Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First Year Birthday

Last week was the first year birthday of this blog and I didn’t even realize it. It’s amazing how fast time slips away. I look back and think about how I felt when I started this and my reasons for starting this blog. I am amazed how this has all evolved over time.

I started it as a way to share my experiences with new teachers and struggling teachers because when I retired, I still felt like I had a lot of knowledge that I should share and not just let it go down the dream. Now I look back and see that through blogging, I was constantly learning new and exciting things. Just because I retired doesn’t mean that I stop learning!

By blogging, I started to read other blogs which broadened my whole point of view. In my teaching career, my life revolved around my family, my school, and my life in the community. Now with blogging, I am communicating with people all around the world. Through blogging, I found out about Twitter. This helped my professional learning network grow exponentially. Through Twitter, I found out about Plurk and again my network continues to grow.

By reading other blogs, I am finding out about free online conferences that are extremely informative. I am learning about new ideas and points of views that had never crossed my mind. I realize how egocentric my point of view is and this has helped to open my eyes. I am learning about other cultures and educational systems that really amaze me.

When I first started, I wondered if anyone would even be interested in what I had to write. I kept it low key but then when I got my first comment I was hooked. So, for all you veteran bloggers, I truly thank you for motivating me to continue blogging. Then I was so afraid I would offend someone or have someone disagree with me that I was a little tentative about sharing my opinions. When someone first disagreed with me, I realized that this was a great way to have a conversation with others. I might be able to change their minds or they might be able to change mine but either way, this conversation was important to me.

I put a counter on my blog because I was really curious to see if anyone was interested in reading my blog. I am thrilled to report that I have had over 26,000 visitors with over 38,000 page views. I appreciate all of you who come back to see what I’ve written and I hope you don’t ever feel it is a waste of your time.

For those of you who are just beginning, I’d like to share what I’ve learned this past year:
· I like putting in words what I think because it helps clarify my thoughts and beliefs.
· I enjoy getting comments and having a conversation with others.
· Don’t be afraid to ask for advice because there are so many others out there willing to help you.
· Bloggers are really supportive of one another.
· I like to keep a schedule and write regularly, just like you would practice for a sport.
· Adding pictures and links makes it more interesting.
· The “edit” button is my friend! I don’t care how many times I proofread it, it seems like I have to constantly go back and fix things.
· At first it is hard, but the more you do it, the easier it gets and it is fun.
· In the summer course I will be teaching, blogging will be one of the requirements. I feel it is important for teachers to know how to do this and encourage their students to do this.

Thank you for reading my blog and making me feel needed and wanted!


Kate Olson said...

Happy, Happy Blog Birthday! I never knew you were only 1 year old, Successful Teaching, it seems to me as if you're wise enough to have been around for years and years :-) Pat, thanks for all of the writing, you've touched many.

KBeil said...

Congrats on your first year of successful blogging! You are an inspiration! I've only been retired since June and have thought about starting a blog as a way to work through my thoughts & feelings about being retired after 34 years of teaching. Like you, I enjoy continuing to learn & share with others. I've only read your blog for the past month or two, but plan to go back and read some of your early posts. Also, happy to have you as part of my PLN on plurk!

Grace Kat said...

Happy 1st Birthday to your blog! You must feel such a sense of achievement. I appreciate and enjoy reading all the inspirational posts which are your trademark. Happy celebrating!

Christine said...

I can't believe you have only been blogging for a year. You seem like such a pro. Keep up the good work.

Shirley Smith said...

Happy birthday! You have been an inspiration. I started my blog in July of this year and am just getting the hang of writing regularly, learning the technical stuff, and communicating in a new way. When I posted on another blog recently, I saw that there were visitors to MY blog from across the world. It was so exciting! Although I have visitors from all over according to my stats, I am not getting any comments or subscriptions. Any advice on how to get folks to want to comment and keep coming back?

loonyhiker said...

kate, kbeil, grace kat,christine, shirley: Thank you for reading my blog! It is really exciting when I get comments so I really appreciate yours.

loonyhiker said...

shirley: I spend a lot of time reading other people's blogs and commenting on their blogs so maybe that helps. I am really happy that I have comments but I try not to focus on comments too much. I have just tried to share my thoughts and hope that it helps someone out there. I also read many blogs that I don't comment on because I don't have anything new to add.

Margaret said...

I echo the happy birthday wishes. I'm glad I found this blog (through Joel's So You Want To Teach blog) I always always have to check out the Useful Information In & Out of the Classroom feature - always something I can use in there. I'm definitely going to pick your brain when I run into special needs problems that I have run out of solutions for.

Bill Gaskins said...

Happy Birthday Pat! What a celebration of one year of growing a blog. Keep writing and learning!


ms-teacher said...

Happy Blog Birthday! I always learn something reading your blog and look forward to reading and learning much more.

loonyhiker said...

Thanks everyone! I love the way I have made new friends through blogging. It had really helped me not feel so isolated after retirement.

Kelsey S said...

I am a college student majoring in education, and one of our assignments is to read online blogs. At first I was unsure of whether or not they would be helpful, but your points in this blog helped me to see how beneficial writing, sharing, and reading thoughts and ideas can be. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

loonyhiker said...

Kelsey: I'm glad you are finding my blog useful. It is also enlightening to write your own blog and share ideas. If you decide to have one, please let me know so I can come visit. Thanks for reading!