Wednesday, January 31, 2018

50 blog post ideas for educators

Sometimes it can be tough to come up with ideas on what to blog about. As a regular blogger, I get asked the question alot... "What should/will I blog about?" Here's a list of 50 blog post ideas for educators. Be sure to share in the comments the ones that you haven't done and have put next on your blogging list to write about!  

1. Your favorite classroom hack
2. Interview a teacher in your school who does ______ really well
3. Write a letter to you in your first year in your current role.

4. Challenge yourself and share the process
5. Write about the day in the life of YOU (3rd grade teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, district administrator, etc.)

6. Share an article or book that changed your practice as an educator
7. Do a Q & A with someone whose opinion/work you really value

8. Share your ideal wish list for your classroom/school/district
9. Do a “how to” post
10. Write an open letter to someone about an issue that’s important to you

11. Share your top 3 tech tools you use and how you use them
12. Share a successful lesson or activity you did with your students

13. Write a post called, “If I were a baseball player, my walk-up song would be ______” and share the song and why (a walk-up song is the song that plays when the batter “walks up” to the batter’s box for his turn at bat)

14. Share the books that are on your “To-read” list
15. Ask someone to co-write a blog post with you on a common topic
16. Share a time-management or organization tip you use daily

17. Read a children’s book and make connections between the message in the book to your role as an educator
18. Create a screencast tutorial and embed it in your blog post

19. Write a “What I learned from ___________” (sports, cross country travel, playing the guitar, etc.) 
20. Create an infographic and share

21. Read an article on a business outside of education and how you can apply the lessons to what you do
22. Share your favorite blogs and bloggers in a post
23. Write a post about a failure and how you responded to it

24. Write a post about where you get your inspiration.
25. What would you share with someone who is in their first year in the role that you are in?

26. Share how you stay on track when trying to reach your goals
27. What are questions that you get asked frequently in your role?

28. Share a “best of” post where you share your most popular blog posts
29. Write a “round up” post of articles and posts that you read during the past week or month
30. Write a post on WHY you do what you do

31. Share your best classroom management strategy
32. Write a post about how you balance life and work
33. Share your notes from a conference or workshop you attend

34. Share a “cheat sheet” for using a tech tool or app
35. Share a story about one of your school’s traditions

36. Curate the research about a topic and summarize it (and include links to research) 
37. Create a collection of inspiring posts
38. Share your take-aways from a twitter chat
39. Write your “Educator’s Bucket List” 

40. Innovative ideas that you want to see in your school
41. Emerging tech trends in education
42. A round-up of motivational videos to show to students and/or staff

43. What you’ve learned about yourself through blogging
44. Make a list of things to avoid in education
45. Highlight your, your students’, or your school’s milestones and/or tradition(s)

46. Write a review of a product you use often
47. Ask your readers for feedback on a dilemma or question
48. Share the best and/or worst advice you’ve ever gotten
49. Share a project you’re currently working on

50. Share your mission statement and your process for writing it

Use one of these ideas? Be sure to share on twitter and tag me when you do! 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Why we need to be more like the 6-year old dancing girl in the viral video

Have you seen the viral video of 6-year-old Loren Patterson in Dickson, Tennessee, as she rocks out in the church choir? The video was shared on facebook by Loren's mom, Jennifer Patterson, and it has been shared by hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook.

When you watch the video, you can't help but feel joyful and encouraged as you watch Loren's passion and enthusiasm come through as she performs. That little girl is having a good time!

It got me reflecting on the question, "Do others see that kind of joy in me?"  

Which led me to another question (a What If? question, of course!)...

What if every staff member in our school displayed this kind of joy? 

One of my 3 words for 2018 is LIFT. I want to lift up others as much as possible throughout the year. To accomplish this, I must lift up myself first, and have a joyous heart. Finding joy, or at least hope, in every situation is part of who I am. 

I shared the tweet below just this week... 
And today, as I watch sweet Loren Patterson, I'm motivated to be sure that when I choose joy, I make sure that my actions show others that I am joyful. 

If you found this post to be inspiring, I hope that you will share it and spread the joy! 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Leadership lessons from Morris Jackson and Chick-Fil-A

I love the opportunity to get to hear keynote speakers or read good motivational or leadership books. This week, I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Morris Jackson, a Chick-fil-A franchise operator for over 40 years in the Birmingham area.

Mr. Jackson worked alongside Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, for over 40 years, and has extensive knowledge about leadership, customer service, and team building. It was my pleasure to get to hear him speak about the lessons he has learned along the way. 

He told the story about a woman in an airport. She had a few hours until her flight, so she stopped by the bookstore and purchased a book and a bag of cookies and found a place to sit and read while waiting on her flight. 

While she was reading, she noticed that there was a man sitting next to her, and he reached inside her bag of cookies and took out a cookie or two. She tried to ignore him so that she didn't cause a great scene in the airport. 

Every time she took out a cookie, he took one, too. This went on until there was only one cookie left. He took it out of the bag, broke it in half, popped half in his mouth and gave her the other half. She snatched it from him as he got up to go catch his flight, leaving her fuming about his boldness to take her cookies.

Finally, her flight number was called and she boarded the plane, still angry about the "nerve of that guy" who took her cookies. As she was seated, she opened her bag to get her book out, and she saw HER bag of cookies that she had purchased earlier at the bookstore! SHE was the Cookie Thief!

