On needing a purpose

I set this blog up quite a long time ago, but its pages have been empty from the start. I suppose I thought it would populate itself, to no avail. More realistically, however, I failed to recognize that I created the blog on a whim, with no purpose. Having only taught for four years, I didn’t believe there was much I had done that was worth sharing. I’m still very much in the throes of stealing everything I do from smarter, more accomplished folks all around the world. A colleague who had quickly become a friend encouraged me to start a blog – he had one, after all – so I did. That was that.

When I started in on teaching, I desperately wanted to sport a mug with this demotivational slogan on it:


So when I created a blog, I figured that, yes, it was easy to set up, but actually filling it with stuff would require engaging in the vapid exercise I had come to associate with blogging. Of course, at this time, I also thought that teaching would be fairly straightforward and easy and once I got the hang of it the only thing that would change year to year would be the students. Ah, naivete.

In any case, purpose I needed, so purpose I have found – two to be exact. Next year I will be one half of our school’s iPad technology team, with the specific goal of helping faculty implement the 1:1 program in their classes. In preparing for this role, I have been reading and searching far and wide in the depths of the Internet for helpful sources, but I’ve not really allowed myself a way to respond to what I find in writing. After spending a good deal of time reading Fraser Speirs’ blog (speirs.org), I realized that even in discovering people who have documented (in depth and very well, I should add) implementing an iPad-based 1:1 program, I would not find immediate cut-and-paste application to our school environment. How silly of me to subconsciously expect that, actually. Instead, I want to use this space as a place to help me sort through what I find that is interesting and give voice to ways I see it applying to my classroom or the school in general.

The second purpose for the blog may end up dominating the posting I do, provided I can stick with it during the school year. I really, really need a place to digest new ideas, discuss implementing them, and contemplate their effectiveness in my classroom. Even if this blog never finds a readership, the organizational principles of a blog will be far more conducive to my own review of my thoughts than scraps of paper, an old notebook, or scattered documents on my computer or iPad. I hope that what I can find to post about will eventually become helpful for people beyond just me – colleagues in the department, students, maybe even teachers elsewhere.

I suppose now I must naturally consider audience; I always ask my students to do it, so why not me, too? Even if no soul save my own ever encounters these digital etchings on the wall, I must write with an audience beyond myself in mind. I would rate these prospective audiences in order of imminent readership and thus importance: Jesuit faculty, Jesuit students, Jesuit parents, and the larger world of education. I hope one day to need to revise that understanding of audience, but for now, it fits my purpose, which is all I can ask.

2 thoughts on “On needing a purpose

    1. I created my blog almost a year and a half ago. I posted a few entries, but they were all without purpose. And what happened? I stopped writing. More than that – I dropped out of the conversation. For more than a year my blog sat empty. Since I attended ISTE this past June, I have realized the purpose for why I must write. It is many of the things you have listed. I need the space to digest and reflect on tools, ideas, and experiences. Another thing I’ve found is that I have a voice. I do not have a large readership either, but I do have a voice that I believe has merit, has value. I want to use my voice to help encourage parents, students, and other educators around the world. Thank you for reminding me of and reaffirming my purpose for writing.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s