The Next Great American Blog Post

I haven’t blogged in a while. I’m coming in just barely under a month. However, it is not because I have not been thinking of what I want to say to you dear readers and fellow teachers. I have actually spent quite a bit of time (that probably should have been spent grading) working on this site behind the scenes and drafting some blog posts.

I currently have four drafts, none of which I feel are ready to go. I think it might be that “Publish” button. It seems so final. So official. Yet here I am in a voice, which rambles noticeably more than usual, about my lack of recent published blog postings.

I promise I have a point. These recent writing quandries I’ve experienced through the blog have helped me to relate a little bit better to my writing students.

Publishing is a critical step of the writing process.  As teachers, most of us have also read the research and seen the evidence in our classroom that the more authentic the audience, the more powerful that publishing step may prove.  However, publishing can also be a powerful intimidation.  It seems so final.  In the posts I am still drafting, I feel this pressure to be profound.  To say something that will hopefully bring you affirmation for your own classroom practices.  Or challenge you. Or, from a more selfish place, make you stop and think, “that girl knows what she’s talking about.”  Now I’m not saying that this blog should not be a place that could affect change in education or bolster my personal and professional learning network.  However, I also need to remember that the next time I hit publish, it doesn’t have to mean I am uploading “The Next Great American Blog Post.”  If perfection is what I’m waiting on, I may never publish again.

It is easy to see when our students have test anxiety, but what about their “publishing” anxiety.  They may feel that sharing their work with us and others makes their work final, finished.  But, that is just not true!  How can we demonstrate to our students that writing is an continual practice.  Even great books put out revised edition.  I want my students to let me in on the process, and not fear the finality.  After all, there isn’t really much finality in writing at all.  Especially in this digital age where everything seems up for revision.

Want to see what else may be coming down the hatch?

Here’s a glimpse at the ideas hanging out in the “Drafts” box:

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2 responses to “The Next Great American Blog Post

  1. glenda May 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I’m approaching the end of my first school year as a blogger, and I’m starting to worry I’ll have nothing to say next year or this summer. Well, I actually have a summer blogging plan. Anyway, I don’t see blogging the same way I see writing an essay. Generally, blog ideas have time-sensitivity. For example, I didn’t want to wait too long before blogging about how I used President Obama’s remarks on Osama Bin Laden’s death. I wanted to get my lesson up before others.

    I often find myself rewriting the blog in my mind once it’s up. I recently wrote about Alex Trebek’s question to teachers about students who have influenced their lives. In retrospect, I wish I had ended the post differently by posing a Final Jeopardy answer that would elicit a question among those who read the blog.

    I equate blogging more w/ deadlines one associates w/ news reporting. I talk to my students about these differences, too, and use my blog and my essay writing as examples of what I mean. I hope you’ll go ahead and publish those posts, even though you think they’re unfinished. 🙂

    Like

  2. KDixon May 16, 2011 at 8:47 am

    This is my first school year as a blogger, too! I’ve been excited to see how it has affected my own reflective practices and writing practices. I think it is great that you have a blogging plan. I plan my posts, but perhaps having a more structured plan for posting would be helpful for me. I try to write something, anything everyday. The blog has been very helpful in helping me maintain and add variety to that practice. Writing regularly hasn’t necessarily meant publishing regularly, though, and perhaps that is the next step in my own writing process/journey.

    Thanks for the encouragement, and I hope your blogging continues to go well. I have read Evolving Teacher a number of times and appreciate all the ideas and comments you share.

    Like

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