A year ago I had an idea, I’d write a blog. I wasn’t new to blogging, truth be told it was writing a blog that had resulted in me moving to Mexico. However, instead of just writing for writing’s sake, this time I had a purpose.
I don’t speak Spanish.
On the whole, this isn’t a problem in my job when it comes to the teaching part, however it was a problem when it came to the “communicating with parents” part. I therefore decided that it would be a help to both parents and students if I wrote a day-to-day diary of what happened in the classroom. This would give some point of reference to both the parents and the students, so that they would be able to discuss the days events. As a parent I know that often, when a sixth grader is asked what they did at school, there answer is “Dunno”. I also thought it would be useful in explaining some of my teaching methods, some of my thoughts.
So, on 18th January, 2010 I published my first blog post on Mr. Kay’s Blog. And it worked. The students would read, comment, join in. In fact, at one point, the whole class kept individual blogs for a month. Parents were constant visitors. The pictures gave them some idea what was happening, the videos covered events that they might have missed, and the actual posts themselves gave conversation starting points.
The blog was a success. It was hard work, having to come home every night and immediately settling down to write about the days events, but I felt that the hard work was useful. The students were getting something out of it, the parents were getting something out of it. There was a point.
Then came August and a new group of students and parents.
As expected, the numbers of readers dropped off considerably. I assumed that as the year got going, students and parents would start to read regularly, and the stats would start to improve. However, they didn’t. maria kindly offered to translate the blog into Spanish, as it was pointed out to me that some parents might appreciate it in Spanish. However, the visits to the Spanish blog could be counted on one hand. It was a lot of hard work for little return and, after thanking her for all her hard work, I shut down the Spanish version at Christmas.
I have given this blog two weeks into the New Year. I have mentioned it regularly in class and encouraged the children to visit, but the numbers haven’t risen. Yesterday I asked all the students who read the blog to say hello, two students did so. Yesterday I had more visits to the blog from Google searches looking for “Santos Laguna” than I did from students. This academic year has also seen an increase in my working hours, the school now goes on until 3pm. This means that I am often finishing the blog after 5pm, and that is before I can start my other school work. Added to this fact is that, unfortunately, I have had to cover colleagues who are absent, every day this calendar year. Time is at a premium. If this blog still had a point I would gladly sacrifice my time, however at the moment it has no real point.
My Flickr account is also up for renewal, and again the amount of visits that the pictures receive do not justify the expense of maintaining the account.
Obviously I still believe that a blog can be a useful tool, as a method for communicating between my classroom and the students’ homes. However, in this case it is not effective, it just isn’t working. Therefore it is time to close this down.
Thank you to those who have read and enjoyed the blog. Thank you for the compliments when we’ve met. Thank you for the comments.
Shall we try this again next August?