Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Reflections About Reflecting

I was lucky to have some incredible mentors in college who led me to other amazing mentors who write. Regie Routman, Lucky Calkins, Debbie Miller, Ellin Oliver Keene, Richard Allington, Dorothy Strickland, Leslie Morrow and several others all became my mentors through their writing about teaching and learning. Reflecting about these ideas through talking with other educators and writing in graduate classes helped to inform my every day decisions in the classroom. I can't help but think blogging is my new lifeline to the latest research and best practice for my classroom.

I could say I don't have time to blog. Because I don't. I have a family. I have three young children. I want to spend time with my husband. I am learning to knit. I am using a new reading program at school. I have 22 second graders who produce a lot of daily work to evaluate. I am being asked to progress monitor my students, give them end of the year theme tests, administer writing prompts, record data in the computer and take the time to do all of the other things in the classroom that I know make learning experiences authentic and meaningful for children.

But I am noticing the more I write, the less confused I am in the classroom. Making daily decisions is getting easier. Recognizing the changing face of literacy through the use of the computer is helping me to think about ways to help my students in reading and writing.

It has taken me a long time to feel confident as a writer. I know that if it weren't for word processing programs I would not be writing as much. I am getting my students onto the computer as much as I can now. I understand that to learn how to read and write, one must read and write a lot. I don't know how much the average teacher reads and writes outside of the classroom. Teachers who are not writing for themselves will not write for others, especially in a public forum. This medium of blogging can be very intimidating.

If my understanding of a wiki is correct, I think it will be a bridge for individuals to blog independently. Having a wiki about specific topics and ideas for educators in smaller communities like schools - even grade levels, might help to spark more writing.

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