I discovered that an audience that can comment on your work is much more powerful than a passive audience that simply listens or reads and then remains quiet. Before I experimented with blogs, I always had my students share their written work. Either they read aloud to the class, or we put it under the document camera so that the other students could see the handwritten page. But in the end, the feedback from other students was usually a generic "nice job" or something along those lines. It was difficult to manufacture the Publishing Stage of the writing process in the classroom - until blogs came along. With blogs, students were guided to make specific comments on the writer's ideas. The idea that you write to communicate with others came alive through some lively academic debates in the blog environment.
So, while I did amazing things with student blogs, I never created a teacher blog to experience the same transformation myself. I guess I never really realized that I was cheating myself of the wonderful experience I was giving to my students. When I started teaching courses to teachers seeking their ESL/Bilingual Education certification, teachers always asked me at the end of the course how they could continue to learn from me and how they could continue to find out about new strategies that I had to share. I started to think that a blog might be the way to do that, but I never had time to get it started.
I still don't have time, but I'm starting anyway. As I start out on my blogging journey, I am setting the easy (I hope) goal of completing one blog entry per month. (I don't want to stress myself out too much!) If you want to follow my thoughts and experiences, please subscribe to the RSS feed. I invite you also to share your reactions, questions, and own ideas about what I write in the comments. Learning is a social process, and I plan to get just as much out of this blog as you do!