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January 29, 2006


Tom Hoffman

On a somewhat related note, I worry that blogging by first year teachers is counterproductive in terms of shifting one's focus from oneself to one's students.


I'm writing to thank you for checking out my post about blogs for people who don't read.

I am quite moved by this entry; you have it quite right that the relationship with students is the crucial element for the beginning teacher. Elliot Wiggington's story how how Foxfire came to be is a beautiful example of a first-year's teacher's epiphany.

I didn't make it through the first year; canned after the first grading period. So my comments in re Tom Hoffman's point needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

My take on it is that blogging can be very useful for beginning teachers. Apcala would be a good host because they allow plenty of options about who can read the blog--most beginning teachers wouldn't want their students to discover the blog.

So often in life we don't know where we're going until we get there. We're not really lost, rather creating patterns, the sense of which comes from the context of experience over time. Blogs are a neat way to create a record for a beginning teacher, to make sense of later.

A friend has incorporated a blog into a Saturday art class for teens. I've been so impressed at the record about the process of creating art they've created. They didn't set out to make a blog, merely used the blog to extend their discussion and share their creations. LOL it would have been just as good for the class to have it a gated blog, except then I wouldn't have a chance to see. I wonder if any of the parents know about it?

I'm not sure I quite understand Tom's point. But if the focus is on oneself as a beginning teacher, a blog as a document might well be useful for reflection on one's learning. Given the various ways of setting up who can read a blog, they can also be a valuable source of real-time (or nearly so) feedback.

Rija Jumani

Reading this in times of sheer ehaustion of trying really hard and being afraid of failing as a teacher, has helped me a great deal.Our cultural,social and educational setups may be miles a part but its what a teacher in the making feels that really matters.
There are times when I feel myself to be a novice standing on the bank of a vast river,watching experienced teachers wading without any difficulty.
In these times I derive my strenght from my students.The inspiration that they provide, teamed with my own instinct allows me to impart something really precious.At the end of each lesson I am drained out and it feels that my students took each ounce of my energy.However tiring it may be,somehow it leaves me with a feeling of elation.
I have completed my second year of teaching and the remark of one of my student left me with a feeling of pride.She remarked,
'You dont teach us what to think.You teach us how to think.'
There sure are the usual highs and lows but I believe that even I can make a difference in the lives of few people I would consider it as an accomplishment.

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