10 Reasons to Blog as Professional Development
Blogging may require a bit more effort than other popular forms of professional development, but once you get the ball rolling, you may find blogging to be a very rewarding practice that helps build your career.
Our Teach100 bloggers speak out about the top 10 reasons to create and maintain a blog:
- Think and write more clearly
- Connect with thought leaders
- Hold yourself accountable
- Reflect on your learning and growth
- Teach, and live, more purposefully
- Boost your motivation
- Stay relevant
- Find new hobbies
- Seek positive, constructive feedback.
Read below for more thoughtful and inspiring advice from our Teach100 Mentors:
- Blogging helps you think and write more clearly.
The act of regularly expressing your thoughts in written form can help sharpen your intellect, organize your ideas and prep you to lead lessons in the classroom more effectively.
“Blogging helps me to organise [sic] and explore my thoughts better. In a way, I've learnt as much about myself as I have about the things I’ve blogged on. For teachers, professional development is often closely tied to personal development — in trying to do the former, you so often end up doing the latter. My blog has helped me explore learning and things cognitive, and in doing so, has helped me to understand my own thinking better.” – Sean, Ideas Out There: Life, Learning & the Things That Matter
- Blogging connects you to other thought leaders.
Putting your ideas into the world is a great way to attract like-minded people to argue with, network with, or get advice from. As we’ve learned from other discussions on personal learning networks (PLN), talking with other educators is a wonderful way to learn and grow as a teacher.
“I have learned so much by reading other educators' blogs. It gives me insight and suggestions on best practices in the classroom. Interacting with other educators globally is an excellent form of professional development. Sharing lessons, teaching strategies, insights and advice is a powerful form of learning. When we blog we share our personal reflections, which not only helps others, but also helps us grow as professionals.” – Monica Evon, iPaddling Through Fourth Grade
“My blog has helped shape my professional development by giving me opportunities to learn from innovative teachers all over the world. In a way it crowdsources my professional development — I get to learn from teachers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Michigan and Brazil about creative and inspiring ways to improve students’ learning.” – Julie Schell, Turn to Your Neighbor
- Blogging keeps you accountable in meeting your learning and development goals.
Don’t get stuck in a rut! The practice of sharing your ideas with readers forces you to change things up — or risk running out of writing material. It also forces you to defend your common practices or ideas, fact check your data and stay on top of your game!
“Running [my blog] helps keep me accountable for keeping up with the latest trends and allows me to make sure I'm not stagnating with ‘the way I've always done things.’” – Brent Warner, EdTech.tv
“One of my major goals in starting the EdTech Roundup was to keep myself informed of what was happening in the field of Education Technology. By creating this site, I forced myself to grow my PLN, connect with others in the community, and explore the enormous array of amazing resources that are available to the field. On top of that, it has given me a ton of great ideas for helping other teachers with technology integration in their classrooms.” – Mike Karlin, The EdTech Roundup
- Blogging helps you reflect.
Blogging, like journaling or keeping a diary, is a great way to collect and meditate on your teaching experiences. It’s surprisingly enlightening to look back on posts from even a few months or a year ago.
“My blog has given me a voice and a record of my journey through Edtech. Not only can I share my experiences with others and spark conversations, but I can also take time to reflect on my teaching practices and tech integration. My blog keeps me thinking about the past, present, and future of my teaching career.” – Kate Baker, Baker's BYOD
- Blogging creates a landing page for your most important notes.
Whether you’re positing curriculum ideas, resources or even recaps of your day at work, having a blog and being part of a community is a great way to keep track of what you’ve learned and what you already know.
“My blog is a great way for me to learn from others! I post what new apps I've found, or what great lessons I've taught and other teachers tell me how to adjust or adapt.” – Carissa Peck, mELTing Activities
“[My blog is] a personal resource bank of ideas, weblinks and photos, which reminds me [of] different activities I can do outside with [students].” – Juliet Robertson, I'm a Teacher, Get Me OUTSIDE Here!
“By writing down my thoughts on issues that matter to me, [blogging] allows me to process my learning and not just keep those ideas swirling around in my head.” – Lisa Dabbs, LisaDabbs.com
- Blogging can help you live and teach with intention.
