Friday, 3 August 2012

Letting go and trying.......

     So, I have been procrastinating about restarting, actually, REALLY beginning to blog all summer.
     This past year was a whirlwind of learning, chatting, experimenting and connecting. I think the most important thing that I did last year was to let go. Let go of all the things that I had done from year to year, let go of the need for approval from those around me, let go of knowing. I began to experiment with new ways of learning, new technologies, new ways of demonstrating learning, and began to just try. Try the iPad, try apps, try Twitter, try letting my students teach me, try being vulnerable.
     It was one of the most exciting and terrifying years I have ever had. Things were changing and at the end of each day I was exhilarated and exhausted, thinking WOW that was a busy day, maybe tomorrow will be more relaxing, but that tomorrow never came!
     We experimented with iPads, iPods, digital cameras, laptops. We blogged, we Skyped, we created, we recorded, we wondered, we played, we chatted. I read, went to work shops, followed Twitter and learned from so many. Yet actually writing about it all did not happen. I have never been a writer, never had a journal that actually had writing in it. I bought many, trying to inspire myself to put my thinking and reflections on paper. I had someone design my blog so that, maybe, I would want to write. Nope, didn't happen.
     I loved Pernille Ripp's blog post that said that maybe all teachers didn't read to write on a blog(woohoo, someone on my side!!), I sent her a thank you comment, I felt relieved! Phew! But guilty. I don't understand this guilt. Maybe, it is insecurity. All of these bloggers had important things to say, musings, wonderings and opinions. Maybe I was intimidated, why would folks want to read what I had to say, did I have anything to say? How could I possibly sound so eloquent, so knowledgeable, so confident?
     I have always been a learner and I have always reflected on my practice, I just never recorded my reflections/thinking. But, it has been in the last few days as I have been participating in the Connected Educator webinars that I have begun to find my voice. During the webinar with Chris Lehmann of SLA, I wrote a few words about the effects of connecting, and Chris asked me to elaborate. I actually spoke!! It was a first for me! It was a turning point for me! I don't think Chris realized just how empowered he made me feel. I made a comment and it made sense, it was in context and nobody thought it out of the ordinary(well, not that they mentioned anyway!) Today I participated in another webinar with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter-Hall. Once again I commented and connected with like minded educators and I came out of it feeling even more empowered.
     Tom Whitby's latest blog post, What's the Big Deal About Blogging?(you can find it here) called me out.
Here I was asking my students to blog, reflect and record their thinking but I wasn't. I wasn't setting a good example, I wasn't being transparent. So I am rising to the challenge. Challenging myself to record my thinking for me, as an act of reflection. Of course I will worry about how it will be interpreted by others but, I.... will it.....for..... me. As a means of sifting and making sense of this wonderful new learning journey that I have begun. I will be vulnerable, I will risk, I will write. I will try!

How did you feel when you first began to blog?
Who inspired you?