One reason that I have lately been so absent from this blog is because I have been very ACTIVE with a different blog–namely, my classroom blog. I’ve often had students keep journals in years past, but this is the first year that I’m updating the journal concept and having my students keep individual blogs. Because I’m already familiar with the WordPress interface, it was easy for me to use Edublogs–their educationally-geared cousin. It looks and feels a lot like WordPress, but I am able to tie everyone’s blogs together and have one master/control station for viewing stats from all 69 blogs.
It can be a bit overwhelming at times to keep up with everything. I’ve been trying to have my students blog once a week (though sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t get around to it every single week), and that means reading and commenting on 69 posts on a weekly basis. Don’t get me wrong–I love doing it. But I rarely can sit down and do them all at once. When it begins to feel like a chore, I know that I need to take a break for awhile and come back to it later. And I’ve also learned that I need to pare down my comments a bit. I can’t write extensive, three-paragraphs-long comments to every single person. In fact, some weeks, I just copy and paste a canned comment so that my students know that I’ve read their post, and I try not to feel guilty for being so impersonal. (Although I did one time have a student excitedly request that I read his blog post RIGHT THIS MINUTE, and not just give him a standard “great post,” but leave him a REAL comment, LOL).
As of right now, all of my students’ blogs are public (meaning that a reader doesn’t need to have a password to view the page). My students are sixteen and seventeen years old, after all, and I feel like they already have such enormous digital footprints from all of their other social media accounts, that one more won’t really hurt them. In the spirit of sharing, I thought I would link you to five of my favorite blog posts that have been written so far this year. It was a really tough call to narrow it down to five, because I think I have a lot more than just FIVE favorites. But I tried my best to choose the cream of the crop. In no particular order….
- A post on Living the American Dream
2. A post on Standing Up for People Who Have Been Marginalized
3. A post on Why People Don’t Like Christians
4. A post on Why One Student Considers Her Mother Her Hero
5. A post on Why God’s Grace is so Amazing