It was just about a year ago when I decided my 2016 New Year’s resolution would be to start a blog. It was a no-brainer what it would be about-education and teacher education–and edukention seemed to be a pretty honest name for what I planned to do: express my own opinions on whatever aspects of my profession I felt like in the moment.
I began my blog in early January 2016 with the first post about a nasty part of education that has always bothered me. This remained my most-read post until recently. But I followed up quickly with a post about how lucky I was when I first started teaching. (In 1988!)
I kind of lost focus in the middle of the year, but I picked it up again in October 2016. In November, I wrote a post on the futility of grading objectively, which became my most-read post by far.
It’s been a pleasure to write this blog because it’s helped me clarify some of my own ideas. It’s also helped me better understand a genre I frequently assign my students to compose, and I made some friends (via Twitter and Facebook) along the way. I have no real evidence that my blog has contributed anything to anyone except myself, but some have expressed gratitude for some of the posts, which is truly icing on the cake.
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about blogging is the tracking. I don’t mean any of this to brag (my blog remains an incredibly modest effort), but rather to show how cool a blog can be and what fun it can be to put one’s ideas out there. Here are some fun stats I’ve gotten from WordPress:
In 2016, my blog got 4733 views from 3478 visitors:
December was my biggest month for views, after last January. This is due primarily to the one blog post.
WordPress also logs the countries of your visitors, which is really fun. Most of my views (about 4500) came from the US. But I also received hundreds of views from visitors in over 40 countries. And one of my posts, one on liking my students, was translated into Norwegian and reblogged there!
Regarding my most-read post, even though I published it on Dec 8, something happened on December 16, as the graph below shows. Someone shared it somewhere, where a bunch of people read it at once.
Another thing WordPress does that is pretty cool is track shares of the post on Facebook, LinkedIn, and some other sources. Here is the tracking for that popular post:
That’s a lot of shares (for me) on Facebook. My closest to that for Managing the Grading Grind is only 65.
Final Thoughts and Looking Forward to a New Year
I have enjoyed my blogging, and I have every intention of continuing it in 2017. I think it’s going to be quite a year for educators, and I am certainly going to want a platform to express my views and try to keep some clarity.
I think blogging is fun and valuable. I will continue to encourage (obligate) my students to blog. I think a free exchange of ideas is important. I will try to read more blogs, too, and to comment on more of them. I will also continue to participate in professional discussion on Twitter. I’m not ready to dive into Pinterest or Snapchat, and LinkedIn is still primarily a place for resumes for me.
If you’re following my blog, reading it now or then, or sharing it with others: Thank you!
Happy New Year, and good luck to all of us in 2017.