Things have been pretty quiet here this week. I’ve been traveling, doing a big northeast college tour with my daughter. Yesterday we visited Wesleyan University and today we’re in New Haven, before flying back to Portland this evening.
Today is Thanksgiving, and I was feeling a little introspective and giving some thought to the work I do here on this blog. I looked back at last year’s Thanksgiving post and it turns out I was feeling just as reflective then.
This morning I was thinking about why, exactly, I maintain this blog.
When I started back in 2010, there were a few things on my mind.
I’m a writer.
I love to write and I was really interested in this new method of communication. I’ve always been a writer. Through the years I’ve kept journals in all kinds of different formats. I love looking back through my box of memorabilia and reading through old letters and diaries that I’ve written throughout the years. Words are endlessly fascinating to me.
Technology is interesting.
As much as I love to write, I also love technology. Over the years, I’ve experimented with many types of digital journaling, with varying levels of success. Back in 2010, the WordPress platform felt like a shiny new tool and I loved diving in and playing with it. WordPress helped make my writing beautiful, and I got really interested in design.
Putting my life out there brings greater self-awareness.
This is the thing I love most about blogging. Writing is one thing. Using technology to journal is another. But publishing your writing for the world to see is something else entirely. But there is an awareness that comes in the process of preparing my lessons, teaching, taking photos of my work and then putting together a blog post about them.
Teach with the door open.
It reminds me of something one of my mentors once told me. She mentioned that if you want to be more aware of your language, tone and demeanor in the classroom, try teaching with the door open.
I’ve tried this through the years. If I’m having a grumpy week or I’m worried that I’m not being positive enough with my students, I’ll keep the door open during our lessons. The little reminder that people in the hallway are hearing my voice is often just what I need to be more conscious of my demeanor.
This blog is the open door.
I love sharing my work with all of you who are hanging out in the hallway. The little community that has built up around this blog is a lovely thing. I appreciate the support that so many of you have expressed by purchasing my curriculum materials, following my Amazon links or donating through Patreon.
But what I love most is the difference that this blog makes in my day-to-day teaching.
Self-awareness. Consciousness. Intention.
If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog to journal about your life — teaching, homeschooling — anything you want to do with more intention and thoughtfulness, I highly recommend it. It’s easier than you think.
I use Bluehost and they make it so easy to get set up with a beautiful blog that is ready to go in minutes. You’ll start writing, share with friends and family and before you know it, you’ll notice yourself thinking about your life a little more from the outside.
I’m a Bluehost affiliate, so if you click on one of the links above to start your blog, I get a little credit (at no cost to you.)
I use StudioPress and the Genesis Framework for the design of my blog and I love that there are so many different options — all of them beautiful. I’m an affiliate for them, too.
And if you’d like some help getting up and running, let me know. As I mentioned, I just love this stuff and over the years I’ve helped quite a few people build beautiful blogs and websites.
My point in all this is to say that this blog is not a distraction. It’s not a hairbrained scheme to make a few extra bucks on the internet.
This blog is a part of my life and I am a better teacher because of it.
So thank you for hanging out in the hallway and pushing me to be more conscious and aware of the work I do with my students. They’re better off and I’m a happier teacher because of it.