02 January 2014

5 Things I've Learned In Two Years of Blogging

On a similar winter day two years ago, I started this blog as a way to reflect and voice my thoughts on
Our backyard in Lexington, KY

education, teaching, and learning.  I selected the title--Learning to Muse--with great thought and consideration about my mission.  My mission is not only to reflect but also to encourage conversation about education re-design, to share thoughts about learning and teaching, and to encourage parents and community members to be involved in public education.

1.  Optimism is essential.   The blogs I most enjoy reading are those that look at life through a positive lens, so I aim to stay as optimistic as possible when I blog too.  An ongoing post I try to write (but haven't been able to complete yet) is about being an idealist who's also an optimist.  Nevertheless, I have written multiple times this past year about dealing with negative people, about looking past complacent people in the workplace, and about staying positive about the work teachers are doing to educate children

2.  Writing takes commitment.  I guess I didn't learn this only through blogging, but the persistence required to maintain a blog has been more readily revealed to me.  I've read many other bloggers who write about the importance of a blogging schedule (I'm still working on that one).  The first year I always made sure to post at least one new blog entry per week.  This year I let a few weeks slip by without posting something new, and I always felt a twinge of guilt because I really wanted to write and had plenty of topics, but neglected to follow through every week.

3.  Collaboration beats isolation.  From teaching ideas to parenting tips, any time I can collaborate my life improves.  Sure, collaboration is messy and sometimes difficult, but the benefits far outweigh working or living in isolation.  This past year I had numerous opportunities to collaborate with colleagues on a number of projects, and I even started a new job focused on collaboration between Kentucky and Colorado educators.  This year also marked a turning point in my social media use and the building of my online professional learning community (PLN).  In 2013 I also had more time with my little family of four, and this made the collaborative parenting approach my husband and I enjoy all the better.

4.  Teaching and leading can happen together.  My post about leaving teaching continues to be one of the most popular posts on this blog.  This year, in particular, I spent a lot of time thinking about teaching and leading and how they can happen together.  I also made my foray back into the classroom, only this time at the university level teaching future teachers (part-time--love it!). 

5.  Lexington is a cool place to live.  This year marked our ten year anniversary of living in Kentucky, USA.  As you will read in this popular post, I was never really excited about moving here.   Becoming involved in my community is what changed my view, and this year a highlight of my involvement was when I served as Movie Captain for Girl Rising and gathered nearly 200 people from Lexington and the surrounding areas together at the historic Kentucky Theatre for a viewing of this important film about girls' education.  Now, I can't imagine leaving Lexington, and I find myself hoping my husband might miraculously find full-time work here.