It’s been 12 months since I first started blogging and I continue to reference those that inspired me to start putting my thoughts down on paper (computer screen?). Prior to launching slowchathealth.com the conversation among some members of my PLN at that time was that the voice of health teachers was in need of being amplified. There was talk that SHAPE America was starting to ramp up it’s support of health teachers (something that they have definitely done over the past 12 months) and that perhaps a blog or Twitter chat was needed for our community.
Jeff Bartlett had some success with a health chat and Justin Schleider’s slowchatPE blog was growing in support with his daily questions also proving to be a success. I had just come off of a successful year at school and was looking for a way to keep myself professionally fresh over the summer months and so creating a blog of my own seemed a good idea. My blog was NEVER meant to be my voice. Aimed at health teachers working with students of all ages the blog aims to promote online discussion, a sharing of resources and inspiration to those teaching health to provide a better experience for the students that we teach. Guest bloggers have contributed, and I welcome anyone to contact me if they are looking for an outlet in which to share their thoughts.
Although I initially aimed to post every week, there are times when quite honestly other things have taken priority, and I think that’s OK as a blogger. I realize that my blog has a niche audience – there might only be one health teacher per school/district – and so I don’t think I need to worry about fastidiously keeping my blog to a strict schedule. I take inspiration from conversations that I have on social media, namely Twitter and increasingly Voxer. Conversations from the smaller, selective Voxer groups can have much more impact than those on Twitter.
As silly as it sounds, I am inspired by the statistics available on WordPress. I honestly thought that December was a great month for the blog, but now an upward trend has been set it inspires me to think more about my posts. Seeing how many people have read my blog, and which posts have been most successful encourages me to me a better writer.
I definitely think that blogging has encouraged me to be more confident in my subject material and in the conversations that I have with health teachers and professionals whom I admire. I also think that it has helped my reputation as a teacher among my PLN and opened my pathway to offers of collaboration and conference presentations that perhaps might not have been made prior to my blog creation.
Now that I have 12 months worth of posts under my belt, I can refer back to posts, re-share resources and introduce new readers to older material, much of which is still relevant today. Additionally, over time I have been able to create a list of over 150 health-related Twitter accounts that I have shared with those looking to expand their PLN.
The combination of increased confidence and a carefully curated PLN which continues to show support inspired me to launch the #sendateacher fund raising initiative that will ultimately send a teacher to #SHAPEBoston who would not normally be able to attend due to a lack of professional development funds at their school or district. Within the first 6 weeks of going live with the project the PE & Health community raised over $350 through the purchase of t-shirts from http://www.sendateacher.com I don’t think that level of success would have been possible without my blog.
There is only one #slowchathealth question, post your answer whenever you wish….
Why do you blog? I’ll tag bloggers in an image this week, hopefully we’ll get an insight into their reasons behind blogging.