I had been looking forward to today. I have been involved with the Long Island Writing Project (an offshoot of the National Writing Project) for several decades and today I attended a “Diving Into Blogging” workshop given by a friend of mine.
Kathleen and I first got to know each other when we both attended a LIWP workshop on writing about a year ago. She encouraged me to blog on the LIWP website, so I did. I was new at blogging and excited about trying something new and trendy since my retirement. Time went by and it soon became clear that she and I were the most avid bloggers on the site, and although we cheered each other on, we needed more of an audience to interact with.
Kathleen then encouraged me to join the SOL March Story Challenge last March, and again I jumped in. (I might even jump off a cliff if she asked me to.) That was a whole new ballgame. There was a plethora of responses every day to my blogs, including a daily one from Kathleen. I was in blogging heaven.
(The above photo is not me!)
A year has gone by and I am now in my second year of the SOL Challenge and have volunteered to be part of the Welcome Wagon for new writers. But it was time for me to expand my knowledge about blogging to include what is possible in the classroom vis a vis blogging.
As usual, Kathleen gave an outstanding presentation that included general information on the nature of blogging, how to set up your own blog, how to create blogging sites for your classroom for your students, and how to get involved as a first time blogger. She also showed us her own classroom site and examples of her students’ posts. She provided lists of resources for bloggers as well as other sites we could peruse. Blogging is a great way to get a reluctant writer to write, to develop a voice, to work on skills, to write for an audience. Even her third graders are blogging regularly this month.
Kathleen is the best example I know of an educator who practices what she preaches. She is curious, warm-hearted, kind, encouraging, smart, creative and the hardest working teacher I know. She is also a wife and a Mom to two very young children. Somehow, with all this going on in her life, she has time to connect with me and so many others and is able to make us all feel like we are very special to her. Oh, and did I mention she’s an outstanding, original writer? Somehow, going to a workshop presentation given by an accomplished teacher, seasoned blogger and technological whiz is so much more rewarding than those professional development sessions we are subjected to as teachers in our school buildings.
I celebrate you today, Kathleen, as a fellow blogger, an outstanding teacher, a caring wife and mother and my new, remarkable friend.