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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11 comments:

Shelly said...

Hello Natasa!
I'm glad I saw this post on BELTfree! I do think that blogging is a wonderful way for teachers to be creative and share their experiences, advice, and strategies with others.I know that I have enjoyed reading about your various experiences. Recently, I explored some museums in Second Life due to one of your previous posts!

Natasa said...

Thank you Shelly. I really feel lucky to have met all of you. I have learnt so much from your blogs. I am glad to hear I have inspired you to explore the museums in Second Life. I would love to learn more about your adventures. Maybe in a blog post?

Toby said...

Hello!

I also found this post through BELTFree. And I think you're right: I'm a better teacher since I've started blogging.

I just wanted to say thanks for writing this!
-Toby

Natasa said...

Hello Toby,
Welcome to my blog. I am glad you like my post and find it useful.
I had a look at your blog and I really like what you are doing there.
See you in BELTFree.

Ben A. said...

Hi Natasha,

Great blog post on blogging! Because of those reasons you mentioned above, one of my projects for the summer is incorporating blogging into my units. I'm still working out the logistics, but I found an ebook at http://www.dedicatedteacher.com called "Blogging in the Classroom" that has been a big help to me in getting ready for September. Blogging is a simple way to promote discussion and publish student work and I'm expecting it to be a great tool in my classes. Great post!

Natasa said...

Hello Ben. Thank you for the link. I am glad you have found my post useful. I am looking forward to hearing more about your project when it launches in September.

Victor Hugo ROJAS said...

Hi Natasa,
It's a great pleasure to meet you. As everyday surfing the net, I found your oustanding blog. Congratulation for sharing your experiences with us, EFL teachers.
Of course, you're right, blogging is really time consuming we spend, passionaly. However, the benefits we give and receive are more than spending time, it's keeping in touch with our Ss and colleagues, all the time.
By the way, i invite you to navigate on my blog https://victorhugor.blogspot.com/

Regards from Lima, Peru

Natasa said...

Thank you very much , Victor, and welcome to my blog. I agree with you - the time we invest in blogging is really well spent. I really like your blog and I'll keep visiting it.

Dennis said...

Hi, Nataša.

Your reasons are wonderful!

I chuckled a bit over #1 and #2 (though they're certainly good reasons). I "resonated" most strongly with #3 (blogging forces one to reflect), #4 ("...the blogging community needs the people who can ask the right questions as much as it needs those who will answer them"), #5 (sharing your experiences with who can relate to them), #7 (meeting great people), and #9 (we as teachers are important and can change peoples lives in many ways). I also resonated with the numbers that I didn't note, but the ones I mentioned "hit" me the hardest.

I could write much, much more, but instead of rhapsodizing, I'll simply say that your reasons moved me, taught me, made me think, and inspired me: Hvala lepo!

Dennis

Natasa said...

Hi, Dennis. Thank you for a lovely comment. It is comments like this one that make blogging worth the effort.

莫文蔚Karen said...
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