Monday, February 18, 2013

Create a Successful Blog

Growing a blog from the ground up is a daunting task. I am still nowhere near where I want to be in terms of readership, quality, or frequency of posts. However....I need to determine what makes a blog successful.

Success of a blog depends on several factors...

Measuring the Success of A Blog

1. Readership - I want my blog to be read and enjoyed by people. If I want to double my monthly views in the next two months I need to figure out what makes my readers 
                 a) want to read 


                 b) come back for more....that is where number two comes in.

2. Quality - In my quest to create blog entries I should always put my best work out there. I appreciate the quality of the work I read on other blogs and when I produce my own blog I have to do the best I can to make my content reader friendly and enjoyable. I try not to compare my work to the work of others but no matter what, my readers are reading multiple blogs and finding their information in many places. I have to stand out by producing original and helpful articles.

3. Earnings - Being that my wife now is a stay-at-home mom and I am the primary breadwinner in the family our budget and financial versatility has changed. Having extra income each month via blogging income would help ease some of that. While this measure of success is concrete for me, I do not want to let it control what or how I write.

The Most Important Measure of A Successful Blog


I believe that when the content is of a high quality, people will want to read the blog and will want to return to the blog for more information. 

After that, the other two measures (Readership and Earnings) will follow suit.

The Blogging Calendar

I am a LAZY blogger. I rarely feel like sitting down and writing or working on the blog. I would usually rather play with my daughters, hang out with my wife, watch television or play Minecraft (addicting).

A few weeks ago I sat down to decide....what do I expect from myself and my blog?

I realized that I need to create content more regularly. Being a teacher, I am a fan of schedules and planning. Checklists are my best friends.

So here it is:

A. Blog Entry - Once per week - This means that I want to write, edit and publish a blog entry at least once a week. I still have the freedom to create more entries or write smaller entries; however, whatever I write needs to be high quality.

B. Twitter - Three Times a Week- Tweeting is a micro event...It should be easy to post to at least three times a week so that it keeps me in the Internet universe in an active way.'s to success! 
(Clink Glasses Here)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Find a Teaching Job

After being a teacher for over ten years I've had my share of student teachers and graduate students observing in my classroom. I get a lot of people asking me advice on finding a teaching job and I have a few things to help them of course, there are no guarantees but one must try. 

For those of you interested in finding a teaching job, enjoy a few pieces of advice from a veteran teacher, here we go:

1. Substitute

This might seem like a no-brainer to those of you who've been in the trenches doing your time in the sub pool for a while now, however, not everyone understands just how crucial this can be. Even if you have your "in" to the school (principal neighbor, mother is a teacher, etc.) you have to prove yourself worthy of the opportunity through subbing. A lot of the tips mentioned here tie back to this first one.

2. Make Friends

Make friends with EVERYONE you can. I know it can be scary or awkward to eat in the teacher's room but go ahead and be part of the group. Seek out the other teachers on your team for the day and build relationships with them. Teachers LOVE to be flattered and most teachers have a controlling personality combined with a love for talking so get them talking about their strategies and how they deal with situations that arise in their classroom. I mean, look at this are reading thoughts of a teacher who loves to share ideas with people and there is something flattering in knowing that you're reading this. 

3. Maintain Control at ALL Times

No one expects you to be perfect but it never looks good if other teachers or administrators need to help you out with classroom management. Keep the students active and engaged during lessons, remain respectful of your students with clear boundaries and expectations. If you work with the younger grades and walk with students in the hall, keep them quiet and orderly. Walking in front of the line will not work, keep an eye on your students in the hall and walk with them at about the halfway point monitoring the front and back of your line. 

4. Dress and Act Professionally

You need to remain professional when substitute teaching, even if you are working with little students or other students you think won't notice, you need to remember that you are being watched and teachers give feedback about the substitutes in their rooms. The students tell on you when you do something a teacher shouldn't....we always hear about it. Unfortunately some of the teachers in the building will not be good examples to follow. Just remember, they have a job and you don't. Don't day that role will be yours.

Those are just a few of the many hints to name....stay tuned for a few more tips over the coming weeks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Morning Meeting Classroom Activity: Name Six

Name Six is one of those activities that seems so simple yet can be a challenging and worthwhile activity for your students.

The Object:

Name six things that fit inside of a category before time runs out.

How I Run It:

With the students seated in a circle in the center of the room I have one student sit on the floor in the middle of the circle. The person seated in the middle is the one who must name the six things. The rest of the circle acts as a timer by passing around an object: marker, ball, toy or any other object you have handy. 

I name the category and then pass the object. The student in the center of the circle must name their six things before the object comes back around to me.

Ideas for Categories:

Stores in the mall
Animals on a farm
Car brands

Why I Like It:

This activity can be adapted to each individual and to any age or grade. I also like the fact that it is a great way to encourage quick thinking and speaking in front of a group. The activity also leads to great discussions about pressure and the feeling of a looming deadline.