This week, Mr. Jackson was using the story to make a point about assumptions. The lady assumed that the bag was hers. She assumed that the man was taking her cookies. She assumed that he was a thief. As a leader, it's important that we question our assumptions before making a judgment or come to a conclusion too quickly.

Leader check-in: How many times do assume things that cause conflict in our lives? Are there things that we assume that we should question?

Begin challenging your own assumptions.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.
~ Alan Alda
The second lesson Mr. Jackson shared had to do with clarity of your message. He shared how he had learned this from Truett Cathy. Mr. Cathy had a speech impediment, so he learned to have a simple and clear message. Over the years, Mr. Jackson had come to realize the power in using simple language. In The Speed of Teacher Trust, I share the 13 behaviors that Stephen Covey says are necessary for leadership success. Covey says we need to talk straight, create transparency, and clarify expectations. 

Hearing this message from Mr. Jackson reinforced everything I had seen modeled by my dad growing up. My dad is from the deep south of Alabama, raised on a farm and started working for the railroad at age 18. My dad is also extremely smart, and retired as an executive on the railroad after 38 years. I tell you this only to say that he started with very humble beginnings, and he taught me exactly what Mr. Jackson shared. A clear message in simple terms is usually better. The clearest message in simple terms that I heard was, "treat everyone the same but different." (If I heard that phrase one, I heard it a thousand times growing up!)
If we present in sophisticated language, the sophisticated understands us. If we speak in simple language, everyone understands us.                              ~Morris Jackson

Mr. Jackson also talked about how we are perceived as leaders when others need help from us. Mr. Jackson said that he listened to Truett Cathy because he knew that Mr. Cathy cared

According to Mr. Jackson, there are 3 questions people ask themselves when they go to a person for help:

     1 - Can you help?

     2 - Do you care?

     3 - Can I trust you?

Mr. Jackson knew that the answers to these questions were YES when he thought about Truett Cathy.

Leader check-in: Question your assumptions. How would others answer these questions if they were directed at you?

To wrap up his keynote, Mr. Jackson gave us a challenge. 

1) He wanted us to send a hand written note to someone that needs our encouragement,
2) He asked us to do something extraordinary for someone where we go out of our way to serve them.

Leader check-in: WHAT IF you did these two simple things each and every week?

Have you learned these same lessons in your leadership journey?
Is simple language okay, or should it be more formal with sophisticated language? I can't wait to get your responses to this one! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

4 blogging tips for 2018 { + video}

Did you know that 65% of the population are visual learners? Also, YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of all people on the internet. And 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day. 

It's easy to see why video integration is a blogging trend prediction for 2018. 

But creating videos is scary. I know from my work with teachers that the thought of recording one's self is uncomfortable, and posting it for others to see is absolutely frightening!

But, if you've followed my blog or twitter feed for very long, you know what we do about FEAR around here - we face our fears! So I created a video about the 4 blogging tips for the new year. (Check it out below)

I would LOVE to hear from you on twitter or in the comments below about the one that has been the biggest hurdle for you so far. 

Can't see the video on your device? Click here:
The four tips:

1. Blog regularly, even when you're afraid the content is mediocre.
2. Don't compare your blog to someone else's. Do you. Be bold.
3. Invite engagement by asking a question at the end of your post.
4. Add a video component to your post.
Based on the descriptions in the video above, are one of these tips a strength of yours? 
Is there one that you're working on?

I faced my fears. It's time to face yours, too! Share your video with me on twitter (@jennifer_hogan)!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Meet your goals and ROCK your year

Here we are at mid-January of the new year. I'm wondering how many of us have given up on our New Year's Resolutions or been diverted from our goals that we set as the clock struck 2018?

For subscribers of my newsletter, today I shared 3 ideas for staying on track as we live out our words for the year and work on reaching our goals. In this post, I want to share another idea with you that may help you reach your goals this year and have the best year yet!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

9 Awesome High School Flexible Seating Classrooms

There are a TON of images and ideas out there for flexible classroom seating. In this post, I will focus only on high school classrooms. 

While I'm not in the classroom anymore, I still enjoy thinking about classroom design based on brain research and the infusion of technology in the classroom.

See the end of this post for what flexible seating IS and what it is NOT, by Betsy Lancy, from her blog, All Kinds of Learning Adventures.  

Here are the nine awesome classrooms, in no particular order... Get inspired!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

YOU are always enough

Twitter is amazing.

No, really. It is.

So many posts have been shared over the past few days about the new year - #oneword and #my3words. They have been heartfelt and simply awesome. Energy and motivation is high, and it's easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm as we start 2018.

But what happens as the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months? Will our motivation still be as strong?

Monday, January 1, 2018

My 3 Words for 2018

I always look forward to the holidays to celebrate Christmas and spend time with family and friends. As an educator, it's very rewarding personally to have time off between Christmas and New Year's because it gives me time to reflect on the previous year and make plans for the new year. Putting together a list of the top 10 posts from the year and connecting with my PLN in Voxer groups and on twitter all help me look forward as I continue to grow as a person and educator. 

This will be my fifth year to follow Chris Brogan's lead and choose 3 words to guide my year. No more resolutions or lists of things to stop doing. These are the words that will guide my actions throughout the year. This year, in addition to creating a visual for my office, I'm going to do something new with them. I'm going to create a recurring monthly event in my calendar so that I can do a "check in" with myself throughout the year. 


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