Well I made it ~ one post a day for the month of May. Thirty one posts in total, with a range of topics, each one somehow connected to a daily event, a thought or a memorable encounter. A few days ago I shared the unintended outcomes of this writing journey in the form of a Top Ten List, but for my final post, I wanted to share evidence of the intended outcomes. As many of you know, I have been blogging for over 5 years and like most of us who have hit the Publish button, we never know if anyone is actually taking the time to read what we’ve shared and if they do, what do they think about it. Has it resonated with them? Will it have an impact on their practice? So as a part of this “Once a day” challenge I have been tracking evidence of “readership”. Our friends in the Research and Assessment department will be thrilled. The collection and analysis of data usually leads to a reflection on one’s practice and if necessary, a change in one’s mode of operation.
As I reflect on the data that I’ve collected, the first thing that resonates with me is the fact that without each and every person on the following lists, my blogs and the time spent blogging would have seemed less than effective. I’m hoping that everyone who sees their name reflected knows how incredibly thankful I am for their participation in this challenge. Whether it was a Twitter Favourite, a Retweet or a Reply in the form of a comment; a Facebook comment or “like” or a comment on my actual blog site, each and every written connection provided me with enough feedback and confidence to keep writing. This experience has solidified my thinking that writing is indeed a social learning experience and that when we offer our students the opportunity to write we need to create the conditions whereby the audience is more extensive than just the teacher. We also need to ensure that our students learn to incorporate emotion, contrast and controversy into their writing, so that others feel compelled to respond. But beyond the connection to the classroom, we as educators need to also embrace the power in writing and respond to each other, as an extension of our personal and professional learning.
I initially thought that my thinking would be pushed by the challenge of writing on a daily basis; little did I know that it was through the thought provoking comments that my “blog following buddies” selflessly shared that the true depth of learning would occur. And for that, I send my sincere appreciation!
Thanks to the following educators and authors who commented directly on my blog. Some of them even commented more than once:
Dawn Telfer, Carla Matos, Rick Pardo, Sue Dunlop, Joe Sheik, Rose Walton, Marsha Kelly, Cliff Kraeker
Doug Peterson, Dan Pontefract, Annette Gilbert, Catherine Zeisner
The following Twitter Followers Retweeted with a comment. Some of them commented on a regular and even a daily basis.
Sarah Sanders, Robyn Turgeon ,Michelle Koop ,Jen Aston ,Annette Gilbert ,Sharon Marshall,
Dawn Telfer, Sue Dunlop, Johanne St. Croix, Doug Peterson ,Ron Baker, Tammy Aiello, Marsha Kelly
Carrie McEachren, Chris Gunter, David Fife ,Ryan Matthews ,Maureen Murphy, Heidi Solway
Joe Sheik, Sabrina Tyrer ,Melissa Tuttle ,Madame Vint, Matt Tenney, Erin Mutch, Keith Tomasek
David Carruthers, Michelle Cordy
There was an extensive number of retweets and favourites. Thanks to all who felt that certain posts were worthy enough to recognize.
Thanks to the following Facebook Friends who used that social media platform to send a comment or two.
Denise Taylor Edwards, Scott Hughes, Dawn Ruddick, Donna Clark.
There were numerous likes on Facebook, including my own family, who up until now were not overly connected to my writing!
My self imposed daily writing challenge may have come to an end, but like all of those experiences which feed our souls and our minds, I doubt that I will return to my only once a month writing habit. I would imagine that I’ll find myself sharing, reflecting and hopefully inspiring others to share via my blog on a weekly basis at the absolute minimum.
Thanks so much for coming and writing with me….
I’ll add my thanks! And the bonus is I discovered a new blogger to add to my feed. I enjoy reading your posts. Keep writing!
Thank you Sue for taking this challenge on and ultimately inspiring each of us. I thoroughly enjoyed this month with you because prior to it id patiently wait for some time in between your blog posts ( I genuinely enjoy them) but this month I knew I’d find them waiting for me! Daily !! I don’t know where you found the time especially in May I didn’t have the time to adequately reply to them all although lord knows I wanted to Haaa. The challenges and insights presented were a highlight for me as were the on and off line dialogues that ensued. I think one of the gifts of your blog is those conversations that force us to first articulate then extend our thinking. I love to write but as with anything finding the time . Perhaps that too will become a future blog topic. Thank you again Sue for the invitation to write with you!
I’ve waited for the right day to read all of your posts, Sue, and today (May 31st) was the day. I enjoyed your insights greatly and noticed the many times you discourse includes the phrase, “I wonder…” I understand the open-ended thinking that this simple phrase encourages. After a whole career where – sometimes – all I’ve ever done is wonder, I think the next phrase is, “When do we declare?” When do we leap into action?
I’ve concluded that “we” is those of us at the school level who look at general trends and all the data we can find. Then we must jump off our cliff and believe that we will fly. Surely, if have learned anything, it is that the only way good to great takes place in a school system is one school at a time. It stands to reason, therefore, that the only purpose for those of us outside the classroom – vice-principals, principals and external support staff – is to listen, support and share the best practices in one school with another school when it’s ready. System improvement is scaling up good practice where it exists. You know that’s not my line, but it’s the one that resonates with me.
Thank you, Sue. People are looking to grow and your work met their needs.
Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I am looking forward to reading the posts from the last week and a half as I am a little behind but I have reflected on and incorporated so many of the wonderful things you have shared. I am sure I will read them many times over the summer as I prepare for a new year. Thank you Sue.
The following comment will stick with me as I return from working and touring in Reggio Emilia where professional learning is about coming together and learning from one another is the norm for educators and children alike. I think your daily blog supported many who share in the joy of daily learning and for this I am truly grateful.
“This experience has solidified my thinking that writing is indeed a social learning experience and that when we offer our students the opportunity to write we need to create the conditions whereby the audience is more extensive than just the teacher. We also need to ensure that our students learn to incorporate emotion, contrast and controversy into their writing, so that others feel compelled to respond. But beyond the connection to the classroom, we as educators need to also embrace the power in writing and respond to each other, as an extension of our personal and professional learning.”
This is a great post on so many levels. I enjoyed reading it as a blogger. I enjoyed reading it as a classroom teacher. I wholeheartedly agree with all you have expressed. I’ve had grade sixes create blog sites, and it was powerful. Yes I agree (and thanks for the reminder), I need “to create the conditions whereby the audience is more extensive than just the teacher.” Cheers, to blogging!
Congratulations on completing the month, Sue. It sounds like you found it to be a great experience. I hope that it’s not goodbye, so long, farewell and that you’ll continue to share your thoughts. It demonstrates a contemporary level of leadership that you’re not afraid or hesitant to put your thoughts out there for all to consider. If only more people would do that.
One of the benefits of blogging challenges like yours is that it forces you to write. Many people write sporadically because they feel that every post has to “knock it out of the park”. If you wait for the next “War and Peace”, it may never come.
Blogging in more readable chunks helps the profession from both the writer and the reader.
Thanks Sue for some great reading! Yes writing is a social experience and needs to be done with authentic audiences in mind for increased writing engagement. After the Be A Champ day in London my students were so thrilled that we wrote thank you letters to all involved. It yielded unexpected results as we expected nothing. Mr. Leroy Hibbert phoned the school to thank us causing our principal to come to our room beaming with pride! Sara Westbrook sent a handwritten letter to my class and Saidat was so thrilled she came for a surprise visit. The look on kids faces will stay with me forever! Yes indeed writing can yield unexpected surprises and learning. Thanks for the journey!