Saturday, October 27, 2007

Growing my blog

Konrad Glogowski's blog of proximal development always makes me think. His post How to Grow a Blog is certainly no exception. I think his visual outlining the idea is a great one.

As I do not have studets blogging at the moment, I read the post more as a blogger than as a teacher. And I learned a lot. I have been struggling to find my blogging voice again after a number of months away. I think that I will use Konrad's visual to help me think through my own blog. What do I want to accomplish here? How can I make that happen? I have to think it through before I write about it, but look for some "thinking out loud" here. As always, I will welcome whatever ideas you might have.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Language Learning Online

I may not have told you before, but I love Mashable. What has prompted me to announce this to the world is a recent post there listing 70 online language communities for learning and practicing languages. It includes a wide variety of possibilities, including LiveMocha and

I have a student who asked me about websites for learning English. I had heard of LiveMocha before, but the Mashable post was good impetus for looking at it more closely. It looks good. Does anyone have any experience with it?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sharing uncertainty

Miguel says it all: Share More!

He says:
Our gurus should be those who are unafraid to share their most vulnerable moments, those moments when they are learning that show they do not know what they are doing but are trying to learn.
While Miguel is primarily speaking to educators, his advice is good for everyone. When we have to pretend to be perfect, when we are afraid to show that we don't have all the answers, we do a disservice to ourselves and to everyone around us.

It's hard, though.

I find it easier, for instance, to talk about my uncertainties here on my blog than I do with my coworkers. But when we do it, the results are usually amazing. I had a situation just last week where I was looking for a way to approach a topic in class. What I had done hadn't worked, and I needed help. I was looking in the resource room for something to use when a fellow teacher asked me what I was looking for. I told her. She didn't have any great ideas, but another teacher in the room told me to look in a particular book, that it addressed the topic very effectively. I took his advice, and the lesson was very successful.

Why are we so afraid? Why do we feel this need to be perfect?

I constantly tell my students that if they wait until they can do it perfectly, they will never learn to speak English. And yet I find myself not wanting to share my vulnerabilities with my colleagues.

I think I am getting better about this. Blogging has helped me a lot. Reading blogs has helped me a lot. I hope I can make more progress as I go along.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Playing Catch-up

Since starting this new job, I have been constantly playing catch-up. After 2 and a half weeks, I am starting to get caught up. It feels good. But my Bloglines account has been severely ignored. I have done a little reading over the last two weeks, but tonight I had over 1200 posts to read. There is no way I can really read that many posts!

So it is time to clean out my account, weed out those feeds I often skim over at best. This will require that I think seriously about what my needs are right now and what my interests are. I think they have changed a bit over the last few months.

All of this is, I hope, preparatory to my return to blogging on a regular basis. I miss it!