I knew the type of blog I wanted to find and perhaps this was not a good strategy for searching for my online teachers’ community. It was a frustrating venture. I wanted to read teachers’ suggestions for classroom management, experiences with getting teens to read in the classroom, maybe some quick links to other communities. The fact that it has taken me so long to find what I’ve been looking for is motivation to create a blog of my own. Yes, I said it. I, the technologically inept, am planning to create my own blog.
I got goose bumps when I found this blog sponsored by the British Council. This is exactly what I was looking for. The Writer, Michael Swan, had blogs about teaching grammar, students’ reading, and interview techniques. Please refer to the previous sentence’s use of “but.” His last post in January reads, “This is my last blog. It’s been a privilege to write for you, and a pleasure to read your views.” This was such a disappointment. There were many experiences like this; great conversations within the English Language Arts community that ended.
Finally, I was able to find a blog written and maintained by Anna Roseboro and, lo and behold, it was found right here on wordpress.com. She was honored by the California Association of Teachers of English in 2009 so I decided to browse a bit. It is obvious that she has a lot of experience. Her ideas are insightful and I will most likely use her suggestions for teaching writing in my classroom. It is a bit intimidating, however, to participate. What do I say? How do I say it to this woman who is full of knowledge and experience? I have not even begun student teaching to have something to contribute. I will, however, save her page in my ‘Favorites’ because it is full of great resources. For example, this month Mrs. Roseboro has posted links to classroom resources for Black HIstory Month. She also has this great idea about using pictures to help students write essays. Essay writing seems to be the challenge with many adolescents so I will definitely study what she has to say.
Like any good thing, finding your professional community online is no easy task. It is worth it, however, when you find that perfect match. The English Language Arts blog I found is a match in the sense that it is a learning opportunity for me. The match is in the fact that it presents learning opportunities with respect to my chosen career. I am certain I will be able to find something to say or contribute but, for now, this more is more of a teacher than anything else. I think it is okay to learn and observe before becoming a part of a community.