Blogging is professional development through reading and on-line conversation. It’s my place to write about a difficult issue and then put it away in my head. It’s my space to solicit ideas from other professionals. It’s a vehicle by which I may influence thinking or clarify my position. It’s a public relations tool. It’s a connection to people near and far. And now, I realize it’s positive reinforcement.
How often do you suppose a high school principal gets a pat on the back? Much of the time, we’re called on to solve problems big and small and to listen to complaints about things we have little control over like the lack of toner in the lab (which was ordered 3 weeks ago). We get to make decisions that make life better at school and we get to help students/parents/faculty out with problems too. We’re involved in planning the big picture, which I love. Helping the kids is the best part and sometimes it feels like we actually make a difference. Often, we are managing the day to day stuff and a great secretary like mine makes that part much easier.
But it’s not like teaching where I could see the difference on a daily basis, when I knew my students really well and could gauge my success by their engagement and success. Being a principal is challenging and non stop and just the pace I need, but I can’t always measure how I’m doing.
So how is blogging helping me to measure my performance? When I read the comments and see the links. When I realize that my thoughts are of some small value to others and that I’m not completely off base. When one of my colleagues writes and says, “Yes!” When an old friend or a stranger posts a comment that says, “hey, you get me, that’s just what I’m thinking about.” Most of all, when I follow a comment to a post and find a blog created in Florida to teach blogging with me listed as the first homework assignment. Me. My blog. On the days that I come home exhausted, feeling like I’ve accomplished little and there’s still no toner, that feels pretty darned good. It elevates me. Thank you, EGHS!