A New Blog for a New Year


My Blogging Story

I have been blogging for almost three years.  I started with “Mr. Sherman’s Blog” which I used to share school related events and news.  I strongly believe that blogging is a great way to engage students in writing and publishing, and I feel as if I needed to model this for teachers, students, administrators, and parents.  When I added a ClustrMap to the blog, I discovered that some people in other parts of the country and the even the world were visiting.  I thought that was really cool.

So, I started to branch out and write about general education topics.  Eventually, I became bored with the name of the blog (I mean, Mr. Sherman’s Blog?  Yawn.).  I changed the name of the blog to The Principal and Interest.  After a while, I realized that I was conflicted as I posted on this blog.  Should I write about issues that were specific to my school community and that the parents and students might be interested in reading or should I post about my opinions and beliefs regarding teaching, learning, educational technology, and school administration?  What about parenting, family life, raising, kids, and marriage?  Additionally, I started writing about sports as well.  How would I incorporate all of these topics, and who would really care?

In September, 2007 I started a new blog called The Principals Page.  I have been using this blog specifically for school-related topics, and I have continued to use The Principal and Interest for general education-related topics.  Both of these blogs are owned by my school district and are provided free to the teachers and administrators.

The New Principal and Interest blog

I am excited to be transitioning to this new blog for a couple of reasons.  I wanted a place for blogging that I could call my own.  I now own the domain for The Principal and Interest, and I am using WordPress to host this blog so that I don’t need to be connected to the school district’s blogging software.  I now feel as if I can branch out and write about more topics that interest me as well topics that are principal related (like the blog title suggests).  I will continue to write about education related issues, and I will continue to offer my opinions about teaching, learning, and school administration.  But now I feel as if I have a little more freedom to write about family, sports, entertainment, and other stuff.

It is possible that nobody really cares about my opinions on education or my family, and I totally understand.  This begs the the question “what is the purpose of blogging?”  Is it to write what you want to write or to write what people want to read?  In other words, do we blog for ourselves or for others?

If you are reading this, I hope you will continue, and if you have a comment or a thought, I hope you will share with me.  For the small group of people who have been reading my other blog for a while, I hope you will continue, and I thank you very much.

Happy New Year!

– Dave

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6 thoughts on “A New Blog for a New Year

  1. Dave,
    Good luck with the new blog! What a coincidence it was that I was reflecting on my 4-year-old blog and what is “keeping the fire going” at the same time you are growing from one stage to another in your own journey. The question you posed in your comment, the same one you are asking of readers, is one that caused me to think. I wound up composing a post with my feelings. It can be found here:
    http://frankbuck.blogspot.com/2008/12/of-givers-and-takers.html

    Happy New Year!
    Frank

  2. Hi Dave–I moved my blog out to my own domain back in August–somewhat for the same reasons (not to mention growing dissatisfaction with my previous platform.) I wanted something that was mine and would truly reflect my thoughts and be a place where I could comfortably reflect w/out getting into trouble at work. Even though I moved, I still find myself stepping into my “school zone” there, so I try to remain open, and as Doug Johnson (The Blue Skunk) suggests praise locally, complain globally. I have been called in once for a post that was a complaint, but it was a global one that ahem, sort of hit home anyway.

    You will enjoy the WordPress platform. Good luck.

  3. @Frank and Cathy:
    Thank you to both of you for the first comments on the new blog. I am re-energized about blogging again. It’s amazing what change can bring to us. I am looking forward to writing new, and hopefully different, posts.

    Frank, thanks for the shout out on your blog! Great article. I am struggling with the reasons for blogging. I think this will be the topic of my next LeaderTalk post on January 5.

    Dave

  4. Good work on the transfer! I am like you wondering if anyone really cares about anything other than my professional life. But I have come to learn that a lot of people that follow me are the same age and/or have kids the same age as mine. I think it can be a mix of personal and professional and people will take what they want and leave the rest. It’s just abut sharing. You do a good job. I am way behind. Having two kids change my priorities and I don’t have as much time to “network” like I used to. I would really like to be able to listen and participate in live webcasts again but it is difficult with little kids.

  5. Great blog post. I think that we should be encouraging our peers in education to think about getting their domain name as their “calling card”. Then maybe that will let them begin their professional journey as a conversation. I agree with you that it is great to blog for my school district, but then there are some things that I want to blog about on my own. This is a different kind of conversation that I never had in graduate school. Thanks for the idea!
    Cheryl Oakes
    I was connected to you through Melinda Miller.

  6. Dave
    I too wrestle with the same concepts – who do I blog for and who owns what I write and influences by default what I write about.

    I chose to start my own blog [in fact company with my .com address] so that I was free from feeling constrained, to a point as I am still paid to be a principal of a public school in Melbourne Australia.

    I guess in some ways I am adopting a more academic stance in writing, quoting references as I write, so that it seems an informed view.

    Given the number of overseas readers like yourself and few comments for the most part I write for myself – its my contributions to the world to inform myself and others about my practice and my reflections. Some say in the retelling even in the narrative we get to process our experiences.

    Mark Walker: http://www.mwalker.com.au.

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