If you want to become a better teacher you should probably start to write a blog. Not that the world needs more blogs but if, as a teacher, you want to learn more and improve your communication skills, write a blog and you will be forced to think through your ideas and concepts with a different lens.
Today I was with a client who also happens to be a new teacher. I mentioned that if she wanted to learn writing a blog is a great way to inculcate the lessons that you offer, and I added that everything I teach is already a blog post or will be a blog post. Her response was that she had noticed that already from reading the blog for just a couple of weeks.
This makes sense to me as a process. Everything goes through the filter and comes out the other side enriched. This is the same process as teaching. I basically repeat myself over and over—I don’t know a teacher that doesn’t. Even my jokes are the same. It is all storytelling.
When I first met my wife, who happens to be pretty literal, she would hear me relate an anecdote in class (or in life), and later say that I changed something. If a punchline doesn’t work you have to find one that will. Teaching and blogging is nothing if not storytelling and my job is to refine my message with each telling in order to get a point across in the simplest and clearest way.
The most vital part of the blogging experience is the feedback I get to my posts. When I teach yoga classes I am rarely critiqued. Students don’t come up afterwards and tell me an idea I had was wrong. If they disagree with me they keep it to themselves and leave, just as I do with the teachers that I take class with.
The blog doesn’t work that way. I get all kinds of feedback—good, bad, indifferent and sometimes harsh. I welcome it all. It helps me help myself and others. If you put yourself in the public space you are forced to develop a thick skin which I think is a positive. It took a while to grow into the acceptance of criticism but I have to admit that, for the most part, I have learned that most people don’t pipe up unless they are right about what they have to offer.
And it is my responsibility to discern if they are wrong— with love— and not take it personally.
So there are many reasons why all teachers should write a blog though it isn’t the easiest thing to pull off. I tried twice before I got into the rhythm of this one and I cringe at the quality of writing of some of my earlier posts but, que sera sera. What can I do? They are out there and I am better for it.
At this point I have a different difficulty. I am afraid to take more than a day off at a time for fear that it will all dry up and nothing more will flow through my fingertips. This doesn’t always sit well with my wife who would like vacations to be vacations, and maybe a little more help getting the kids off to school, but to her everlasting credit—she is the best—she knows that I truly love what I am doing and doesn’t need to take it away from me.