Recently, my head of school suggested that he was almost ready to take a leap and start blogging. He just needed a little nudge. Hopefully this post will help.
Here are just a few tips:
1) Decide on purpose: to share what you’ve read both to teachers and parents, to share resources, to highlight your school, to be reflective and tell stories about the realities of school life, for personal professional development, to take a risk, to learn, etc.
2) Keep it related to education. – I’ve heard that nobody wants to read about what you had for lunch (unless of course it somehow relates to school).
3) Not everyone will like what you have to say (or care) – that’s okay, some will.
4) Keep it professional: don’t name anyone unless they don’t mind; I’ve learned that “transparency” is not the same thing as “say anything”; if you mention another school, do so because you like what they’re doing;
5) It’s okay to comment on issues and write your opinions: some issues are going to cause disagreement – that’s good, as long as the discourse is civil
6) First, read some other blogs written by Heads and Principals: Here are a few suggestions of Independent School Heads to start (there are other independent school blogging Heads and plenty of great public school ones that I’ll share another time):
21k12 (I like palindromes) – by Jonathan Martin: Head of School at St. Gregory’s in Tuscon
Peak Experiences - by Michael Ebling: Head of PK to 9th grade Summit School in Winston-Salem
Compass Point - by Josie Holford: Head of Poughkeepskie Day School
These three hosted a session called “Blogging Heads” at the last NAIS conference in DC, which I followed remotely. You can read a summary of their panel discussion here.
7) You don’t have to write every day.
8. It’s a way to responsibly model an authentic medium that many of our students will or already use.
9) You may reach people well beyond our own school community.
10) Think of it as a discipline that motivates you: for some that’s running, gardening, knitting, volunteering – do it because you want to
11) Like those other disciplines mentioned above, don’t do it for extrinsic rewards. The intrinsic rewards should be good enough.
12) Don’t always expect comments or replies.
13) Don’t expect all your teachers to blog. Do encourage them to be reflective about their practice – whatever form that may be. Blogging is not part of a teacher’s job. It’s just one of many ways to share.
14) Realize that sometimes, you have to stop, and even though you set out to write 15 tips, sometimes 14 will do.