T-Minus 56 hours

After spending countless hours reading physics teaching and SBG blogs, I have decided to start my own.  I was pondering the notion of sharing my thoughts about teaching world, and decided I can take the easy way or the hard way.  The easy way was to maintain the status quo: Read other’s blogs, comment occaisonally, borrow some ideas, and question my own identity as a teacher.

Ultimately, I decided to take the hard way.  What makes starting a blog hard?

  1. Leaving your ideas open to scrutiny…this is hard for many people, yet when I expect my students to feel comfortable in the classroom with any idea no matter how dumb it may seem, I should expect the same from myself.  Also, if I do withhold my thoughts, it will do me more harm that good.  There is a huge community in the blogosphere that can help me grow as a teacher, if I don’t seize the opportunity I am setting myself upon a course of maintaining the status quo.
  2. Wondering if other’s could benefit.  I feel that so many bloggers have such great ideas and are so well versed in cutting edge methods.  How can I possibly bring something to the table.  Then I remembered back to one email from the modeling teacher listserv (some minor tidbit about a linearization strategy) that helped me immensely.  I realize one little idea, or sentence even, is enough to help someone else.
  3. Would the blog be too time consuming.  I always strive for reflection.  After every period, day, unit, and year I take note and reflect on my growth, content, and pedagogy.  What better place than a blog!  It will take up more time, but at what cost?  A new episode of the Big Bang Theory, or halftime during monday night football, or reading every blog, or every one of Frank Noschese’s tweet’s?
56 Hours
It is now approx 56 hour’s until my first class of the new school year.  Thanks to Frank and John Burk I’ll be starting with the Marshmallow Challenge.  With the help of numerous blogs I have formed a hybrid Standards-Based grading system (I will eventually write about that).
There are a lot of blogs I would love to acknowledge and thank for their impact, eventually I’ll be trying to add them all to my blogroll.  If anyone has ever written about SBG or modeling instruction…thank you!
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3 thoughts on “T-Minus 56 hours

  1. Welcome. I look forward to reading.
    #1. By far, the best thing I’ve done for my development as a teacher is (actively) enter into the twitter-blogosphere community. I was a passive reader/occasional commenter for a long time and then a twitter lurker. Then I realized I don’t want my students sitting back and just watching everyone else, they’ve got to engage if they really want to take something out of the class. I hate how obvious things that that seem after the fact.

    #2. I think we all go through that. I’m still surprised people actually read the junk I slap together.

    #3. As someone who goes through long droughts I don’t have a lot of advice for you. I am the master of the “not quite good enough yet” unfinished draft and also the “I’m sick of writing this I’m just going to close my eyes and hit publish” post. I don’t know how John Burk keeps up his posting rate. You’ll have to decide how important post quality/quantity is for you.

    Good luck on the new school year.

  2. Just added you to my Google Reader feed. Looking forward to reading.

    #1. When I first starting blogging, I thought my primary audience was educators who thought changing their assessment/grading practices was a waste of time. My intent was to convince them they were wrong. I quickly found out I was wrong. A few commenters thought I was crazy, but the majority were reading so that they could fine tune their practice as well. Once I had this realization (we’re all trying to make an incremental difference in our classrooms, with our students and/or at our schools), the pressure was off and I just started writing. A year from now, someone is going to write, “Stephen…you inspired me to change. Thank you!” and if you’re anything like me, you’ll say, “really? I didn’t think I had much to offer in the midst of everyone else writing.” Blog on, man.

    #2. I’ll echo Jason’s comment. Rarely do I press “publish” and think that it’s something on the cutting edge. I’m continually surprised by what seems to be beneficial for others and what’s most meaningful to me.

    #3. One month, I posted 18 times. Another month, once. Still others, not a single post. I stopped setting a quota and decided to write to reflect when I’m reading something that provokes a thought. Less pressure that way. You’ll find your own groove.

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