Reading blogs of other teachers gives me a window into other classrooms. Teaching is a fairly isolated profession and I rarely have the opportunity to see what is happening in classrooms other than my own. (Although I do think that I are more aware of other classroom practices at my school because of how much planning we do as teams or in small groups.)
I've been wondering why I find other teacher blogs so compelling when all I am doing is reading about their days. I finally realized that I am analyzing their teaching in the same way that I analyze my own and trying to learn more about the best way to help my students.
It is possible that I am just rationalizing to make myself feel better about how much time I spend reading these blogs.
I read probably...oh gosh...in the neighborhood of 10 or more teacher blogs... I do it exactly for the same reason you do--to see what OTHER teachers are doing to best help their kids learn. I found this year that I was looking for validation as well--to see if the things I *wanted* to do (but wasn't allowed to by admin) was even reasonable to consider. Turns out that lots of other teachers are doing things in their classrooms that are similar to what I'd like to do. I'm also seeing ways to make my classroom environment more fitting to my needs and the needs of my kids. Teachers are brilliant! I love that we have blogs like yours and others to read and mooch ideas from! I am still finding things that I want to do (true writer's workshop, for example) when I get to teach somewhere that allows me to be a little more flexible and creative.
Think of blog-reading as individualized professional development. After all, great teachers are the ones who NEVER stop learning!
I don't have my own classroom right now - I'm administrating a state-wide professional development program, and while that position has it's own challenges and rewards, it's just not the same as classroom teaching. I read teacher blog to stay connected, to know what's happening with today's kids and teachers, and to remind myself of who is REALLY at the heart of what I do in my admin position. Teacher blogs help me to feel like I'm still a part of the "classroom experience," and I know that will serve me well when I do have a classroom again.
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