Mark Chubb is wondering, in the thoughtful way he does, WHY he blogs. I wrestle with this from time to time as well, and his post has once again inspired me to consolidate my thoughts.
I read blogs (mostly math ed) because I find them to be educational, inspirational, and insightful; I love and appreciate having access to a wealth of progressive ideas and thoughtful opinions, a chance to consider perspectives that mirror or challenge my own. Its a bonus if I laugh out loud. I tend to process my ideas (and over think) slowly, so it is not unusual to have what I read suddenly catapult my half-baked thoughts into clarity. Reading blogs helps me feel less isolated in my pedagogical beliefs and my struggles. Writers’ thoughts and questions around teaching and learning keep me reflecting on my practice and keep me growing.*
I started writing because I craved community, a place to have a voice. I periodically formalize an opinion, concern, or insight and hit “post” with some satisfaction. I feel as if I have accomplished a personally significant task–to summarize my most current musings into a post I hope is readable and not too boring. My community need is being met passively because for the most part, I am talking to myself. Although blogging thus far has provided a forum for thought-collection, it is not yet for me a conversation. To that end, I am attempting to be more
brave proactive and comment on other people’s posts. It’s just not quite the same as a conversation though, is it? Maybe what I simply need is feedback.
At times, I feel a tad foolish. If (if) I measure the success of my endeavors by readership, then I have failed. I supposed I could put a growth mindset spin on that and say I have not been successful yet. Were my goal to inspire others, then by default, that goal cannot be met due to the fact that virtually no one reads my blog. I have written about this before, questioning why I bother blogging. As of now I am OK with my lack of followship** because writing for me is sufficient justification. I know it is helping me and it’s a valuable counterpart to and natural extension of reading.
Me Me Me.
It seems I read and write for self-serving reasons. Not very noble or altruistic, and maybe there’s the source of my inner struggle. While I can’t imagine my words inspiring others or provoking a lively exchange in the comment section, while I realize that my insights are original to me but not exactly fresh breakthroughs for others, and while I do not aspire to become a sought-after speaker or an outspoken leader and catalyst for change, I wonder…..do I hope, deep down, that somewhere, someone, benefits? That someone, somewhere, values what I say? Or at the very least, is listening?
*I also read and write because I have time, being casually retired, so I also struggle with wondering why I feel so compelled to continue to grow when I am not teaching. Currently.
**Is that even a word? It is now!