2010-05-05

Blogging -a Strange and Wonderful Thing

Hi. I created this blog because I needed a place to show Parents my documentation. After moving into the studio, there was no access for me to the classroom based online documentation format the Parents had built, and so Blogger seemed like a good solution. Plus, I really wanted to publish writing about my work, and thought blogging would be a good way to cut out the middle man. I am of the age where the internet still fills me with wonder from time to time, like when I get a comment from someone in Australia, or Canada, or Seattle or Brussels, or D.C....anywhere that isn't Richmond, VA. 
I feel like I have made friends who really understand teaching, and who are interested in things like children and wild places, mapping, drawing to learn, and other things that I need to talk about. I wouldn't trade my new world of colleagues for anything.

But here's what is strange about it -I get comments and questions from people all aver the world, but very few from people I see face to face. I have a counter thingy that shows that on some days, lots and lots of people are reading this blog. But where are they? My audience may not be Parents at all, but instead educators who want to talk teaching and students who are interested in constructivism, teacher-research, and inquiry-based schooling. That may change who I imagine I'm talking to when I write..

It is always hard to know if people around the school read documentation at all (when it's on the wall or sent home), which can be a frustration when you spend hours and hours preparing it. It is much harder to know about invisible, online people. Sometimes it is really discouraging...so do me a favor- let me know if you read my blog, o.k.? Especially if you can be friends with the real, non-virtual me! 

25 comments:

  1. Hi, I read your blog. I am a preschool/kindergarten teacher in Kitchener,Canada (near Toronto). Thanks for writing!

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  2. Hi! I read your blog, and I'm not invisible (although that would be awesome.). I'm a teacher in Beirut, Lebanon, and am reading for professional purposes.

    Also, my brother's moving to Richmond . . . so, who knows, we could meet someday.

    -Lauren
    http://bigvoices.wordpress.com

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  3. Sadly, I can't be friends with the non-virtual you, but I do read your blog. I too have the same questions. When I created my blog, I thought every one of my parents would become followers and join in this wonderful online conversation. I have very few followers and only one of them is a parent. I think I am doing it for the parents, as it has taken the place of our newsletters, but I don't think most of our families care about the documentation. I think they think it's "neat" and "cute" when they see pictures of their child, but I don't think they are processing it the same way we may hope they would. Which causes me to ask what I need to do as a teacher so that they can see it in that light. So, alas, I think I document and blog for my own development as a teacher...which is enough in itself.

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  4. Just found you! I am a teacher and parent who used to blog quite a lot, but less so these days. I appreciate your documentation and what I have seen so far ;)

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  5. Anna,

    I read your blog! Of course. You are writing away and someone is reading.

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  6. HI! I am a preschool teacher and I love your blog! It's one of my favorites. We write newsletters and send photos to our parents every week but have a feeling that very few are reading it (at least we very rarely get any feedback from them.) I think it is the teachers who care so much about processing the info this way- I love love love teacher blogs, but parents are much more interested in/connected to just what their child is doing.

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  7. I read your blog. I am Ruby's mom, and I would like to lodge a formal request that all future entries include her. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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  8. Sarah and Evan win! From now on the blog will just be about Benjamin and Ruby, with some nice pictures of former students the Hudgins boys thrown in. (-:
    Seriously, Thanks for all the comments, I think we teachers need to talk more about the purpose of documentation...let's keep the discussion going.

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  9. Anna, your blog is wonderful... I love to see how the children are exploring themselves, and themes in their lives through self expression.... Raising two preschoolers leaves me with brain drain, so I rarely comment on the wonderful blogs/emails from school.... mostly because I have nothing intelligent to contribute! So I lurk, nod my head in agreement, and feel constantly reaffirmed that the educational home we have chosen for our girls is one of respect, support, encouragement, and communal values... I also have a camera phone full of photos of Sam's work from all the wall displays... so wonderful to see her days' experiences and explorations recorded and shared! Mary

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  10. hi i m not anywhere from the states ..i come from singapore,asia. I will like to express my gratitude towards this creation /birth of this atelierista blog. I am also an art educator from singapore primary school for children aged 7 to 12 and my school has adapted and reggio-inspired too. I was hence given the task to manage documentation for art curriculum syllabuses and when I did not know where and how to start taking the first step, i came across your blog and I am grateful for it. Your blog gave me the inspirations,ideas and insights how to come up with my art documentation(s). Documentation is such a vast and broad experiential learning.
    Thank you for your help you've given even though you didn't realise you have =D keep the blog running ! Perhaps someday it will be my turn to show you mine =D

