I was reflecting on the cathartic nature of writing and the benefits of blogging when I read a post by another blogger about her blogging journey which prompted me to reconsider some of my initial writings about my blog’s purpose. I started this blog site in August (6 months ago) but I didn’t really have a clear idea about what I was doing, but thanks to Olivia and others sharing their experiences and using a blogging strategy she produced with another blogger, I gained some focus and now have a clearer idea of why I blog and what benefits I see for myself in writing.
From a practical point of view, my blog is to guide and support students with their studies and developing their academic skills. When creating my lessons I try to ensure a balance of opinions and remain neutral but through blogging I can explore my own opinions, develop and articulate my own point of view. I had never thought of my concept of professionalism meaning that I was self-censoring. With the exploration of information and reflection, I am practicing and strengthening my critical thinking and analytical skills; come August I will be formally covering these skills with some of my own students.
Through reflection, I now also wonder if my blogging could make me a better lecturer? I guess since I’m still early on my blogging journey I will find out, but I have to believe that by being more reflective about the subjects I teach, I will be able to provide greater insight and maybe ask my students deeper and thought provoking questions.
As both a lecturer and a HR professional reflective practice and taking time to reflect on practice are essential criteria for membership of my professional bodies and should be reflected through my continuous professional development. My blog should serve towards that purpose – simply by regularly contributing to my blog, I will be developing my reflective skills. In a busy world its difficult to practice the reflection required by many professional bodies. This is not why I write, but it certainly is a welcome unintended consequence. Now I just need to figure out how to combine my blog musings into my PDP plans for work. I wonder if it would be acceptable to provide a link to my blog.
BENEFITS: RESEARCH IS FUN
Although I haven’t really put it into practice yet, the other aspect of blogging I am anticipating I will enjoy is the more ‘academic’ topics or guidance which will allow me to conduct some research. I love researching and investigating topics but working in a college rather than university, I don’t really have the opportunity to carry out any primary research. I love teaching in the college environment (smaller class groups, being able to interact and develop relationships with my students) and wouldn’t want to change that. Therefore I see my blog as an opportunity to explore new themes and write up my own research in a manner accessible to students (who for their studies will still need to carry out additional, more academic reading). I appreciate this type of work will require more time to research and write up, but I am excited about some of the topics I’ve identified to explore: employability in the post-covid workplace; the impact on absence levels in the workplace as a result of so much remote/home working (both positive and negative) and following on from today’s Supreme Court decision (UK) on the employment status of Uber drivers.
I hope my excitement about my blog comes through in my writing – now I just want to get started.