Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jonathan Martin's favorite blogs

I came upon a post, Jonathan Martin's favorite blogs. It is so fantastic that I could spend all day following and reading the links. If you are looking for people to connect with and to read regularly I would suggest you have a look at his list. He has done a ton of work compiling it.

It is very encouraging to me that so many people are writing about schools. So much great information is available that one could never keep up with it. There are times when I feel like there is too much out there and I should quit trying. When that happens I remind myself to be patient and acknowledge progress I have made.

Here is what I do:
  1. read- get on the learning bandwagon, continue developing my on-line PLC.
  2. plan- use the ideas I read about to plan what happens in my classroom. Start small, but start!
  3. act- change something! I notice that the more I change, the more I might need to change again.
  4. revise- some things may not work, give them some time, evaluate and try again.
  5. share- let others benefit from what I have tried, share my successes and failures.
I considered putting all of the blogs that Martin lists on my google reader subscription. I decided that would be too much for me. I did spend a lot of time reading them. One did stand out for me. It was Stephen Valentine's post entitled "9 Reasons to Stop Reading This Post" on the blog "Refreshing Wednesday". He gives nine good reasons for getting away from blog reading and writing. Taken directly from his post, they are:

1. You could be walking around your school instead, paying attention to those corners of the school where you rarely (if ever) go.

2. You could be having a conversation with a student you have never met.

3. You could be picking up the phone to call a student's parent -- preparing to share some good news.

4. You could be writing someone a thank-you note.

5. You could be reviewing your calendar to make sure that at least some of your upcoming "events" revolve exclusively around your family. (Not school)

6. You could be sending flowers to someone you love but maybe haven't loved well lately.

7. You could be sending an email to a colleague at another school to set up a lunch meeting.

8. You could be having a cup of coffee with a friend at your school.

9. You could be reaching out to a former student because you heard he / she was in some kind of trouble.

Thanks for the reminder Stephen, although schools need to change and we need to work hard at it, teaching will always be primarily about relationship and belonging. Good luck and have a great new year!

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