It’s no overstatement to say that blogging has had an incredible impact on my life over the past two years. I’ve written about the impact getting connected has had on me recently (here’s the link if you’re interested), and a great deal of the growth has come through reading and writing blogs.
I’ve come across so much that’s great this year that I wanted to share a few great posts from 2016.
As we return to school, we have but a short few weeks to make an impact on those we serve. The ideas I came across in these posts challenged me and stuck with me, and I want to pass them along your way in case you’re up for the challenge, too.
I’ll go ahead and say this because it applies to each of these posts: I love the post, the blog is a must follow, and the educators who are putting this down are beyond remarkable. They’re inspirational. They’re not perfect, but they’re doing what’s right by kids. That’s all that we can ask of anyone, right?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the posts. Share some of the memorable posts you’ve come across in the comments. I’d love to see the posts that were memorable to you this year!
Blogging is Your Job by George Couros was just the right mix of challenge and affirmation that I needed. I keep reposting it because I often forget the importance of it. Couros writes about the vital role that reflection plays in our own growth and makes it pretty plain that we cannot afford to treat things like blogging as anything other than crucial to our success.
Graduating with Empathy by Ryan Jackson challenged me to not only value empathy but also think about how we are instilling this virtue in our students each and every day. I thought about it in the spring for the high school students I served, and I think about it frequently for the 5th and 6th graders I serve this year. As a leader, getting empathy right is of great importance to me, and I’m thankful for Jackson’s words on the subject here.
Growing as Professionals by Jeff Mann is a great reminder of the need to be constantly pushing ourselves forward. Mann calls us to be thinking about what needs rethinking and to make sure we’re taking time to reflect on that individually and collectively.
Why Duct Tape and Cardboard Might Be Better a Better Option Than a 3D Printer by John Spencer pushes us past the glitz and glamour of all the new toys that dominate much of the innovation and makerspace conversation into the reality that we all need to exist in: It doesn’t have to be flashy to be innovative and what’s best for students. His fresh perspective encouraged me to keep asking how we can accomplish great things without depending on having every great tool.
Shifting the Grading Mindset Starts With Our Words by Starr Sackstein is the blog post that has started pushed me into countless conversations on grades, assessment, homework, and learning. While many are quick to start the conversation about what they dislike, Starr’s post here (as is her habit) focuses not on what we need to ditch but on appropriate replacements for our standard vocabulary surrounding grades. Whether you’re new to the conversation or quite comfortable, the post will push you in the right direction.
Know Your Place and Be Intentional by Jeremy Stewart is a post by a good friend of mine about a mutual friend of ours who passed away in the spring. I could go on about it, but I like his words better.
Coffee Talk by Chad Lehrmann is all about Chad’s first steps into redesigning his classroom and all the thoughts that accompany a change of that magnitude. Chad is doing incredible things in his classroom, and I could have pulled any number of posts to highlight here.
#Booksnaps – Snapping for Learning by Tara Martin still freaks me out. I’m not on Snap Chat (well, I’m on there to claim my name, but that’s it), but Tara Martin is doing amazing things using the app for good. I often think I look at things in an innovative way, but jumping into a new medium to start learning like this seems scary. Check out what all she is doing with #BookSnaps at the initial link or HERE where she updated the post and shared it on Dave Burgess’ blog.
20 Books By Teachers, For Teachers to Inspire Your Teaching by Matt Miller is a great list of books that’s just what it sounds like. Look through the list, find a new book, dig into it over the break, and get pumped up about a great spring semester.
When They Don’t Drink The Cool Aid by Brent Clarkson challenges us to help others get connected. So many write about the benefits of being connected, but Brent’s challenge is just what we need to help welcome others into this whole connected experience.
The Awkward Beauty of Inverted Leadership by Mark McCord is about the ways we need to rethink our traditional understanding of what exactly we expect a leader to look like and act like. His post asks nothing short of a paradigm shift from us, so beware that there are no quick fixes offered here.
Dinner with a Gentlemen by Todd Nesloney wraps up the list with a bit of inspiration. I won’t spoil it here, but when you’re having an off day, a day when you might wonder “Why am I doing this?” or “Does this work even matter?” to yourself, take time to read the post.
Before you go, don’t forget to take a moment to share a post that’s worth rereading in the comments. Thanks in advance for the great stuff you’ll pass along!