I’m a blogger and have my feelings about the power of the blog, but I reached out to a couple of San Francisco teachers to get their thoughts as well. Alison Trujillo is a Spanish teacher at the Hamlin School, and writes a blog called Life Translated focused on various facets of life connected to the Spanish language. Kristen Goggin is a math teacher at the Town School and writes a blog called Stories from the Garage about connecting social justice to math, among other eclectic topics. Here are my unadulterated top 5 reasons why you should be blogging, with input from both Goggin and Trujillo.
1) Public Relations/Marketing: PR/Marketing sounds very businesslike; however, the reality is that schools and non-profits need to show their work to the public at large, including their client community. A blog can reach far beyond the doors of an organization, demonstrating the profound labor being done by you and your staff, while driving traffic to your website. Kristen shares, “Stories from the Garage has gotten a following from other global educators, has built my personal learning network differently, and the stories I write about the Town School end up getting tweeted from some national organizations such as Kiva.org, VIF International!”
2) 15 Minutes of Fame: We live in an online world where videos go viral and identities exist on a multitude of computer-screened social media platforms. 21st century psychology dictates that many people desire recognition and attention from the world. When a blog sheds light on the meaningful work of a person or project, it can serve as motivation, since an entire internet-woven planet may be watching. Goggin says, “I love featuring the boys comments from our Edmodo page and they love when their pictures are blogged and tweeted.”
3) Personal/Professional Outlet: Teachers and other individuals in the non-profit sector exist in a free-market system, but are often not motivated intrinsically by remuneration. In this sector, there are rarely vice presidents or other titles to aspire to. A teacher can become a department chair; a volunteer coordinator can become a very good volunteer coordinator. By blogging, a faculty member can: create their own personal brand, stay focused, share their unique ideas, and become a thought leader in their discipline. Trujillo says, “My blog and other social media outlets allow me to connect with like-minded folks across the globe, and to communicate with people who share my passion for language, culture, and travel.”
4) Reflection: The mere act of creating electronic ink on a screen forces reflection. Writing a blog demands a sorting out and explaining what we know, or think we know. A blog can refine how we go about being a human being as we narrate events and contribute our thinking to the greater good. Goggin says, “Since becoming a reflective practitioner, I believe I have discovered greater success and happiness in my practice. I love scanning through old posts and reminiscing about great classroom days. It also allows me to reevaluate my missteps!”
5) Altruism: Number 5 goes along with number 1. A blog can tell uplifting stories with an authentic voice. When I interview a person who is taking her family to Zimbabwe for a cross-cultural service-learning basketball experience, it is inspiring to share. The writing of the blogger can spur others to participate in the valuable work of your school or non-profit. As a social philanthropist and global citizen, I feel that it is my duty to share the endeavors of people who are striving towards social justice, environmental sustainability, and greater global awareness.
To read Alison Trujillo’s blog, please visit:
To read Kristen Goggin’s blog, please visit: