Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Why Blogging is Good for EFL Teachers

If you are an EFL teacher and have just started blogging, you probably have a big problem with motivation. Blogging is time-consuming and at first it feels like nobody is reading your blog. So you might be thinking about giving up. Please don't. I have come up with nine reasons why blogging is good for EFL teachers:

1. Because it is more fun than writing lesson plans.
I am sure your head is full of imaginative lesson ideas. If you are like me, you will often get cold feet before you do something bold in class, something different from what you usually do. Blogging about your ideas, no matter how crazy they sound, will give you the courage to try them out.

2. Because sharing is caring.
If other bloggers find your posts useful, they will visit your blog more often and leave really useful comments. Sometimes their comments will improve your original idea and someone might even start an interesting discussion. Sometimes they will just say: "Great post. Loved your idea. Thanks for sharing." And that will make you feel great about what you are doing and you will start posting regularly. Other bloggers will find out about you and soon your blog will be flourishing.

3. Because it will make you a better teacher.
I do believe that blogging has made me a better teacher. The mere fact that I sit down and write about what I am going to do or why I have done something in class makes me reflect on my teaching style.

4. Because you will never stop learning.
There are lots of great EFL teachers who blog. You will be learning from them and with them. If at first it feels like you are the one who is receiving all the knowledge and giving nothing in return, that will soon change. And let me tell you that the blogging community needs the people who can ask the right questions as much as it needs those who will answer them.

5. Because you will never feel alone any more.
Let's face it - once you walk into that classroom, you are on your own. Yes, I am aware of the fact that the classroom is full of people, but both you and I know that there is a gap between you and them. They are the students, you are the teacher and that's that. The good news is that you can share your classroom experiences in your blog. And you will find out that other teachers understand you, no matter where they are from. They know.

6. Because it is fun.
Obviously, you need to enjoy writing in order to start blogging. I would never run a marathon only because someone claimed it would improve my teaching style. I hate running and I am really bad at it. But writing (and blogging) makes me happy. If you are like me, go ahead. You have got nothing to lose and you'll have the time of your life.

7. Because you will meet great people.
Bloggers are, as a rule, great people. They are supportive of each other and friendly. A lot of the people I have met through blogging are not teachers at all. Still, we have something in common. We are bloggers. (You have to bear in mind that, though a lot of people blog, not all of them call themselves bloggers. A blogger sees blogging as his/her primary online activity.)

8. Because you care.
You care about your students. And you are a great teacher. So, let the other teachers know about you and learn from you. Which brings me to my last point

9. Because what we do matters.
We are important. We change people's lives in so many ways. We teach them, we support them, we love them. The world should know about us.

If you have just started blogging, I would really like to be one of your first readers. And if you have never left a comment in someone's blog, go ahead and leave one here. I will be happy to meet you.

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