I taught in the classroom for eleven years before I put a finger to keyboard to blog. So why did I decide to blog? And why should you? There are two compelling reasons for you to start your own blog.
Reason 1 - Your Profession Needs You
If you have the intellectual curiosity about education to read BamRadio Network EdWords, then you're doing something awesome in your classroom that other teachers would benefit from reading about. Think about teachers in the United States today - underpaid, underappreciated, isolated, scapegoated. You have the ability to help them by blogging about the awesome things you do. How can you pass up that opportunity?
Here is a quick exercise. Think of three or four awesome things you do in the classroom. Print up this blog post and jot them in the space below.
Have your three or four? Good. We'll come back to it.
Reason 2 - You Need It
Budget cuts and layoffs happen. Spouses accept jobs in other states. Workplaces become unpleasant. Are you prepared if you lost your job tomorrow? What would you do? Would you use the ineffective strategy of e-mailing principals your resume and cross your fingers?
Wouldn't it be better to stand out by e-mailing a principal with links to blog posts documenting the awesome things you've done in your classroom? You can still attach a perfunctory resume but your blog posts will tell your story better than a resume ever could.
As mentioned, teaching can be an isolating profession. It was Anthony Gold who convinced me no one would shine a light on my practice if I didn't. Let your light shine! You never know who your blog might help - it might well be yourself.
What to Blog - and What Not to Blog
Blog the game-changing things you do - the things you jotted in the blank space. Those are your first few blog posts. Don't worry about audience size - worry about usefulness. If six teachers benefit from what you typed, it was worth it. The audience is important - before starting a post, ask yourself, "Who cares about this post?" If your answer is teachers or a subset of teachers (special education teachers, math teachers, etc.) you're on the right track. If you are simply sharing a reflection rather than something that could help teachers, the audience that finds that interesting consists of your mom. That kind of reflection post is best written in a diary, not your public blog. Keep in mind what you want potential employers to see as they consider your candidacy. I acknowledge there are some who disagree with my dislike of reflection through blogging.
Sustainable Publishing Goals
You don't need to blog every day or every week. Set a goal of one blog post a month. At the end of a year, you will have created a great resource for teachers. If you have more to share than one post a month, have at it.
Platform is the Least Important Consideration
Whether you use Blogger, Wordpress, or another platform, it does not really matter. Play with them and see what you like. I use Wordpress and take advantage of the Grammarly Google Chrome extension to help me edit as I type.
Build Your Audience
Don't obsess over the size of your audience but don't talk to the wall either. Tweet your posts and include the relevant educational hashtags.
Thank you for reading. I hope you start your blog soon. If you have questions about getting started, please comment below or tweet me at @TomEMullaney.
Thank you, Canva, the tool I used to make images in this post.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I HAVE NOT RECEIVED COMPENSATION OF ANY KIND FOR MENTIONING THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IN THIS POST. I WAS NOT SOLICITED TO WRITE THIS POST AND I HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY OF THE COMPANIES MENTIONED.