In The Affordances of Blogging As a Practice to Support Ninth-Grade Science Teachers’ Identity Development as Leaders, Deborah Hanuscin and her research team argue that teachers can develop an online identity as a teacher leader by sharing their ideas through blogging.
Published in the Journal of Teacher Education, the Hanuscin study was conducted on high school science teachers, but outlines several blogging practices and types of participation that educators engage in when blogging. The outcome, according to Hanuscin, is that teachers became more reflective, developed a reputation as thought leaders, and grew in their professional learning network through blogging.
Here were the key patterns of blogging that led to their findings. They are organized into
- Participation Patterns
- Blogging Strategies
- Illustrative Examples
- . . . I would appreciate advice about how other teachers determine how far to take their kids [into the mathematics skills]. Although this discussion can quickly turn into a forum on vertical alignment and cross curricular competencies, I’d like to know how others have determined where to draw the line in the sand so to speak . . .
- . . . Thank you for the information. I will pass this on to our district curriculum specialist/assistant to the superintendent. Hopefully she and I can work through the requirements.
Exchanging resources and information
- . . . I have had the opportunity to present to the entire high school faculty the whiteboarding technique that I presented at our last [follow-up] meeting . . . If any of you found the share-a-thin to be helpful and you are utilizing the stuff you heard, I would ask that you share that information in the comments.
- . . . Right now I am looking for possible sources of funding and hope to write a grant . . .
Sharing successes and challenges
- . . . I started out at the beginning of the year sending a survey to the elementary school teachers. They did complete the survey and the results were used to help persuade the school board to supply the teachers with a science budget.
- . . . I think the most frustrating/time consuming part is getting the students to understand the multimeters. I think the multimeters are great because they are a tool that mechanics and electricians actually use to solve problems and do work. But it seems a lot of students never fully understand, despite several labs and my best efforts.
Articulating a vision of leadership and effective teaching
- . . . I think as teachers, we have to be careful not to depend solely on the administration to be the compass for our buildings. We need to communicate and work together in a common direction to achieve progress toward our goals for ourselves, our classrooms, and our buildings. We must also be dedicated to working together.
Assessing school culture for leadership
- . . . I have found that our department is really kind of unique and we all have different roles and everyone is not a leader. Whew, I said it, not everyone is leading far as I can tell, but these folks aren’t really doing a bad job either.
Describing specific leadership roles
- . . . My leadership role primarily involved [recruiting students for] the PF program at our school . . .
- . . . I only had a small group of PF students this year, and next year we are hoping for more of our Freshmen into PF.
- . . . I have found that the more I have explored out of my own classroom as a teacher leader in Physics and Special Education the more I am able to focus on the big picture. I see things differently and my response is more thoughtful of the community. I am able to do many things that I had always considered to be way out of my comfort zone.
Offering support and encouragement
- . . . I wish you the best of luck with your grants, and great job getting the school switched to Physics
- . . . First. Way to Go Teacher Leader!
- . . . I’ve heard you talk about your class and you’re doing such an awesome job.
- . . . Somehow I got on their mailing list (possibly because of Jim—thank you, Jim, if that’s so) and have been signing up for workshops ever since.
Relating/identifying with others
- . . . There are times when I feel just as you have described it. Due dates, EOC, end of year projects and everything else . . .
- . . . I can relate; I also teach a class-within-a-class (CWC) this year . . .