I took the summer off from blogging, with the intention that I would return to it when school began in August. Well, imagine my shock and dismay when I learned my library assistant was moving back home to Virginia and would not be with me this year! The old saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone” is certainly true in my case, because every day as I wait for a replacement to be hired I come across something else she used to do for me that now I’m having to do myself; hence, the lack of time for blogging.
So I’m returning to “The View From Here” with very fresh eyes, and I’m wondering what I want to accomplish with my posts this year. If you read my “About” page, you’ll see that I tend to clarify my thoughts and opinions by talking them out, and that I use my writings in this blog as a way to wrestle with the issues I face as a librarian managing a library and all its holdings, a teacher with a full schedule of 27 classes per week to plan for and teach, and a school technology coach responsible for helping teachers learn how use new technology and for troubleshooting their equipment when they have technical difficulties. Yes, there’s a lot of overlap in those three areas, but there’s also enough diversity there to cause me some concern when it comes to writing blog entries. Don’t the best bloggers choose one thing they’re passionate about and stick to the subject in their posts?
For instance, take the blog Free Technology for Teachers, which I absolutely love. You know exactly where you stand with a blog like his; his purpose is right there in the title! Every day he tells you about a great free web resource that you can use with your students, and it’s so helpful I keep his feed at the top of my Technology Blog tab so I don’t miss anything.
Or how about Lucy and Ethel’s Library Schemes, an account of the endlessly creative ideas “Lucy” and her assistant “Ethel” dream up to lure students into their media center? To quote them: “This blog is not a site where we will wax poetic in educational mumbo-jumbo about the grand scheme of all things library related. Our sole purpose is to share with other high school library personnel practical ideas we have used to bring high school students to our media center.”
And then there’s The Planet Esme Plan, where you find the most marvellous book reviews, complete with annotated listings of related titles. Granted, that blog name doesn’t really tell you anything about what type of content to expect from Esme’s blog, but her focus is laser sharp and the blog is a must-read when I’m preparing a book order for my library.
Each of those blogs speaks to one of the roles I play in my professional life. One of my roles. Not all of them. Which makes me wonder: Should I narrow my scope to either books and reading OR library lesson plans OR technology integration, rather than writing about all three? Do I need three separate blogs? Three blogs? Do I need to have my head examined???
But seriously, who am I writing for? Sure, forcing myself to ponder my professional life by writing blog posts is helpful to me, but is anyone else out there really that interested in my struggles and frustrations? Wouldn’t other educators prefer more useful information and less navel-gazing?
Well, I guess that’s what tags and categories are for. Instead of spending so much time agonizing over what I should or shouldn’t write about, I should just revamp my organizational system so that it’s easy to locate posts that are only about tech tools, or about reading activities, or about my perspective on teaching. That will make it easier for my readers to pick and choose among them, and I can continue the blog as a true representation of my personal experience. Glad I got that settled!