Welcome to the crazy wisdom parade.

This is where Literacies readers shared their literacy wisdom until July 31, 2008. We had a great time. Please feel free to explore and comment and continue to add floats.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Reflective Writing

wendell dryden
They / we asked "How are we using our research skills on the fly? What happens?"

Here's one answer: My boss thinks I'm smarter than I am.

She asked me for some year-end highlights and good news stories for the Annual General Meeting. I had some stuff at hand [key point here - more in a moment] and quickly pulled together a six page report with text and images.

She was pleased and impressed, seeing my report as an example of "good ideas" and "a way to share". She decided to circulate copies to other staff - who now hate me with some cause. (Just kidding!)

Here's the thing: that "stuff at hand" was my blog postings.

wendell dryden

I've always written stuff down in a sort of daily journal. I started because I was wretched at imposed paperwork. I've always scrambled before each reporting period to complete monthly attendance forms, official workplans and so on. I'm just plain bad at filling in all those little boxes.

But, it's easy for me to create a daily narrative. So that's what I do. Only, now, I also blog some things as well.

When I blog about my work, I build up a record of ideas that worked and ideas that didn't work, of my own reflections and those of my learners. Because it's a blog, this rich information is already typed, digitally available in a searchable format, and often accompanied by appropriate images. This allows me to quickly draft up a thoughtful overview of the year, or - maybe - a paper for a journal like Literacies.

Of course, I record far more than I blog. It is inappropriate to share some things. When I do share, I still need to preserve the privacy and dignity of both my learners and my employers. I also need to reflect on the meaning or significance of what I'm writing, what I'm seeing - I need to draw some conclusions.

In any case, whether I blog or simply write notes to myself, this daily recording of thoughts and observations allows me to look back on and appraise my work. That's the other, more important answer to the question, "What happens?" I get to look back, think, maybe change my mind. Do better. That's valuable to me.

What you think and learn and do is valuable to me too.

If you don't journal, why not consider it? If you do, why not think about starting your own literacy blog? Think of how you could add to our nation's store of literacy wisdom and wonder by sharing even once a week.

Think about it.


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