My Why

Ashley Bradley
Sep 9, 2017 · 3 min read
WHY do I blog? To learn. (photo by GotCredit)

Today I learned…what the WHY of my blog is. And with that in mind, I am starting anew.

I’ve been hesitant to make blog posts about education, unsure of my direction and unsure of what I had to offer. I doubted my expertise in any one specific area. I doubted my talent for writing. I doubted that anyone would want to read what I write because Who is this lady, anyway?. It comes down to this: I DO want to blog about education. Why? To improve myself as a writer and educator and to be a good example to my children and future students. And to borrow Monte Syrie’s mantra, I want to “Do. Reflect. Do better.

I already have two blog sites. Why start over?

The first blog I ever created is personal and family oriented. I started it to digitally store memories and photographs of our travels and our adventures as a family, and to easily share those stories with relatives. I will keep it up for my personal snapshot of my family life, but it’s not the appropriate place for more professional posts.

My second blog was started as a way to store notes from my graduate school classes. In part, I created it to fulfill an assignment for my Technology in Language Education class, but it has been a useful place to store notes and reflect on what I have learned. I will keep it up as I continue my studies, but it seemed a not entirely fitting place to insert what I want to write now. I tried posting a couple of times about my musings on education-related topics in general, and those posts feel out of place on my linguistics blog.

So here’s the new blog. What is it for? Why do I feel the need to write? What is my why? Katie Budrow, another teacher I’ve connected with in #TG2chat (Teachers Going Gradeless) is always asking people “Why?” when they bring up ideas for their classrooms. She was inspired by Simon Sinek’s “Start with why” method, and I am inspired by her.

I looked over the description I wrote for myself on Twitter and thought about my many roles. “Life-long learner & sometimes teacher; wife, mother, hiker; studier of German, linguistics, math, martial arts, and whatever else strikes my fancy at the moment”. That’s a lot of interests, and there are more that I didn’t list. No wonder I don’t feel like an expert in any one thing. I can’t stick to any one thing. I always want to learn something new. Aha! There we go. I always want to learn something new! The most important part of that description, the most important role for me as a teacher, as a mother, as a person, is “life-long learner”. That’s one of the most important things I can convey to my students and my children. There’s always more to learn. So there’s my WHY. I want to model what I would like to see my children and students do. Learn. Do. Learn. Reflect. Learn. Write. Learn. Do better.

My children taught me about the phrase “Today I Learned” (#TIL), oft used on Reddit, where people share snippets of something they’ve just learned. Sometimes at the dinner table, one of the kids will start a conversation with, “TIL that…” and go on to tell us some interesting or amusing fact they just learned.

My goal is to write on a regular basis with the theme TIL. It will be rough at first. I don’t write often. But I will now. And I will get better with time. As the German Sprichwort goes, “Übung macht den Meister”. “Practice makes perfect” is the English equivalent, but I like the German better. It translates as “practice makes one a master”. Less emphasis on perfection than the English version (an important distinction for this recovering perfectionist).

So here goes…

Ashley Bradley

Life-long learner & sometimes teacher; wife, mother, hiker; studier of German, linguistics, math, martial arts, and whatever else strikes my fancy at the moment

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