Launched in 2020, over 100 educators and authors have joined in with the last two #microblog events here on slowchathealth.com and they have been a huge success, lasting a full month and featuring voices from across the globe. Sharing bite-sized blog posts of approximately 500 words, there have been submissions from experienced bloggers, first-time writers, authors, teachers, and some students eager to share their passion for health education. Looking to build on the popularity of the past two years, I can announce that this May will once again be Micro Blog Month and you are encouraged to join in with the fun.
I have been blogging on this site since 2015 and enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and ideas. In that time the site has grown exponentially and has featured over 60 full length guest blog posts in addition to the 100+ micro blog posts. The site has a regular ‘Book of the Month‘ feature, has hosted virtual book clubs, raised money for teachers in need, and supported various charities.
The #slowchathealth blog is aimed at health teachers working with students of all ages with the goal to promote online discussion, the sharing of resources, and inspire all of us to provide a better experience for the students that we teach. This blog exists to amplify the voices of all health teachers and the micro blog event has proven to be one such way in which to promote new voices.
What is a micro blog?
I decided that a micro blog is an engaging and concise blog post of up to 500 words (although longer posts are of course acceptable). The joy of the word limit is that a micro blog post can be a collection of thoughts or the sharing of an idea that has worked with students. Sometimes the thought of writing a longer blog post can be daunting, but there is often creativity in constraint. Constraints provide focus and a creative challenge that motivates people and this is evident in the number of submissions from first-time bloggers. Tony Alexander’s micro blog was all about being nervous about micro blogging! Pran Patel dictated his micro blog post via voice-to-text in less than 5 minutes.
What topic should I choose?
This really is up to you. I’ve written micro blog posts on embracing conversations about personal pronouns in the classroom, and also a passionate post about the value of comprehensive sexuality education.
Popular posts came from teachers who shared ideas from the classroom, and posts about self-care have always been well received. Standout posts from last year included a letter of advice to new teachers from Renee Reedhardt, and a powerful poem detailing the experiences of health teachers from Amy Dawson.
We’ve had micro blog posts on keeping fit, mindfulness suggestions, period poverty, poetry in health class, teaching with passion, the benefits of play, and even one on throwing a happiness boomerang.
You might have an idea in your head already, or a blog post from the past that would benefit from a re-boost to a new audience. Maybe you have a book or podcast to promote and want to include links back to your own resources and sites. All of these ideas are welcome.
How do I get involved?
As I mentioned earlier, this year’s event will run throughout the month of May, with micro blog posts being released daily. Within the first 36 hours of promoting #microblogmonth I was contacted by 36 interested microbloggers from 6 different countries so it looks like this year’s event will top last year!
Q. How strict is the 500 word limit? A. The microblog idea was to encourage bite-sized posts, but of course you can go over (or under). If your post starts to head north of 1000 words, it might be perfect to be featured as a regular blog post.
Q. When is the deadline for submission? A. I’m as flexible with this deadline as I am for those in my classroom. I’ll start publishing posts on May 1st, but will accept posts right up to the end of May. Derek Byrne wrote his microblog post in October!
Q. Does my microblog post have to be about health? A. Absolutely not. The site is popular with health educators, sex educators, physical educators, and educators in general. If what you have to say is of interest to you, it will be of interest to others.
Take your time to put your post together and once it is completed, send it through to me at email@example.com or via a DM on Twitter and I will do the rest. You can include artwork jpegs to accompany your micro blog post and I’ll create the cover art, arrange the schedule, and push everything out in May. I’ll tag you in the post and continue to promote it throughout the event and beyond.
Please do consider sharing your passion for health education with our global audience of like-minded educators. You can find examples of previous micro blog posts here, and check out the names of our contributors from 2021 below.