Steady – May 5, 2016

26627164211_6c1c8dbeb8Photo Credit: gusdiaz via Compfight cc

My blog is boring. 

I want to liven it up. Some changes I have made so far this year include:

  • Changing the title to a word and the date, instead of just the date, to give a little clue about how the day went.
  • Adding creative commons-licensed photos to make the entry more visually appealing.
  • Ending the practice of writing my daily hours and tasks I completed at work, making the entries more narrative than informational writing.
  • Creating a “brand” by having the same background and symbol on my Twitter and WordPress accounts.
  • Tweeting about my WordPress account and publishing links to my blog.

What else can I do? I had to reflect on what I’ve been writing about and why. The main purpose of this blog was to communicate what I do at work for the purpose of transparency. I am an instructional coach, which is a “teacher on special assignment,” and the position is fairly new. I want to keep my job, and I also want other teachers and district employees to see what I do all day so that they see the value that instructional coaches provide.

I feel like some people perceive instructional coaches as unnecessary, or perhaps believe they do not work as hard as other teachers during the day, and wanted to prove that the work we do is valuable. I also wanted to provide the resources that I come across or create to the greater community so that all can benefit from it.

I have been working steadily to record my activities, findings, and insights on the job. However, I am just realizing now that no one actually wants to read that. I guess it’s kind of like reading expense reports or court transcripts. They’re good to have to refer to, if needed, but not good for much else.

So I am thinking of how to improve the blog and provide more interesting content. I will further consider this in the coming days and reveal what I came up with. (Today was the first time I’ve used tags in the blog, so we will see how that goes.)

For today’s work, though, I would like to (blandly) report that my tenth graders worked on finishing their novel and completing questions so they can prepare for a Socratic Seminar. My eleventh graders finished their short research projects and presentations and, although I told them that I expected they would complete their ERWC (Expository Reading and Writing Course) readings and start outlining the papers, most ignored me. I did have time, however, to create two resources for them that someone else may benefit from:

ERWC Task Checklist With Points

Brief ERWC Argumentative Essay Format

That reminds me of a topic I would like to discuss in the future: PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support). I have many questions about this topic, and know that many other teachers are also concerned with the direction in which things are headed on this issue.

I also continued revising the Step Up to Writing informational packet to separate the elements of SUTW from Jane Schaffer and realized that I had been confusing them all these years! Here is what I came up with today:

schaffer v step up

The final project I would like to report on today is improving my presence on social media. I know that a good work account will inspire people and share useful content. I would like to step up my game and improve in this area, so I decided to look into content and follower management programs. I experimented with several, but I like Crowdfire the best. It doesn’t have every feature I want – like checking the date that someone began following – but it does all right. I like that it sends a Direct Message (DM) to all new followers. I don’t like knowing if people unfollow me, though. I take it personally, even though I know that’s silly.

As for social media upgrades, I started doing shout-outs to new followers and recommending people based on category for others to follow. I also “blacklisted” some accounts that were NSFW or which promoted tasteless content. I’m having some trouble separating my personal interests (hashtag games, self-deprecating humor) from work, though I am careful to steer (mostly) clear of inappropriate posts.

I would like to learn more about mastering social media, but for now, adieu.



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