The magic to get your blog on

When thinking about what to write for your teaching practice, it’s natural to think you have to wait until your big aha moments, out of this world insightful observations, or hitting it out of the park lessons to merit writing a blog post. But one of the best parts of Cohort 21, I believe, is the opportunity to take a step back and write about your teaching practice…and in the process actually think about what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what other opportunities might exist for you. Writing is a form of thinking (can you tell I’m an English teacher?) and couldn’t we all use a little more time to be mindful and contemplate this profession adventure we have found ourselves in?  

We know that good writers don’t have some bag of magic that makes their words just melt in your mouth. We know that good writers just write more. It’s actually kind of boring. If only we had a genius that would help us say all the things for us and make our work sound as brilliant as we wish we were. The only way to become a good writer is just by writing.

(this is not actually my baby)

A real life example: Ambrose just started swimming splashing lessons. We are in the kiddie pool and the class is just about getting used to the water. Laying in the water, getting dragged through the water, having water go up your nose…you know how it is. At the end of the class, each of the babies got dunked under water to get used to the water and see that even though going under is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you scary, you just have to do it. The more you are dunked, the less of a deal it is.

This year, I’ve just created a new folder on my personal Google Drive and I’ve started to write up some blog posts whenever I have some time when my baby is napping and this way I can tinker with them a little bit before getting them ready for publishing. So, if you are feeling stuck in your writing, you might unearth some fantastic insights by just choosing one of these ideas below and writing. Don’t worry about publishing it yet. Just write it and decide what to do with it later.

15 Ideas for What to Write When You Are Stuck

  1. Your philosophy of education in 3 paragraphs or less (and update it as often as necessary)
  2. Five big questions you have about teaching
  3. The biggest frustration you currently have in your classroom
  4. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about education
  5. Your response to the last article / video / TED talk you’ve seen about education
  6. Who you look up to as a teacher and why
  7. An incredible strategy that you have seen in a fellow teacher
  8. Review a powerful book about teaching / learning
  9. Who has influenced your teaching practice the most
  10. The one thing that has transformed your teaching practice
  11. A highlights reel of the last conference, workshop, PD session you have attended
  12. A problem or struggle that you have observed your students have this year
  13. A review of the best app you have ever used in your classroom
  14. Write a response to a fellow teacher’s blog post that you were especially moved by
  15. Explain a project that you want to try in the future with questions for feedback

Getting your feet wet in the world of publishing your writing is one way to just get over yourself already and start to make some insights about your profession. From my experience, the more you write, the more comfortable you become, and thus the more you write, and then the more insights about your practice you will have. It’s a delicious feedback loop of excellence!
I’m curious if there is anything specific that hinders you from getting your words out into the world?

About the Author
Passionate and curious about technology, smiles, special education, differentiated instruction, forests, graphic novels, accessibility, anti-oppression, and warm beverages. Can often be found laughing with young people and improvising songs on the spot. @teach_tomorrow

4 comments on The magic to get your blog on

  1. This is such an inspiring post for our participants to consider. I like your strategy to blog off-line, tinker, and then publish! Thanks for the prompts too!

  2. Jen says:

    I love this post, Celeste – thank you. I think this is just what new bloggers need to be reminded of. I will definitely be coming back to it soon to use one of your excellent prompts.

  3. Adam Caplan says:

    What a great list of writing ideas! I want to print this is and put it up around my desk. Even if I don’t write about them all, they are smart topics to prompt thinking. Thanks Celeste!

    1. Michelle Li says:

      WOW that’s quite the list of writing prompts! That’s definitely one for the files-you have given me so much to think about in regards to my everyday practice and educational philosphy. It would be helpful to put it all into words at some point, and use it to direct what I spend time and energy on. Thanks for sharing!

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