Why I made my learning visible (aka why I write this blog)
As far as I am aware, this blog is the only one of its kind on the internet one written from the perspective of a student teacher in a New Zealand Teacher education programme. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of students studying to be teachers up and down New Zealand. What’s more I don’t get any extra grades or formal credit from my university for writing this blog which begs the question what sort of freak writes about this stuff on the internet? Don’t I have something better to do?
The short answer to these questions can be found here in a brilliant post that whatedsaid wrote on making thinking visible, I want to make my learning visible to others.
Why do that? We have schools and universities for reason, to sequester our young minds off in a safe environment where they can make mistakes free from the judgement of others and emerge at the end of the process with a nice piece of paper saying they are a learned individual. I’ll acknowledge that I’ve taken a pretty big risk to go against the grain and put my learning out there on the internet for anyone to read.
But here are some reasons I write my blog:
- To share - My motivation for writing Teaching the Teacher has always been a desire to share my knowledge with others. Right now I don’t much about teaching, but I know what it is like to learn to be a teacher in New Zealand. If my writing benefits others; a student teacher looking for information, a faculty member trying to improve their course or an associate teacher who needs their memory jogged on what is like to be a student teacher, then this makes me feel like this blogging endeavour has been worth it.
- To learn – This was very much an unintended benefit of blogging but the act of writing posts and deciding how I wish to organize my thoughts but has also made me think about how I will encourage future students to organize their learning. Moreover the comments that come through will challenge me to think more deeply about what I am writing about.
- To encourage others to blog – I’ve written before about the benefits of blogging for student teachers. Someone has to be the first one so why not me? I’m hoping that some student teacher somewhere will see this blog and go, “hey that’s a good idea I should do this” and then take what I’ve started and make it better.
- Managing emotions – aka I blog on the internet for free therapy. This learning to be a teacher thing is a huge roller coaster of emotions. Being able to write about the process of becoming a teacher has been beneficial not just in terms of working through my feelings but also having a support network that will write back (so thanks dear commentators, your kind words do mean something).
- To effect change – on occasion I write topical pieces on education. I don’t have any delusions of grandeur that what I write has huge effects on the education system, it is just a small teaspoon in a vast ocean of knowledge. But if a teacher education provider goes, hey we really should think about the way their we get our students to document their professional practice or to get the general public to think a bit more conceptually about technology in education then that’s a good thing.
I’m not sure how many people read this blog and sometimes it does make me feel a bit uncomfortable at first when people I meet in real life can literally read what’s going in my head (especially when then they start talking to me about it) but I really value being able to share and learn with others.
So that’s why I’m the freak put my learning out there on the internet for all to see.