Journal 13: November 23, 2008

Over the last several weeks, I have developed a blog, and I’ve posted a few times in it, although not as many as I would have liked. However, going through this process has caused me to reflect on this learning experience and really understand how my students feel when they are challenged to learn something new. Overall, I’ve definitely learned quite a bit about some possible mental obstacles they may encounter, and I’ve learned a lot about the writing and publishing process as well.

In terms of obstacles, I have experienced all kinds–frustration with learning a new skill, confusion about next steps, lack of motivation, and complete writer’s block. I’ve had to overcome all of these issues, and some were easier than others to deal with. Overall, experiencing some of these setbacks has really given me some insight into what some of my students must feel at times. Also, I now have a personal set of experiences to share with my kids when I can sense that they’re in a rough place. I can talk to them about my personal experiences and then also explain how I overcame them. Simply being able to relate to my students will probably help immensely in breaking down some of their barriers.

In terms of the writing process, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of an audience. That was one of my biggest struggles during this blogging process–finding an audience. But it’s also shown me how validating it is to know that someone is reading my writing, and I also realized how much more seriously I took my writing when I knew that people from all over the world could potentially read it. It really does make a difference, and I want to be able to explore different ways to get my students’ writing published on the web. There is definitely something to be said for feeling like the writing task is authentic and real.

This process has really given me a feel for what it’s like to be a student again, and I feel that I can better understand what my students are experiencing. I’m looking forward to writing my paper and further exploring this learning process, but I can say with great certainty that this is one of the most valuable activities I’ve done in a long time.

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