Someone raised the idea on twitter the other day that can we ask our students to blog if we don't? This really resonated with me because it was exactly what I had been doing. Sure, I had a blog and I posted the occasional thing every so often, but I wouldn't say I blogged. Yet I was asking my students to blog, and I couldn't understand why they didn't engage in deeper conversations on it.
The interesting thing is that since I decided that my class was going to be working on reflective writing this term, I started blogging more. I didn't do it consiousously, but it was almost like the fact that I was asking them to do it sparked something in myself. I should clarify that just because I wasn't blogging, doesn't mean I wasn't engaging in reflective thinking. Since getting on Twitter, I have access to so many great educators that challenge my thinking and my practice on a daily basis. I think I am becoming a better teacher because I do spend a lot more time thinking about how I want my class to be and how I can get the most out of my kids.
I want to inspire my students so they are thinking about their learning, becoming active participants through collaboration and discussion. I want them to question themselves and me. I want them to be enthusiastic and passionate about the things they are interested in and start to develop their strengths, as well as work on areas for improvement. I really want them to see themselves how I see them. It breaks my heart when kids don't think they have any strengths.
So this term we are all focussing on being more reflective in our thinking by blogging more. My students and I will all be working on getting our thoughts out there and sharing our ideas. I should say that my students are excellent thinkers. It shocks me sometimes at the depth of the questions they have for each other and how they challenge each other to give more. I also love how engaged they get when discussing a topic. However, I think that we should all be able to express ourselves just as well through writing as orally. So we will be working on this.
I am not going to be a hypocrite. I am going to model reflective writing to my students by trying to blog at least a couple of times a week. This way I'm hoping they will understand that I want them to write on the things that inspire them or confuse them. I sometimes wish I could crawl around in their heads so I could really see what goes on up there, but as I can't; they will need to show me through their writing and speaking. So far, I am actually enjoying writing down my thoughts, so I hope I can get my students to enjoy it too.