Launched in 2020, over 140 educators and authors have joined in with the last three #microblog events here on slowchathealth.com. All three have been a huge success, lasting a whole 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 and physical education. Looking to build on the popularity of the past three years, I announce that this May will again be Micro Blog Month, and I encourage you to join in with the fun.
I have blogged 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 70 full-length guest blog posts in addition to 150+ microblog 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 to promote online discussion, sharing resources, and inspiring all of us to provide a better experience for the students we teach. This blog exists to amplify the voices of all health teachers, and the microblog event has proven to be one such way in which to promote new voices.
What is a micro blog?
A microblog is an engaging and concise blog post of up to 500 words (although longer posts are acceptable). The joy of the word limit is that a microblog post can be a collection of thoughts or sharing 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, which is evident in the number of submissions from first-time bloggers. Tony Alexander’s microblog was all about being nervous about microblogging! Pran Patel dictated his microblog post via voice-to-text in less than 5 minutes.
This global blogging event allows educators to share their knowledge and experiences, build their professional network, and enhance their professional development.
What topic should I choose?
This really is up to you. I’ve written microblog posts on embracing conversations about personal pronouns in the classroom and a passionate post about the value of comprehensive sexuality education. Last year I successfully challenged myself to write a post exactly 500 words long!
Popular posts came from teachers who shared ideas from the classroom, and posts about self-care have always been well received. Standout posts have included a letter of advice to new teachers from Renee Reedhardt and a powerful poem detailing the experiences of health teachers from Amy Dawson. A student of mine wrote about why all teachers should learn about Ramadan, Caroline Gajzler wrote to raise awareness of Lyme Disease, and Candor Health encouraged their educators to share pre-existing blog posts. Future professionals joined in with the event last year, with Dr. Seth Jenny‘s eSports students from Slippery Rock University writing a popular series of blog posts.
We’ve had microblog 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. You may have a book or podcast to promote and want to include links to your resources and sites. All of these ideas are welcome.
How do I get involved?
As mentioned, this year’s event will run throughout May, with microblog posts released daily. Take your time to put your post together, and once it is completed, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via a DM on Twitter, and I will do the rest. You can include artwork jpegs to accompany your microblog post, and I’ll create the cover art, arrange the schedule, and push everything out in May. Then, I’ll tag you in the post and continue to promote it throughout the event and beyond.
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 until the end of May. For example, 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 interests you, it will be of interest to others.
Please consider sharing your passion for health education with our global audience of like-minded educators. You can find examples of previous microblog posts here, and check out the names of our awesome contributors from 2022 below.