Thursday, May 10, 2012

Every Educator Needs Two Blogs

My title suggests every teacher and administrator should maintain two blog sites on a regular basis. I know that's just not feasible for many. Perhaps when they were young, they were punished when they were naughty by having to write an essay. Now writing is a burden. That is all right. We all have our burdens to bear.

But for those educators who can and should write on a regular basis, I suggest it is time for them to embrace the social media known as the blog. The word Blog is a portmanteau for "web log". There are a number of free and high quality web sites that allow users to post blogs of all sorts on the internet. People around the world are discovering the benefits of reading blogs and the rewards of creating their own blogs.
I suggest educators should maintain and regularly update two separate blog sites--one directly connected with their professional duties and one for reflecting and sharing on professional practice.

The School Blog
In this day and age, a standard of competence for the profession is current and quality communication. The School Blog, as I call it, should be for the purposes of information. Write what is going on in your professional role. Keep your parents, students, and colleagues up-to-date. Jot anything from a sentence or two up to a few brief paragraphs on the latest and greatest news from your classroom or office.

I sometimes read school blogs where the writer felt compelled to write a lengthy treatise on educational philosophy. Not too many people want to read such an essay. The public wants relevant and late-breaking information, and they like brevity. So write a brief post on the students' science project for next week. Talk about how to help with homework. Post a simple, brief sentence for each of a few students who have distinguished themselves in class. This will make people want to return to your blog. They will learn what is truly going on.

The Professional Blog
The professional blog is the educator's chance to write and reflect on his or her professional practice. It can be a journal for the teacher or administrator to log weekly pursuits. Or it can be more topical. The blog can be an opportunity to think about our philosophy of education and how we bring it to action. By writing things down, we can think about our professional practice.

But this blog is for more than just the individual blogger. All of us in education are teachers at heart. We have colleagues who need information and ideas. They may even need mentoring and guidance. Let others benefit from your experience. Allow them the insight to see how you have met challenges, made mistakes, and ultimately succeeded. This is valuable. Share with others what you have learned.

Still some educators are skeptical. When I am sometimes asked where I find the time to blog, I reply that it is simply a new and essential part of the job. After all, there was a time when the job of a school administrator required research in the library and in periodicals and extensive postal correspondence with colleagues in order to make informed decisions. Now the information is more readily accessible and the correspondence is nearly instantaneous. That time from the old days can be re-channeled into new efforts today.

One more thing:
Blogging offers the opportunity for an audience and interaction. So what do you think? Are there other reasons to blog? Are there other types of blogs I have missed? Feel free to add your ideas for me, . . . and maybe someone else to find.


  1. I wonder the ease/difficulty in keeping them separate?

    1. You raise an interesting question. Our school purchased a web site that provides blogs for every educator. That's where I keep my school blog--where its easily accessible to the public to keep them informed. And as you can see, I keep my professional blog on Google's Blogspot.

  2. Great ideas! Blogging is a great way to reflect on our teaching practice and we become better writers also. Writing is a very important skill for teachers :)

    I hope more schools and teachers will tap blogging as a way to communicate to their stakeholders and build their brands (school and personal)

    1. Absolutely. Maybe that's a point I should have made that blogging is now an essential component of any public relations program.

  3. I have a professional blog ( and a classroom blog ( Those keep me plenty busy.

    But, it's worth having a personal blog as well. If I want to model narrative writing, I find "seed moments" (small moments - as opposed to watermelons such as "my vacation"), I need to find those small moments in my life that cause me to laugh, smile, and reflect. By modeling personal writing, students become more inspired to start their own blogs. One of my students' favorite posts is about living in Asian humidity (they can all relate (

    As an aside for teacher behind a mainland China firewall: Blogger and blocked but is not.