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.

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12 thoughts on “Why I made my learning visible (aka why I write this blog)

  1. Stephanie
    I always enjoy your posts, so I am so pleased you make your learning visible, and share your energy, enthusiasm and knowledge for teaching and learning. I am aware I need to get back into my posting, the demands of every day life in the classroom and following up leads on twitter are my excuses! Plus getting depressed over national standards!
    Kathryn

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  2. Kathryn thanks so much for your wonderful comment. Sorry to hear you getting depressed over national standards, I don’t have much worthwhile advice except concentrate on doing the little bit you can do.

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  4. Hi,
    I’m starting my final year of teacher training next year and only found your blog about a month ago – and when I did, it was like a fire started in my brain – all the synapses went off and some cloudy thoughts became crystal clear.
    You inspired me.
    I have committed to blogging my final year (I’m in a full-blown B.Ed programme, online no less) and I thank you in advance for pointing me in the right direction.

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    • Hi Carolyn,
      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your kind comments. Good luck with your final year of study. Please let me know when you set up your blog as I would love to read. Also if you haven’t already, think about joining twitter.

      Stephanie

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  5. The new (2011 was the first year) post graduate diploma of specialist teaching run jointly by Massey and Canterbury for those who want to learn more about teaching disabled/special needs (particularly autistic,deaf or intellectually impaired) students, emphasises and values such reflections as yours. They would love your blog, and for their students to do similar.

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    • Hi Hilary,
      Thanks for visiting and for your comment. Most teaching courses require students to develop reflective practice as part of their course work. However as far as I am aware my blog is the only publicly available one for others to comment on.

      Stephanie

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