The practice of blogging is a declaration of who you are as a person and teacher. In making that declaration, you may find that you change (hopefully for the better!) to fit that image of yourself and your professional role. On the other hand, you may find yourself questioning what you thought you knew and end up moving in a new direction.
“...blogging has helped me to think deeply about what I believe and why I believe those things. In many cases, my thoughts have changed by stepping through my own beliefs or considering comments to my posts. It is the ultimate [tool] in personalized learning!” – Penny Christensen, HotLunchTray.com
“[My blog] allows me to think deeply about my philosophies, strategies and goals, and it keeps me honest. If I write that I am going to do something, I feel the internal pressure to do it!” – Lisa Friedman, Jewish Special Needs Education: Removing the Stumbling Block
- Blogging can give you an important and necessary motivation boost.
If positive reinforcement wasn’t so important, many of us wouldn’t be addicted to social media. Blogging about your passions can be a great way to get support from your fellow teachers and education professionals and drive you to do better. On days when you feel overwhelmed or small, a comment from a reader can be a wonderful boost, but simply having a place to put your experiences in and of itself can be motivating.
“Writing posts for my blog that contain valuable content for other teachers is something I take pride in. Helping other teachers is what I enjoy most of all.” – Christopher J. Nesi, ChrisNesi.com
- Blogging keeps you in the loop.
Being part of a blogging community is a great way to stay current on the latest in ed tech, education reform and policy, or personal teaching styles. You’re also doing your part to keep important issues on the stage for discussion.
“[When I blog], I am elevated to a voice in education policy, an important opportunity in today's contentious climate. Teachers must enlarge their voices.” – Mary Tedrow, Walking to School
“[The blog] helped us to stay abreast of what others in education are excited about.” – Terry, TeachThought
“My blog is an opportunity for me to share my thoughts on issues related to education that I have thought about for a long time. Sometimes I have education policy questions to ask and my blog is used to ask these questions and to give my thoughts on these issues.” – Peter Cincotta, What's So Good About Public Education in America?
- Blogging may shape a new interest or pave the way for another career path.
A blog may be a stepping stone to advocacy work or a job as a consultant. Writing about your passions may help you better understand them, while sharing your ideas could start branding you as an expert in what you’re interested in — a one-two punch!
“[My blog] helps me connect with lots of perspectives around the world and makes my passionate hobby into a tiny business.” – Kerstin, Fluent Language
“After I started blogging, I became more interested in new developments about my profession. I have learned new ways and tools to answer different needs of my students. Also, it helps me to develop different skills like programming, drama or storytelling. I started to show more interest in technology and the experience of other teachers. It keeps me awake and motivates me to do more.” – Ridvan Sağlam, English in Life
“My blog has helped me tremendously to advocate for gifted children.” – Celi Trepanier, Crushing Tall Poppies
“My blog has encouraged me to expand my educational interests to promote ideas and educational pedagogy appealing to a wide range of readers. I love writing [in my] blog because by promoting educational ideas to others I am engaged in the learning process as well.” – Joanie Silverman, Curriculum Corner
- Blogging is a source of feedback.
Positive or negative, getting reactions from other people in your community is a great way to test out your ideas. It can also be a great motivational tool. (See reason number seven.)
“For me, the very act of sharing my practice online drove me to improve what I was doing, become more original and take new professional risks. Even with a small audience I was aware of a need to raise my game. My blog became a vital space for in-depth reflection, which really helped me critique what I was doing. Commenters would assist me in my learning by expanding my horizons and pointing out points of view I have not considered.” – Ross Parker, RossParker.org
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Ready to start a blog? Try one of these links to find a platform, choose a theme and get writing!
Additional resources to start a blog:
- The Minimalistshas an article called “How to Start a Successful Blog Today” that can lead you through the basic steps of blog creation, while Blogging Basics 101 can help you weigh your platform options.
- Amy Lynn Andrews has a great guide to choosing a topic (because “teaching” or “education” can be overwhelmingly broad), and HubSpot Blogs has some useful tips for putting together your first post (along with free templates to get you writing).
- ProBlogger founder shared his top 20 tips for maintaining a good blog — it’s a quick read filled with solid advice.
- Jump on Tumblr! We have one. Check out our 16 favorite teacher Tumblrs for inspiration.
- After creating your blog, be sure to submit yourself to the Teach100 and/or write a guest post for us to help others find your work.