I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest. Most of the time, my idea of relaxing at home is me sitting in bed on my laptop, with 20 tabs open, pinning anything and everything that looks cool. I’ve got a pretty extensive “Foodie” board with recipes I haven’t tried and a great “DIY” board for crafts I’ll never make. But if I’m going to be honest, most of my time is pinning ideas for my classroom. That’s how I stumbled across these amazing educator blogs!
The award winning blog Thenerdyteacher.com started when Nicholas Provenzano decide to introduce and share new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. Mr. Provenzano switches between positing about educational technology and ideas for secondary education English classrooms. His ideas aren’t just meant for teachers of literature and grammar; many of his posts can be applied to any content area. His more recent posts consist of video reflections from his YouTube channel. His willingness to experiment with new technology, like “The Epic Evernote Experience,” allows readers to experiment with him. One of my favorite posts, an old one but one I could use in my classroom, is about “visualizing themes in literature.”
David Theriault, a high school English Lit teacher with over 18 years if experience, is one of the best high school English blogs out there. I LOVE this blog. He shares worksheets, activities, grading ideas, his thoughts, and his frustrations. I plan to use his “BRAWL” idea, his attempt to add excitement and motivation to Socratic Seminars, next year with my freshman. Mr. Theriault not only provides his readers with cool ideas, but he also gives up the tools to achieve his ideas. Another great post, I like it because it connects to what I’m doing here, is his list of blogs that educator should be reading. I haven’t checked them all out, but I’m working on it. My only criticism about this site is that there are some gaps in his posts. He hasn’t posted since January this year, which makes me a little nervous that he’s stopped blogging. I’ll cross my fingers and hope he posts again soon!
On occasion I find myself checking out middle school Language Arts blogs, and this is one I find myself checking out often. Jen White teaches 7th and 8th grade Language Arts and uses her blog to share her ideas with the internet. There’s everything from grammar to classroom organization ideas on this site. She occasionally posts on something that doesn’t really fall within the realms of education, but those posts are far and few between. I’ve used some of her ideas from her blog post “Before the School Year Begins…” The post contains some excellent ideas for incorporating writing into daily instruction. My one complaint is that she’s not very consistent. There’s a lot of topics that she covers, but a lot of times there’s only post about each topic.
Blogs have become an important component inside and outside of the classroom. Most educator blogs focus on the planning aspect of teaching. Bloggers provide ideas for their readers, and the discussion begins. A good educator blog provides examples, photos, samples, and thoughts from the author’s classroom. A great blog promotes and allows a healthy discussion to occur in the comment section. According to Doctors Fernette and Brock Eide, one of the key parts of blogging is that “Bloggers have solitary time to plan their posts, but they can also receive rapid feedback on their ideas. The responses may open up entirely new avenues of thought as posts circulate and garner comments.” Educators grow and thrive when they take the time to reflect on their teaching practices and collaborate with colleges. A blog can take collaboration and reflection to a whole new level. A blog can facilitate collaboration between educators who will probably never get the chance to meet face-to-face. I think as educators look to the internet more and more, we will see an increase in blogs. People want to share their ideas and their stories, and blogging is a great way to do that!
Eide, Fernette, and Brock Eide. “Brain of the Blogger.” Web log post. Eide Neurolearning Blog. Blogger, 02 Mar. 2005. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.