What Are You Thinking?

Photo Credit: jDevaun via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jDevaun via Compfight cc

Recently, this post was shared with me on Twitter:

Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 9.05.52 AM

It’s a very good look at the need to communicate and respond in many ways to all the stakeholders in the school community.

I would add another item to the list: Blogging

Why should education administrators blog?  For the same reasons we want teachers and students to blog.

#1: Make Learning Visible

Through blogging, educational administrators at all levels make their thinking visible to their team.  Learning is shared and open.  Conversations about learning become widely shared and asynchronous.  Anyone can join in.  Learning is enhanced for everyone who participates.  Introverts who may feel uncomfortable having a conversation with an educational leader face to face, can carefully consider their comments and share them in a way that makes them comfortable.

#2: Encourage Others to Make Learning Visible

When administrators share their learning, they model the practice of making thinking visible, encouraging all members of the school community to do the same.  They show that risk-taking is valued, that failing is a catalyst for learning, and that learning is important for everyone in the school environment.

#3: Share the Learning

How often do we hear that Principals are out of the building too often, and that Supervisory Officers are never in the school?  Blogging allows administrators to share their learning with others.  It is a built-in accountability that their time away is well spent and that the learning can be used to build capacity in the entire system.  What personal professional learning are you currently engaged in?  What books are you reading?  Share your learning with your school community and your PLN.  Model personal professional growth while encouraging your staff to do the same.

#4. Organize Your Thinking

A teacher who recently started blogging was preparing for a position of added responsibility this year, and she remarked at how easy it was to organize her thinking.  It was already organized on her blog!  Education Administrators who are called on to make presentations have easy access to the material they may need as they have already presented their thinking and learning in their blog.

#5. Connect With Other School Leaders

By following the blogs of school leaders around the world, you can engage in conversations and learn from their learning.  Be a part of the Professional Learning Network that believes in sharing, in challenging thinking, and in making thinking visible to all.
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7 thoughts on “What Are You Thinking?”

  1. Blogging is important because as you mentioned, it makes our learning, teaching and school community visible. It also forces educators to take personal and professional risks. We may simply be learning the blog tool itself or we may be reflecting aloud for everyone to read, regardless it is a risk. It’s a necessary risk though, as we ask our students to take risks everyday with us and we need to demonstrate that willingness ourselves. Easier said than done, I know!

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  2. Thank you for taking the time to share your thinking as a comment. I agree completely, and as we take that step, we find a beautiful, supportive community of learners ready to hold us up along the way. I hope that our students would find exactly the same response when we ask them to take risks in their learning.

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  3. There’s another element that can be the result of blogging. Often, a person has a thought or vision of how their thinking impacts on their leadership but it isn’t quite there. Blogging allows for further input to allow others to help refine that vision so that it truly becomes one exemplifying shared leadership. It’s not an easy concept if you’re always used to being “right” but can be a very powerful team building vehicle. It can change the title of your #1 to “make your leading visible”.

    Very nice article, Donna.

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    1. Ah, I like that: “Make Your Leading Visible”. Over my career I have been very fortunate to have strong administrators help me shape my practice, and this is such a good vehicle for that process. Thanks for sharing.

      I am presenting on this topic at a conference in Thunder Bay in October, so I appreciate the feedback/input.

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