One of the added pleasures of this whole undertaking is slowly finding kindered spirits, and I think I have found one in Terry who writes about teaching and electronic portfolios and other dreams in ways that generate that “Exactly!” response. It’s good to know that there are others out there who believe in these dreams, who struggle with them mightily, and who might just turn out to be agents of change with all of this. I’m looking forward to developing those relationships.
Yesterday, Terry wrote of his frustrations with time and technology and support, and I am reminded again of how fortunate I am to be where I am and to have the resources both in people and equipment to help me along. He even asked how I find the time to do all of this, and it is sacrifice. I don’t see my kids as much as I’d like, I can’t help Wendy as much as she needs, and I’m getting more and more out of shape. But my brain is buzzing, and much like Peter talks about the real charge being in the doing, this has me pushing myself. It’s a good feeling.
There are so many applications here and Terry articulates it well when he says “I believe that weblogs will help more writers get to the next step–care and concern for their audience. That reaches beyond ego gratification into something much more interesting.” He’s right. And as I was thinking about audience even more last night, I wondered how can we teach that concept without writing for audience ourselves? The writing teachers in my department need to be doing this. How can I teach journalism without being a journalist? (That’s why I’m writing an article about weblogs in the classroom.) How can we teach literature without being readers? We need to give kids opportunities for real world application of what we too often teach in a vacuum. And we need to find time to provide those applications. Don’t tell me my kids aren’t thinking more about what they write. Don’t tell me I’m not. Like Terry, I have written more in the last few months in this weblog than I have in a long time. And while it’s been hard to find the time, and while I’ve been frustrated by not feeling able to write more personally, this has been a wonderful experience. It has affected my teaching dramatically, forced me to be more prepared, enabled me to share stories and examples and ideas with my students that I never would have been able to do before.
Yep, the buzz is right here, at my keyboard, in my classroom, on screen. But it’s also with Terry and Pat and Chris and Peter and Sarah who I know are figuring all this stuff out with me in their own ways, finding meaning and their own buzz too. Very cool.