Over the past week or two, I have reflected on why I blog and what it does for me after I saw a bunch of tweets from Chris Robinson (@absvalteaching) and Kate Nowak (@k8nowak). This leads into my response to Kate’s request to MTBoS…
1. What hooked you on reading the blogs? Was it a particular post or person? Was it an initiative by the nice MTBoS folks? A colleague in your building got you into it? Desperation?
Thinking/Intellectual Stimulation. I wanted to have intellectual stimulation and did not have people in my school that were stretching my thinking pedagogically and mathematically. I interviewed a math teacher candidate that mentioned that I should check out Dan Meyer. I jumped down the rabbit hole of ideas and resources in his blog and got hooked.
2. What keeps you coming back? What’s the biggest thing you get out of reading and/or commenting?
Resources. I started bouncing from Dan Meyer’s blog to Fawn Nguyen’s to David Wee’s. The online interaction improves my teaching and makes me want to get better and the resources make me better. Without it, I would get bored.
3. If you write, why do you write? What’s the biggest thing you get out of it?
This past spring, I started lurking on twitter. Slowly, I started commenting on other’s blogs and got up the nerve to start my own. I started by created a library of resources on my blog and decided to do a 180 blog on my first year of teaching Geometry. As of yesterday, I have decided to stop the 180 blog. This was not based on workload or interest, but more of the fact that in my first year of teaching Geometry I can clearly see the first big steps I must make to improve my teaching in the topic. I will discontinue what I consider primarily blithering babble and will blog when I want some ideas so that the few that are willing provide input do. The biggest thing I get is great interactions.
4. If you chose to enter a room where I was going to talk about blogging for an hour (or however long you could stand it), what would you hope to be hearing from me? MTBoS cheerleading and/or tourism? How-to’s? Stories?
The biggest thing I would want to get is how to build a network of people that will interact and provide input on my work as I do on theirs. MTBoS is a great group and I enjoy reaching out to it. The challenge is that it seems like many of the MTBoS relationships are forged through many years of working together online and at conferences. I have to say that I do get solid responses from those I reach out to if the response is simple. Deeper responses require more time and more thought are tougher to get responses because I believe that everyone has bandwidth limitations.
If you were standing in a room, I would like to hear how to build a math social network by effectively using twitter to support a blog to support an internet persona that connects with other math teaching professionals.