As mentioned previously, this is one of a series of posts. You can find a post on Blogging, Facebook, Pinterest/Instagram, and Twitter (What a Twitter Chat is, How to use Twitter as PD).
I have been blogging for several years and have found it to be the most powerful way to celebrate what is happening in my classroom. I was introduced to blogging from a fellow Art Teacher in my district Tana Puppe who also blogs (Art Project from a MN Art Gal) . I started blogging because I wanted to advocate for the Arts in our school. I wanted parents to see the learning in action. It soon turned into much more than that.
I used my blog to organize. This has become my filing cabinet. When I want to show project samples or remember how I addressed a lesson plan... I just look on the blog to find it. As paperless as I can be... I will be.
Blogging has become my reflection! I have always been one to write down my thoughts, this way my thoughts are shared with others. As an only (the only Art teacher) in a school, it's hard to find someone who REALLY understands the challenges and pure joy of teaching art. My reflections are often mutual with my online readers.
My blog has become a way to reach my teaching goals. Our district is working under Marzano's iObservation. This requires us to create several goals and document them. I can easily do that here.
Blogging has become a way to communicate what is going on in my classroom. I have found that more and more parents are looking at my page. I have noticed ISD 728 will often highlight the great things going on at Hassan Elementary via my blog.
Finally, MiniMatisse has connected me with amazing people and their ideas and collaboration. I share... and share... and share every idea I have. I celebrate the successes and the learning lessons experienced in the classroom. This has opened doors for me. I have had opportunities to work with and present nationally via the Art of Education, and online platform/magazine/professional development designed for art teachers. I have met (some online and some in person) other bloggers from throughout the United States. I have collaborated with teachers and classrooms from around the world. Amazing Connections have been made from blogging.
I would like to say that blogging is my personal favorite way to connect with other professionals, but it is NOT for everyone. At the national convention in New Orleans this last year, I went to a session with a lot of bloggers presenting on their experiences (click here for previous post). All of these women shared my passion for blogging as PD and connection, but EVERY ONE of them explained that this is an intense 'hobby'. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and work. It doesn't make you money, at least not in the way I blog (no advertisements). It takes time, effort and consistency... but for the reasons above, I continue to process and share my educational experiences in this way.