who are non-bloggers, feel or think that because I am a blogger, that automatically makes me a better teacher. I’m here today to say, that is not the case..
Blogging does not make me a Good teacher!
Yes, blogging is cutting edge and ‘cool’ (as I push up my geek glasses) 😉 But just because I ‘write’ for a personal teaching blog does not make me better than a teacher without a blog. Same goes for creating Teachers Pay Teachers products. I can create the most adorable, engaging, and creative activity for others to buy, but unless I possess the skill set it requires to teach that concept, it doesn’t matter what material I use! I can find the cutest and most ‘pinned’ printable or craftivity on Pinterest around. But if I don’t know how to manage a classroom full of 25 3rd graders, or understand how to differentiate the lesson, or break the concept down for different learning styles, or even collect data to assess my students – that adorable and amazing ‘lesson’ means nothing.
This unfortunate ‘stigma’ that’s beginning to arise with the overwhelming popularity of teaching bloggers needs to be straightened out. I have been blogging for over 4 years now. I began blogging because I found that I not only had a passion for teaching my adorable class every year, but I also loved being able to share resources and ideas with other teachers. A teacher’s life is already hard enough with the demands that are being placed upon us all, why not make one aspect a little easier? So – my blog began. But as my blog got a bit more popular and my TPT store began to grow I started to notice this negative attitude towards me by some fellow educators that I worked with and people who I would meet. This attitude where, because I blogged, I’m better. I’ve never once thought this to be true and it saddens me to think that others would think this..
Now, blogging does set me aside in a few positive ways from others – but not in a ‘better’ sort of sense.
#1. Blogging has made me become a life long learner. Before I was a blogger, I was a blog stalker. Being a blog stalker, this led me to a multitude of educational articles that I read, the latest researched based instructional practices, and cutting edge technology advances in the classroom. Now that I’m a blogger, I’m the one looking out for these exact things to present to my followers and to take back to my classroom to try out. I’m never settling for the same old thing. I always want wants new and best for my students.
#2. Blogging has connected me to educators across the country and world. Because of blogging, I have traveled all across the country for blogger meet ups and have made some of the most amazing friends I can never replace. I’m no longer in my own teaching ‘bubble’ at my school. I hear and know what’s happening in other schools. I hear about their trials and tribulations and can make connections back to my school to help it through any problems it may have. I can relate to others based on these problems and successes.
#3. Blogging has put me and kept me outside my comfort zone. First, I’m not a good writer and never have been and never will be. But putting my writing out there for the world to read has definitely put me outside my comfort zone. Not only that, but by creating resources, games, activities, etc. that have come from my brain and my heart alone, I place myself to the feedback and sometimes scrutiny of the public. Will they like it, will they not? Will it even work!? I’m always outside my comfort zone and when I feel that I’m getting too comfortable, then I find ways to get back out!
Blogging is a community of amazing and dedicated teachers who strive to be the best they can be. We use each other to learn and grow along side of one another. We are trusting, honest, and caring. Definitely are a unique breed 😉 And please remember, this is a hobby of ours! Some do use it as a profession, but the majority just love to write, create, and share for fun! Please do not judge us because we blog.
As I stated above, I can be the most amazing TPT creator and blog about everything amazingly educational under the sun, but unless I possess the unique abilities to actually teach – blogging doesn’t make me better a better teacher. To be a better teacher I must be patient, open, and honest. I have to completely understand, inside and out, the concepts I’m required to teach and be able to make it down into the most miniscule of pieces for all learners. I have to be able to be a mom, a nurse, a lawyer, and a teacher all in the same day. Teaching is an art and my students are the canvas. Blogging is just one of the colors I choose to use.