Reflections on One Year of Blogging

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Today is Reading to the Core’s first birthday! Although my posts have been sporadic at best, I’ve learned a lot over the past year. Since birthdays and anniversaries are always a good time to look back and reflect, here, in no particular order, are my thoughts on becoming a blogger.

The blogosphere is filled with friendly, supportive and generous people. While this may not be true of all corners of cyberspace, this describes the kidlitosphere in spades. I’ve been inspired by you all! Kate Messner’s Teacher’s Write summer camp prodded me to write more. While not everything I wrote in response to her prompts ended up here (trust me, that’s a good thing!), she and all the writers who joined in encouraged me to stretch myself and take risks. Thanks, Kate!

It’s Monday, What Are Your Reading (Book Journey), Tuesday’s Slice of Life (Two Writing Teachers) and Poetry Friday (various hosts, but you can always find the line up at A Year of Reading) have also been especially motivating. Thank you to all you equally busy bloggers who’ve found your way here via one of these memes.

I’m also thankful for the kind words people have left in their comments. I especially appreciate my loyal commenters Colette, Betsy, and Elizabeth. Some people may despair that the internet is changing the world as we know it, but I am incredibly grateful that it allows me to connect with faraway friends so easily.

One of the most eye-opening realizations I’ve had from blogging is just how difficult it is to sit down and compose a half-way intelligible piece of writing. Not one of these posts has been completed in less than an hour, and they have usually been rolling around in my head for a day or two before I begin writing. Why we think our students should be able to sit down and hammer out a fluent story or essay in 45 minutes is beyond me. They should have at least an hour! Seriously, without regular, sustained writing practice, it simply isn’t fair to subject our students to the kind of writing assessments that dominate today’s instructional landscape. As a result of this insight, I have been more mindful of my own writing instruction and my support of teachers implementing writing workshop this year.

Over the next year I’m really going to make a concerted effort to post at least once a week. I have lots left to say about books, teaching, and life in general. Which brings me to the name of this blog. In one sense, the “Core” of the title refers to the Common Core. I think about the implications of the CCSS on instruction almost all the time. (Sad, I know.) And yet, much of what I wrote about over the past year had nothing to do with these standards. They were more about what’s at the core of me: curiosity about the world around us and a passion to help all kids find their own true self, to find their own true core.

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22 thoughts on “Reflections on One Year of Blogging

  1. Shelly Blake-Plock wrote on his last blog, “I blog to know what I think.” Your entry follows that insight.
    I also agree with your observation, “Why we think our students should be able to sit down and hammer out a fluent story or essay in 45 minutes is beyond me.”
    I may write about that also…but I will need a week to mull that over and at least two hours to commit to a polished piece.
    Thanks for the mention!

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  2. Happy BB!!!!
    What a great reason for celebration! You are now a true model for your students. You understand just how hard it is to make them jump through ridiculous hoops. Down with the Common Core as it is forced down our throats!
    Bonnie

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  3. I enjoyed your reflection in all its parts, & especially your reflection about what is expected of our students. They do need time, and thought-filled time, to write what they believe important. We take it, as you wrote, so why not the students? I also liked your ideas about your title-sounds lovely to hear about all those “core” ideas.

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  4. Happy Bloggy-day! And I agree that writing well requires much more reflective time than we usually allow for our students and for ourselves. It’s worth the effort, though, if only to help us more fully understand what we think.

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  5. I enjoyed reading your post. I liked being given a glimpse at your thought process and what you have learned from this process. I know struggling with the writing process has taught me how to be a better teacher. It is often challenging to articulate what we are learning.

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  6. I thought I was the only one ! This line resonates so much with me…Not one of these posts has been completed in less than an hour, and they have usually been rolling around in my head for a day or two before I begin writing. We all have our different ways of getting ourself to the key board. I find that I’m so much more aware of my emotions and small things that I used to just look over. I find that I listen better when we share in workshop…I have words that the kids of shared that I want to use in my own writing. This community is amazing!

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  7. Happy Blog BIrthday! I totally agree with your comments about the internet and its power to unite and share. I have never felt as connected to other teachers as I do through TWT and my PLN Twitter friends! Congratulations on making it to year two!

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  8. Congratulations! I started my regular blogging right before the Slice of Life last March. Maybe I need to write a reflection of my first year of blogging. Thanks ofr giving me the idea!

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  9. Happy Blog Birthday. I have yet to start mine. Busy, procrastination, not sure where to start etc. I guess I am loaded with excuses some days, but I truly enjoy reading the blogs connected to poetry and writers for kids. I understand exactly what you have said here. Did you check out Think Kid Think’s March Madness Poetry last March? That was one of my first experiences with the kids litosphere poetry group and I loved the camraderie I sensed there. Since then have met a few and have tried to engage more in social media via commenting more than anything. So congratulations in a busy life I am sure. I love Joyce Sidman’s work btw and was lucky to see her speak at NCTE a year ago. She is wonderful and what a gift it would be to have her as “your” school author visitor.

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