Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why a blog?

Blogs are an interesting part of the internet. There are people who read blogs (me) and there are people who don't. Here are some questions people who don't read blogs sometimes ask me:
  • "What's the difference between a blog and a webpage? Or a tumblr?" 
    • Well, a blog is a kind of webpage that gets updated with words and pictures on a regular basis. Tumblr is a webpage where you can have a little blog that's not very long.
  • "Who reads this stuff?" 
    • That really depends on the blogger. Some people share their work with friends and family and others broadcast it to the whole internet.
  • "Why would you want a blog? Why not just send it in an email to the people you know? Or put it up on Facebook?"
    • Some people have a blog about a special topic, bikes for example, or yoga, or cooking. Or their vacation, or their baby, or the costumes they knit for their cats. A blog is a way for them to reach out to other people who share their interest. (Take a look on the right, under "Beautiful Blogs" for links to some of the blogs that Katie and I follow.)
    • Other people have a blog as a storage location; a place to keep their writing or photographs or big ideas.
    • Blogs can be community sites too. A blog with an active readership is like a cafe bustling with people who are interested in the same things. "Love Isn't Enough" is a blog I follow that is concerned with "raising a family in a color struck world". Readers there engage in real conversations about difficult topics. 
We've been thinking over the past few years about starting a blog, but we've also thought about not doing it; it's some extra work, it may go unread, like any regular practice, there's the possibility of failing to keep up. This year Katie and I decided that we are ready.

There are two parts of my work this year that will be served by a blog; making teachers' work visible, and partnering with families. I'll use this blog to document the documenters. Your teachers have spent years painstakingly putting together storybooks, powerpoints and beautiful slideshows about the work your children are doing; I'd like to use this blog to highlight teachers, their learning and their work. I'd also like to help families to learn more about what we mean when we say that we are inspired by the teachers and families of Reggio Emilia, that our curriculum is anti-biased, play-based and child-centered. I'll demystify some of our jargon and hopefully, I'll invite you into conversations in the comments about things that are important to all of you.

We can also use this blog as an archive. If we post regularly, then it will hold our ideas and our history for us to pass them on to later staff and families. If people wonder what the center used to be like, if we want to see how much we change every year (and we change so much!) we can look back at the blog. It can also help staff with our professional development. Currently, if we want to remember what article we read at the "Reggio Roundtable" we held about outdoor play and learning, or remember how that other preschool classroom dealt with a fascination with Pokemon, we have to ask each other, look back in old notebooks and try to remember. However, if we keep this sort of information on our blog, teachers can easily search and use our blog as a resource.

We hope that you enjoy reading this blog and that it can be helpful to our community. Please read it often and comment when you read so that we hear as many voices as possible.


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