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  11. Anna,
    I hope you know that I read your blog religiously and always am struck by your insight and intuition...thank you! Just because I don't comment doesnt mean I am not here!
    Kara

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  12. Mary...I think many of my parents feel the same way. I actually feel that way about commenting on my own daughters K-5 classroom blog. I have so many thoughts swirling and it takes a while to distill that into something I would want 'out there' and in the end , I just hit delete rather than posting a comment. But I think what Karye said is so true. Parents scan the blogs/doc. for pictures of their child and the rest just sort of falls away. One thing that does keep me documenting (other than the huge professional satisfaction I get from writing and reflecting) is imagining/hoping that even if parents don't comment, they have this sense that what we are doing is powerful and that we think their kids are powerful and they take that home with them...I hope it helps them see their own children the way we see them--capable and amazing.

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  13. I read your blog, and love it. I have a link to it on my homepage. I think you are brilliant, and I wish you were my kids' primary teacher. And I wish I could parent the way you teach. Shall I go on?

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  14. You know I read your blog! It is always a wonderful source of inspiration to me.

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  15. I read your blog, Anna! And thank you! It is always inspiring.

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  16. me too..... and I send students here frequently! Thanks for taking the time to be so thoughtfully engaged and generous with your wonderings.

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  17. Wow, Anna, you are huge in Singapore and Labanon and Canada, just like David Hasslehoff! :D

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  18. I read your blog, too, Anna! Seeing as how the studio is basically Nolan's second home, I feel more connected to him when I keep up through you! The wonderful documentation is probably the #2 reason I am so thrilled Nolan is a Sabot. (#1 being the people.)

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  19. Hi! Just found your blog today and got drawn right in by your skeletons documentation. I run a Reggio-inspired early childhood program in my home in Massachusetts. I don't generally blog about my program (I do private documentation for the families), but sometimes a bit creeps in to my personal blog (can't help it!). I love reading others' documentation, though, so have thought about possibly making it more public... Anyway, looking forward to reading more. :-)

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  20. I just found your blog. Our nursery school in Los Angeles is Reggio "inspired" and I am the "Atelierista".I'm reading for inspiration and education.
    Thanks!!!
    (ps I also have a totally unrelated blog and it's fascinating to see who reads it. Someone in the ocean off the coast of Africa reads it every day! --Crazy!)
    -Stephanie

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  21. I'm here! It's been a complicated year for me for reviewing all of the documentation, and sometimes I don't get to it in a very timely way, but I'm always SO glad that it's available.

    Blog comments are a funny thing. The vast majority of people who read don't comment, which is understandable, but frustrating for the writer. It's really hard to put yourself out there without getting a response! For what it's worth, you have a great readership and comment rate for a new blogger, and I think what you're providing to both the preschool community and educators/parents at large is valuable.

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  22. Thanks Jess, and everyone. I think I understand more about this blogging thing, after my little existential crisis and all of the feedback I've gotten here.

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  23. i just wanted to tell you that this is my first visit to your blog. I am a mom of a three year old and a 6 year old, and we will start homeschooling as soon as kindergarten ends for the year. Hopefully it will continue into the fall and beyond. I found your blog because, while my elder daughter is not a preschooler, it seems that alternative-preschool type blogs tend to be more inspiring in the creativity/exploring/being true to yourself/investigation area. Kindergarten was not like that for Blue, and it is very disappointing. So we are starting our own journey. Back to preschool.

    And I have a haphazard blog, and it is really difficult when you are just out there typing to space. It makes it hard to find your footing. If I'm writing for me, it's very personal. But stat counter tells me that there are others, somewhere, sometimes, reading along. So not so personal. Or carefully personal.

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  24. I read your blog...I am a mom in Toronto & homeschool my 5 yr old, influenced by reggio ideas. I too learn from what you post, so thank you!

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  25. Hi there! I am so glad I came across your blog. My daughter is 18 months old and I've recently been looking into Reggio-inspired preschools for next year. We are right here in Richmond, so of course, Sabot caught my attention. Your blog really gives a vision to everything I've been reading and learning about this philosophy. I'm looking forward to becoming much more involved in the coming year. Thanks for this great resource!

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